Place of Grace
Emmanuel Baptist Church was founded in 1978 by Pastor Walt Zimmerman in Manchester NH. Pastor Z, as he is still referred to today many years now after his passing, was a member of “The Greatest Generation”. He was a WWII hero and a missionary to the Nursing Homes of New England, providing hope and comfort to many in their twilight years. He finally settled down and planted Emmanuel, where he would serve as her lead pastor until 1994. The vision that Pastor Z had for Emmanuel still continues today.
WE ARE A PLACE OF GRACE
We are a church where the abundant grace and abundant truth of God mix together to form something unique in our society. A welcoming, loving, and understanding church, with strong convictions on what the Bible says, and strong convictions that the amazing grace of Jesus is powerful enough to cover our sins and make us righteous before God. Pastor Z would routinely say that we were a “church of the do! Not a church of the don’t!” He never wanted our community to think of us in a negative way, as a church of great restrictions or as an oppressive ministry. So it is today. A place of grace, a place of truth.
Following the ministry of Pastor Z, his long-time associate Pastor Ron Clow took leadership. Pastor Clow ministered at Emmanuel from late 1994 to 2009. One of the most accentuated parts of his ministry was the authority of the Bible as the very Word of God. He stressed following the Lord unreservedly and without compromise. His was an exacting ministry with a emphasis on faithfulness and excellence.
Our current pastor, Eric Davis, having come to faith under the ministry of Pastor Z, embraces the values of abundant truth and abundant grace existing in tension. Our theme verse under Pastor Davis is found in 1 John 4:17. He defines our vision today from this verse… “To raise up a generation of believers that are ‘as he is, in this world”. Under Pastor Davis we have adopted the motto “Bless God, Bless Others, Be the Blessing” because being like Jesus means blessing and glorifying the Father and loving the people of the world. It means that we become the hands, feet, heart and mind of Jesus in our culture. Pastor Davis has been our lead pastor since 2009.
Mission & Vision
TO BE “AS HE IS IN THIS WORLD”
Bless God, Bless Others, Be the Blessing is our motto and a summary of our strategy built on three simple goals.
- Bless Others. Jesus lived to bless others, and particularly the church. Paul teaches in Galatians that we are to look for opportunities to bless especially those who are part of the household of faith. This includes our ministries within the body, such as small groups, fellowships and training events.
- Be the Blessing. This is where we take all that we are learning and live it out in the world. From missions, to helping out in our community with projects or having a positive gospel presence at Christmas events, Old Home Days, we seek to be the hands, feet, heart and mind of Christ. This is where we join in the mission of Jesus to take the gospel to all people.
- Bless God. We want to bring glory to God and make Him smile. The Bible teaches us that we need to love Him first most and best, that we need to live our lives to His glory. At Emmanuel this is the first objective. Will this bless God? From our worship to our generosity to our service we seek to bless God.
JESUS, GRACE, TRUTH, AND THE REST OF OUR VALUES
At Emmanuel we value the grace and truth that is found in Christ and through His Word, the Bible. We try to value what He values. We understand that we are all a work in progress. We have a saying that we have adopted, welcome to the church of broken people, from the pulpit to the pew… being made whole in Jesus. Practically speaking this looks like the following.
We value JESUS. He is EVERYTHING. We believe that He is God in the flesh. That He is our savior, master, our guru, our teacher and we attempt to bring His teaching to life by living it out. We believe that we can KNOW Him in a personal way, just as He was known over 2000 years ago because He is alive and hears our prayers and speaks to us through His Spirit and His Word.
We value GRACE. Everyone has a story, and that story hasn’t been completed yet. We understand that everyone is at a different place on their journey of faith and we seek to be merciful and graceful with one another and with those with whom we disagree. Our goal is to reach our community and the world with the glorious grace of the gospel and to live it out with each other.
We value TRUTH. The Bible is the only authority in faith and the practice of that faith. The Bible is an uncomfortable book, it forces us to see ourselves and all of our flaws, it offers us salvation from our sin and the penalty of it through Jesus. It shows us how to live a life that pleases the Lord.
We value RELATIONSHIPS. This means that conflict and confrontation aren’t dirty words. We understand that true growth sometimes comes through discomfort. We seek to build relationships with each other, with the Lord and we try to help marriages and families through sermon series, teaching and other events.
We value PEOPLE. Yup. babies to the elderly and everything in-between. People are God’s creation and people are awesome and JESUS loves them and so do we. Even when WE are loud and messy and BROKEN.
We value our COMMUNITY. We want to be a blessing materially as well as spiritually by providing a safe place for people to come worship, a building that various groups use during the year, an amazing food pantry, toys for tots event among others, and by getting out into our towns and cities to help where we can
How We Do Ministry
- Loving Relationships: Acceptance, caring for others, forgiving
- Blended Worship: vibrant, heartfelt, reflective
- Small Groups for spiritual growth and relationship building
- Strengthening Families along with strong youth, children’s, and young adult ministries
- Empowering Leadership
- Organic and Event Outreach. We believe every member is a minister.
We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. We rejoice that even when borne by flawed believers who still struggle, the gospel is still a precious treasure. Isa. 40:28; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:11
We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35
We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognize that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. We reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name given among men by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ reject the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as “the Saviour of the world” is to proclaim God’s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord repenting toward God and placing faith in Christ and His work on the cross. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord. Gal. 1:6-9; Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12