In 1986, the Holy Spirit began drawing a group of families together to gather for weekly home meetings for praise, study of the Word, and prayer. Pastor Charles Miller, a charismatic traveling Lutheran minister, suggested that those who were gathering form a church. In October of 1987 a new congregation, called Emmanuel Christian Fellowship, was launched.
Initially, our meetings were held in the home of Renatus Bez. The elders, Renatus Bez, Donald Newcomer, and Lee Sands took turns preaching the Word and leading worship. In January of 1988, Robert Wolpert answered the call to be our Pastor. We quickly saw the need for a larger location and Emmanuel Christian Fellowship moved to the York Country Day School in April 1988.
As we reached out to the community and continued to grow, we once again began to look for a larger facility. This search brought us to our Old East York building at 2309 East Philadelphia Street.
In 2001, Pastor Bob Wolpert felt God calling him back into the marketplace thus ending a wonderful season of pastoral ministry. Pastor Dwight Merritt came to Emmanuel Christian Fellowship in February 2002; however his ministry at ECF was cut short due to health issues.
In January of 2003 the Lord brought Jim Herbert to be our pastor. Through Pastor Jim, God has brought new vision and a fresh sense of purpose to Emmanuel. A key part of this new vision has been an emphasis on impacting the community in a greater way, as evidenced by our stronger community outreaches and the fact that our building has become a “community center”. Since 2007, after asking God to fill our building, God has done just that. Currently, our building houses a dance studio, music school, Boy/Cub Scouts, exercise classes, an art class, and Touch of the Master, a Spanish ministry. We are at full capacity!
In January 2016 Emmanuel voted to join the Baptist Resource Network (BRN) which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. Although we come from a charismatic background, we have found a sense of oneness in mission and vision with the BRN and have been welcomed by them.
In March of 2016 we moved into our second location at 2550 Pine Grove Rd. We are excited about our new beginning and are looking forward to what the Lord has for us in the future. We want to be faithful stewards over the resources He’s given us.