THE HISTORY OF EMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH
A Testimony of Perseverance.
As a fellowship, we celebrate the rich legacy of the founding members – freed black refugees of the war of 1812 – who first settled in the community of Upper Hammonds Plains. The first clergyman to labour among black refugees in the province of Nova Scotia was Rev. John Burton who, in 1794, was ‘the only Baptist in the City of Halifax.’ In 1822, father Burton founded the Hammonds Plains Second Baptist Church. He was succeeded by Baptist pioneer Rev. Richard Preston. In Nova Scotia, Rev. Preston became a great organizer of churches and helped to establish the Hammonds Plains Baptist Church in 1845 along with Deacons Deal Whiley, William Marsman, Gabriel David, and church elders Henry Whiley and Thomas Jones. By 1937, the Church, with Rev. Arthur N. Morgan as Pastor, had a membership of 67. Two years later, the two Baptist churches in the community of Upper Hammonds Plains amalgamated to form Emmanuel Baptist Church.
Reflecting on the history of Emmanuel brings memories of the hardships, achievements and dedication of our founding fathers. Emmanuel’s unique history is decorated with producing six ordained pastors from the small community of Upper Hammonds Plains. They include Rev. Martin Anderson, Rev. Dr. Willard Clayton, Rev. Calvin Symonds, Rev. Mervyn David, Rev. Sherry Avery and our overseer and current pastor, Rev. Dr. Lennett Anderson.
Since its establishment, Emmanuel has become a place of refuge for the residents of Upper Hammonds Plains and surrounding communities of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Today Emmanuel is truly a church without limits. It has truly become “The Meeting Place” for people of various ethnic, cultural and denominational backgrounds and a voice that echoes far beyond the territorial lines of Nova Scotia, throughout all of Canada and even to various parts of the world.