History of Emmanuel Baptist Church
In 1948, Rev. H.O. Eastman and other members of Victoria Avenue Baptist Church saw that there was a need for a Baptist outreach in the east side of Belleville where the population was growing. On June 18,1949 a Sunday School was formed under the guidance of Rev. Eastman and later Rev. L. Keith Daniel and Rev. Gordon B. Woodcock. On the foundation of this Sunday school, Emmanuel Baptist Church was formed.
As the Sunday School accommodation became inadequate and Belleville continued to grow, it was decided that property would be purchased and a new congregation would be formed. In March 1960 the present property was purchased. Plans for the new church were approved by the nucleus of the new congregation and Victoria Baptist Church in September 1961 at a tendered cost of about $61,000.
On October 1,1961, a ground-breaking service was held and on November 19,1961 Emmanuel Baptist Church was formed with 41 charter members.
On January 7, 1962, the cornerstone of the new church was laid and on March 25, 1962 the church was formally opened and dedicated to the glory of God. In 1988 the congregation agreed to sponsor a senior citizens residence. A portion of the unused property was sold by the church to Belleville Emmanuel Residences for Senior Citizens Corporation and a 55-unit apartment building was constructed which accepted the first tenant in December 1989. In 1990, the seating capacity of Emmanuel Baptist Church was increased and the Sunday school, office and Pastor's Study areas were improved. The church addition was dedicated to God on December 2,1990 by Dr. William Brackney, Principal, McMaster Divinity College.
Until May 1975, Emmanuel Baptist Church was part of a two-point pastoral field with Sidney Baptist Church, served by Rev. Eric Quirk. He was followed in 1966 by Rev. Charles Savage who served until 1974. On May 6, 1975, Rev. Fred Knutson was inducted as the first full-time pastor. In 1978 Rev. Egon Von Keitz became pastor and he served until December 1988. Rev. Donald Crisp became pastor in January 1989 and he served until March 26, 1995. Rev. David Richardson served as interim pastor until Rev. Ken Wiles became pastor on January 15, 1996. Rev. Wiles resigned effective November 4, 2002. A variety of speakers led the Sunday morning service until Rev. Paul Frost became interim pastor on September 1, 2003. On Sunday, April 3, 2005, an Induction Service was held for Rev. W. Paul Frost who served the Church as pastor until his retirement on December 31, 2011.
A new season of our church life began when Mr Ray Dickens was invited to serve as Interim Pastor from January 2012 until May 26, 2013 when he was called as Pastor. After a period of study, he was ordained by the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec at a service held at Emmanuel Baptist Church Belleville on November 30, 2014.
Emmanuel Baptist Church came into existence by the will of God and the faithful labour and loyal support of the members of both the mother and daughter churches. It continues to proclaim Christ to all who enter.