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Church History - One Church Two Locations

EMMANUEL MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH was founded on September 1, 1963, by the late Rev. Dr. Thomas J Marigna, when a group of baptized believers met at Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Johnson’s home – 1001 E Las Animas Street, Colorado Springs for the purposes of organizing a church. Rev. Jesse E. Vaughn, Sr. presided over the meetings. Due to an increase in attendance, the meeting placed changed to 9 East Costilla Street – Carpenter’s Hall. 

A request was made for a church name. Mrs. Iona Peterson-Barnes submitted the name “Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” The new name was accepted along with the slogan “THE CHURCH WITH THE BIBLE AS THE FOUNDATION,” the Bible is our “CONSTITUTION,” and Tithes and Offering the only means of financing the church. 

On September 8, 1963, a call was extended to the Rev. Dr. Marigna to pastor the church, which was accepted on November 5, 1963. Rev. Dr. Marigna began his efforts of building the church and his Pastoral Policy was accepted by the church’s body. Several goals were introduced and achieved. On March 30, 1964, the edifice at 324 North Wahsatch was purchased and on December 25, 1964, Emmanuel moved to the new place of Worship. In 1968, Rev. Dr. Marigna had a dream of moving into a larger place of worship, as membership had increased beyond the present building. However, his dream was not fulfilled as the Lord called him from labor to rest on February 18, 1971. 

After Rev. Dr. Marigna transitioned, on July 14, 1971, a call was extended to the late Rev. Dr. Moses E. Ford of Kansas City, Kansas to pastor the Emmanuel, which he accepted on July 25, 1971. In September 1971, Rev. Dr. Ford and his family moved to Colorado Springs. Rev. Dr. Ford launched his program for Emmanuel and the membership grew. Several goals were introduced and achieved. One of his goals was the redemption of the contract at 1 South Walnut. On May 8th, 1977, Emmanuel marched from 324 North Wahsatch to 1 South Walnut and on July 10, 1983, the mortgage burning celebration was held.

Following Rev. Dr. Ford’s death on April 1, 1991, Reverend Jesse E. Vaughan, the Assistant Pastor, became the Interim Pastor. The church entered into a season of prayer for a new pastor. On March 7, 1992, the membership with the Chair, The Reverend Dr. James Peters, Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church Denver, Colorado came together for a meeting. The Reverend Benjamin L. Reynolds of Dallas, Texas was elected to lead Emmanuel. During Rev. Reynolds leadership, he developed and introduced the church’s Logo which symbolizes, an “Open Bible and Pages Unfolding.” Rev. Reynolds resigned as Pastor of Emmanuel on September 29, 2006, effective October 31, 2006.

As this transition took place, on October 30, 2006, a congregational meeting was held, and Emmanuel elected the Assistant Pastor, Reverend Cleveland A. Thompson as their Senior Pastor. He preached his first sermon on Sunday, November 5th, 2006. Under Senior Pastor Thompson’s dynamic leadership, on September 4, 2012, a new worship center was purchased – 3615 Vickers Drive, Colorado Springs. On September 30, 2012, Emmanuel opened its doors for the 1st worship service at the North Campus.

Emmanuel continued to thrive and on May 24, 2014, a second campus was unveiled at 1 South Walnut Street (South Campus). Emmanuel now worships and serves the community from two locations under the stewardship of Bishop Cleveland A. Thompson, Senior Pastor.