The one-room school house that stood at the intersection of two gravel roads (Sunnyside Rd. and 172nd Ave.) during the Great Depression was purchased by the newly formed Valley Chapel Conservative Baptist Church in the late 1950s. The country church thrived in the 1960s with a vibrant ministry to children. There were two buildings that comprised the church facility at that time: the renovated school room used for worship, and the pole barn where school kids once tied up their horses, enclosed as its own separate building.
In the 1970s an addition between the two buildings and an educational wing created the present square footage of the unified church building. In the 1988, Valley Chapel merged with Sunnyside Church, resulting in a new name and constitution: Emmanuel Community Church.
Originally a facility sitting on 2 acres, in 1994, the church acquired an additional 4 acres of bare land to the west, contiguous with the original lot. From this piece of real estate, as a body of believers, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, Emmanuel has long emphasized the verse-by-verse exposition of Scripture as the focus of our corporate worship. We are Reformed in our understanding of the nature of God’s work in salvation. That is, the so-called ‘doctrines of grace’ are front-and-center in our preaching and teaching. Admittedly out of step with the trends of American evangelicalism, we affirm that Jesus is not just an add-on to help us. He is life itself.
Rob Martini, a ThM graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, has served Emmanuel Community Church as pastor since 1992. He married his college sweetheart nearly three decades ago; they have three grown children.