On November 5, 1972 the First Baptist Church of Laurel, Faith Baptist Church, and Beltsville Baptist Church gathered in Prince George’s County for the inaugural meeting of the Pumpkin Hill Mission. The representatives of these churches recognized that Laurel was a fast growing community and that this was fertile ground for planting the seeds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pumpkin Hill operated as a mission for 9 years until October 7, 1981 when the mission incorporated into Emmanuel Baptist Church of South Laurel.
During the first ten years of its existence Emmanuel Baptist Church was able to grow from a few members to about fifty members. It was also during this time that the church was able to acquire the current property of nearly 5 acres located at 11443 Laurel Bowie Road. In 1986 the church erected its first building a double wide trailer set on a cinder block foundation totaling a meager but efficient 2000 square feet. In 1990 the church fell on hard times and dwindled to only a few members.
In March of 1991, the Reverend Byron J. Day was elected as the pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church. Pastor Day and his lovely wife Pamela began this new ministry along with the three existing members and nothing more than faith in the promise of God that He would “…build His church…Matt. 16:18, ‘…not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit…’ Zechariah 4:6.
In September of 1994 the church had grown to over 30 faithful members who by faith decided to increase the facilities to accommodate the growth of the ministry. These faithful few first repurchased the property from the Baptist Mission Foundation, and then in June of 1998 erected a new wing onto the existing building doubling its size to over 4000 square feet.
From its humble beginnings as a three-member flock, the Emmanuel Baptist Church, through the Grace of God, is now a thriving ministry that has borne much fruit. Today Emmanuel Baptist Church is helping to build God’s Kingdom through the work and support of nearly 300 members. The kingdom building work is accomplished through Bible study and prayer, through two Sunday worship services, through a very active discipleship ministry dedicated to Christian education, and through over 20 ministries designed to build up the body of Christ through worship, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship and service. There have been numerous professions of faith, 260 baptisms—14 of which occurred this year--, 10 ministers have been licensed to preach the Gospel, and 8 ministers have been ordained. Emmanuel Baptist Church supports the great commission by sponsoring 8 missionaries both locally and abroad.
This journey has not always been easy, but God has been faithful through it all. Emmanuel Baptist Church remains committed to the great commission and the great commandment, to make disciples of all men and to loving one another as Christ has loved us.
As we gather to commemorate 35 years of God’s faithfulness to the Emmanuel Baptist Church Ministry, let us give thanks that through no ability of our own but through God’s grace and mercy, we have been able to prosper and to carry out God’s will for this ministry.