Our Story

How it all started...

In May of 1898, a small group of men and women in Toledo, Ohio, felt God leading them to start a church in the Dorr Street, Detroit Avenue area. On May 3, the Oakwood Avenue Baptist Church was organized with 48 members who had withdrawn from the Heston Street Baptist Church. At the time of its organization the church adopted Articles of Faith, which remain the same to this very day. Rev. D. S. Mulhern was unanimously called to be the pastor of this new church.

An excerpt from the compiled History of Emmanuel Baptist Church, dated January 1911 states the following: "With the aim of uniting the Baptist churches in the Dorr West End of the city, the Heston Street and the Oakwood Avenue Churches, in the year 1908, called a pastor to preach alternately in the two churches for a period of one year. At the expiration of the year, the spiritual oversight of the work became the responsibility of the City Missionary of the Baptist Union, both churches contributing to his support."

Beginning in January 1910, all services were held in the Oakwood Avenue building. Church minutes dates December 13, 1910, state: "The Baptist brethern and sisters from this end of the city met for the purpose of signing a charter for the new organization. The name, Emmanuel, was adopted by vote." In June 1911, the trustees were instructed to take legal steps to incorporate under the name of Emmanuel Baptist Church. 

Expanding the vision...

More growth...

By May 1960 the church membership was 616. The Lord directed to property on Laskey Road and on June 23, 1960, the congregation accepted the plans for a new building to be built on Laskey Road. The church found itself in a position where they had to vacate their present building by February 1, and their new facility was not completed. On January 6, 1961, the congregation voted to rent Elmhurt School from February 1, 1961, until the new church was finished.

The early months of 1961 were difficult time for Emmanuel Baptist Church. They did not have their own building and were meeting in a school. The Pastor was ill, and there were many important decisions to be made concerning the new building. However, the year ended on a much brighter note. The first service in the new building was held on Thursday, August 10, 1961. This was a service of praise and prayer for God's blessings. This truly was a day of great rejoicing. The dedication service was held on September 17, 1961.

May 31, 1967, the recommendation to begin a Christian Day School in the fall with a Kindergarten class, was approved. The first teacher, who was approved at a later date, was Mrs. Joan Engel. Additional grades were added each year for several years until the school included kindergarten through sixth grade.  

For several months a committee had been working on a revision of the church constitution. On February 18, 1968, after several preliminary meetings the congregation approved the new constitution. Among the changes it made were the elimination of the board of Trustees and the "Official Board," changing to a Board of Deacons only. There was quarterly business meetings rather than monthly.  

More growth...

On February 25, 1976, the church voted to purchase property in the 4600 block of Laskey Road for a new high school building. This was a big step of faith, and God provided for our needs. The cost of the property was $250,000 and this had to be paid in full before a building could be erected. A program entitles, "Free Our Land" was instituted with a goal of paying for this property.

The first graduation of Emmanuel Baptist Christian High School was in June 1976. The commencement speaker was Rev. Harold Amstutz. There were nine graduates

May 1988 was designated anniversary month celebrating the 90th anniversary of the church. Former pastors who ministered were: Dr. Ernest Pickering, Dr. L. George Hunt, Dr. Reginald Matthews, Dr. Joseph Bower, Dr. James T. Jeremiah. Former assistant pastors who participated during the month included: Pastor Bruce Snyder, Pastor Myron Williams, Pastor Douglas Beason. Mr. Paul Montgomery also presented special music. A time capsule was buried on May 29, which was opened ten years later. The church was challenged to raise $90,000 during the year to reduce the mortgage on the high school building. Over $105,000 was received for this purpose.  

In 2005 there was a fire that destroyed the high school which was rebuilt a year later. The name of the school was changed in 2006 to Emmanuel Christian school. 

Where are we today...

The building that held its first service on September 17, 1961 is the same building that holds services today at 4207 W. Laskey Road in Toledo, Ohio. Emmanuel Baptist Church has held its name for the better part of 110 years and continues to thrive in serving the people of Northwest Ohio with the Gospel.

Pastor Duke Crawford is the Senior Pastor of a congregation that stretches beyond 600 people. Emmanuel Baptist Church's impact is not reserved to the area in which it resides. They currently support over 30 different missionaries due in large part to the blessings of God's people. The current pastoral leadership and support staff are dedicated to supporting the mission of Emmanuel Baptist Church that was laid forth 120 years ago.

As for the Christian School, the Lord has blessed it abundantly. Emmanuel Christian School is nearing maximum capacity and young people are coming to grow in their faith each and every day. The school currently eclipses the 650 mark for students and is faithfully serving Jesus.

God has been faithful for a long time to the people involved with Emmanuel Baptist Church. Through the good and the bad, God remains on the throne of our lives and our ministry and for the next 120 years and on, that is exactly where he will stay for the people of Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 9:00 am and 10:30 am.