THE HISTORY OF EMMAUS SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH
In July 1980, the Spirit of God moved on the hearts and minds of the lay activity team of the Hanson Place Seventh-day Adventist Church to start a new church. The team members were Elders Louis Straker, Sidney Williams, Cameron Bowen and Willy Oliver (World Pathfinder Director and Family Life Director) and a crusade was launched. They summoned the renowned Evangelist Fitzroy Maitland (Pat as he is known by many) who, after pitching his tent at the corner of Avenue D and Bedford Avenue, ventured out with vigor and vitality. He preached with such power and clarity from Gods word that many people hearing these soul-stirring messages and songs of praise gave their lives over to the Lord. A baptism was held at the end of three weeks and more than thirty souls were baptized. As the crusade continued more and more people gave themselves to God and at the conclusion of the meetings a total of ninety precious souls gave their heart to God.
The Hanson Place Church now had a new challenge a place to house these new members. Through prayer the Lord lead them to a storefront at the corner of Vandeveer Place and Flatbush Avenue, address 1157 Flatbush Avenue thus a mission was started. The Hanson Place church then assigned a few members headed by Pastor Bovell Sr. to shepherd the new flock. The other members were Elder Louis Straker, Elder's Dennis Jeffers, Theorld Arthur, Cameron Bowen, Audile Corbin, Sisters Augustine Arthur, Una Roberts, Nelson, Violet Bowen, Higgins, Richards, Brothers, MacDonald Cornwall and Francis Charles.
The first order of business was to choose a name, at which time the name Victory was chosen but because there was another church by that name we had to prolong the search until we eventually settled on the name “ Emmaus Tabernacle”. The next step was to choosing officers first Elder Theorld Arthur, First Superintendent Sister Higgins, the First A.Y. Leader Violet Bowen who was also the first Junior choir leader. The first treasurer was Kenneth Wallace who was also an elder; Brother Cornwall, Sister Nelson and Sister Roberts headed the Children's Department. The first Head Deacon was elder Audile Corbin; first Deaconess was sister Augustine Arthur, Brother Cornwall was in the first group of Deacons to be ordained in this mission, Sister Higgins was the first Senior Choir Leader and Tony Corbin was the first Pianist.
During these days of first beginnings a baby was born to brother and sister Cornwall and they named her Clarissa. As the families worshipped and prayed together, other babies were born first to brother and sister Hunte, then to brother and sister Jeffers. Then the first marriage took place with brother and sister Mosley, which paved the way for many others. As the mission grew larger and larger the Lord blessed us with our first official Pastor in the person of Winston Stephenson, he was also the associate pastor of the Hanson Place S.D.A. church. He led the mission on a series of Prayer and Fasting and asked the Lord to prepare a place for the growing Mission. In addition he interceded to the conference to regard the now grown mission as a church. After about six months this was indeed made a reality.
Unfortunately, however, the joy, which was now being shared by the Emmaus Church, was short lived as the lady Sister Brochard who named the church fell asleep in Jesus. Then in 1985 after a lot of praying, searching, and interceding, we were able to march from 1157 Flatbush Ave. to 1144 Flatbush Avenue from a storefront to a bank. A bank which we the members whose names are too numerous to mention worked untiringly to transform it from a bank to save souls—a “Church” or tabernacle of the living God.
After the dedication of this new church, Sister Barker was the first Superintendent to lead out in the Sabbath school Ceteris Paribus (all things being equal), Pastor Stephenson had to move on. The next Pastor that came was pastor Harrison, whose main gift is to build and he used it to the honor and glory of God to transform this church from the edifice which was called a bank to the lovely tabernacle or sanctuary housing the faithful members of the Emmaus Seventh-day Adventist Church at the corner of Flatbush and Dorchester. Six years later, he too had to move on then came Pastor Ralph Williams who stayed for approximately three years and had to move on. He was replaced by Pastor William Vincent and was replaced by Pastor Rupert Young as interim Pastor for nine months after which Pastor Glenelle Clark took over. Pastor Clark was unable to complete his full term because of a medical condition, but the Lord saw fit to send to Belize and summoned Pastor Anthony Usher to come over to Emmaus and help us. Pastor Usher graciously answered the call and today is the Pastor of the Emmaus Seventh-day Adventist Church church.
We know from whence we have come and we are certain of where we are going. Therefore my advice to all on “board” is to stay on the ship for if any should leave the ship they will all likewise perish.
May God bless us all.
Sabbath School: 9:15 AM -10:30 AM
Church at Worship 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM