Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a group of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ met together in prayer and supplication, seeking divine guidance in their effort to found a church. The group was composed of Rev. George Smith, Anne Smith, Deacon Carl Mayes, Izetta Mayes, Henry Nichols, Lizzie Nichols, Charles Blunt, and Elizabeth Blunt. They met in planning sessions at their respective homes from July 2, 1965 through July 17, 1965.
From these planning meetings emerged the decision to hold the first meeting of what is now known as the Emmanuel Baptist Church. Hence, the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Milpitas, California was constituted on August 8, 1965, in the home of Deacon Carl and Izetta Mayes, located at 1865 Arizona Street, Milpitas, California. The late Rev. George Smith, one of the founding members, was called as pastor of the church.
With eight founding members present, the church began worship services in the home of the Mayes, Nichols, and Blunts. The name "Emmanuel," which means "God with us," was one of out of the pool of names submitted by this group founding members. Anne Smith drew the winning name, which had been submitted by sister Mayes.
Meanwhile, a building fund was established to acquire property for church services. A temporary place of worship was located in a residential area of Milpitas, California, at 1625 Cortez Street. This place was subsequently abandoned following futile attempts by Emmanuel to have the Milpitas City Planning Commission to grant her a use permit. In November, 1965, Emmanuel Baptist Church moved from Milpitas to a one-room, store-front church at 854 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose, California. Emmanuel was incorporated on May 2, 1966, and became a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and the San Jose Baptist Association on October 2, 1966.
From the one-room, store-front facility on East Santa Clara Street in San Jose, Emmanuel moved to its present site at 467 North White Road, San Jose, California, following a groundbreaking service on March 16, 1969. It took five months and one day from groundbreaking to the dedication of the new church building.
As our daily lives are filled with ups and downs, the church was no exception, nor was she immune from these peaks and valleys. During Rev. George Smith's tenure as pastor, Emmanuel built an 18-unit apartment complex, known as Emmanuel Terrace. These apartments were built in 1973 for low/fixed-income senior citizens and disabled persons. Following the resignation of Rev. George Smith, Rev. Nemi Harris and Rev. Louis Jones served as interim pastors at Emmanuel.
On July 1, 1977, Rev. Willie T. Gaines, Jr. was called as the second pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church. Prior to coming to Emmanuel, Rev. Gaines was pastor of the East Barstow Baptist Church of Barstow, California. From the initial membership of eight (8), Emmanuel Baptist Church experienced phenomenal growth. Of the charter members, all but Sis. Izetta Mayes have gone home to meet Jesus. On October 31, 2004, Pastor Gaines retired from Emmanuel Baptist Church. From the time of Pastor Gaines’ retirement through February of 2006, Rev. Jethro Moore served as the interim pastor of Emmanuel.
On March 1, 2006, Rev. Edward L. Taylor was called as Emmanuel's third pastor. Pastor Taylor served from March 2006 to May 2008. In September, 2008, Dr. Lyman Alexander began serving as the interim pastor of Emmanuel.
On January 25, 2012, Rev. Jason C. Reynolds was called as the Senior Pastor. Believing that God has great things in store, this dynamic, gifted, visionary, pragmatic, lover of people relocated from Chicago, IL and began his ministry at Emmanuel on March 4, 2012.
The Lord Jesus Christ has blessed Emmanuel with people who are eager to do God’s work. Tremendous emphasis is placed on training and equipping her people to enable them, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to win and disciple lost souls for Jesus Christ. As a result, Emmanuel has launched many sons and daughters into pastoral, missionary, and teaching ministries throughout the country. For instance, Emmanuel has helped to establish several churches. They include Full Gospel Church (San Jose, CA), Rev. Ed Thomas, Pastor; New Home Baptist Church (San Jose, CA), Rev. Johnny Gipson, Pastor; Family Bible Fellowship (Newark, CA), Rev. Horacio Jones, Pastor; Modesto Bible Fellowship (Modesto, CA), Rev. Jim Blair, Pastor.
The Kingdom work of Emmanuel Baptist Church continues as the Holy Spirit leads...