What’s in a Name? For one thing, a name is how people are identified. The same is true for a congregation of people. There is something to that when you are referring to our name, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We have not always been identified by our current name or our current location
There were a lot of things happening around the turn of the 20th century. Back in 1902 the Mossy Creek community combined with others in the area to form Jefferson City. The Baptist Church of Mossy Creek changed its name to The First Baptist Church of Jefferson City. That was also when a couple of students at the Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary started Bible studies and meeting on the north side of Mossy Creek. Those meetings quickly turned into a mission and in September of 1902, The Second Baptist Church of Jefferson City was fully constituted. The congregation’s humble beginnings developed quickly as they were served by a number of students of what is now Carson Newman University.
By the time the country moved into the roaring twenties, the congregation changed its name to Northside Baptist Church. Their first building was torn down to make room for a larger one that they continued to use for over forty years. During those years a home was built for the pastor and his family. In the fifties, the limitation of space forced the congregation to look for more land to build new facilities, but it wasn’t until 1969 that the first building was completed on that property. The new location brought up the need for a new name since it wasn’t on the north side of town. This time the congregation found its name in the Bible instead of its location. That was a good thing since it is located on “Overlook Avenue.” The name they chose was “Emmanuel” (meaning “God with us”) Baptist Church. That was forty-nine years ago and God’s presence with us is still the most important element in identifying the congregation. The congregation started work on the new sanctuary in July of 1976. There were a lot of bad things that happened during its construction and during the years since. It stands today as a witness of the presence of the Lord in this place.
Today we are celebrating yet another milestone. Because of the faithfulness of believers in the congregation, over $100,000 has been raised to pay for the replacement of the roofs on the sanctuary and the education building. Add to that fact that funds have continued to come in for base budget needs and for funding partnerships with area and world mission organizations, and it becomes clear that the congregation could not have done that on their own. This only happened because God is with us.