"A church with a big heart where everybody is somebody and Christ is all"
One of the oldest known Black congregations in Durham County, Emmanuel A.M.E. Church dates back to 1880 when church services were held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Fitzgerald. In 1883, Mr. Fitzgerald erected the church above on a tract of land owned by his family, which was located at 705 Kent Street.
Several pastors provided their guidance and leadership to Emmanuel at the Kent Street site. They were the Reverends H. J. Jeter, C. S. Stroud, J. A. Hunter, C. E. Johnson, J. C. Cross, Peter Crawford, G. W. Troublefield, J. D. Treadwell, P. O. James, J. F. Epps, Nathaniel Gaylord, L. G. Horton, L. O. Saunders, and John R. Crutchfield.
The congregation expressed an interest in renovating the church on Kent Street and the possibility of purchasing another building and relocating. With less than 50 members on the roll, the Emmanuel congregation purchased property located at 2018 Riddle Road, seen below, from the Southern Baptist Church congregation. In March of 1971, Reverend John R. Crutchfield and the members of Emmanuel moved to the new earthly home.
Pastors who were called to lead and guide the Emmanuel congregation at this location were Reverends Clyde Long, L. Morrison, Sheridan Knight, Shelton T. Miles , Anita Thompson and currently John Burton.
As the church pews filled to capacity each Sunday, Reverend Miles recognized the immediate need for expansion to meet the needs of the growing church congregation. He organized a new building committee and the building fund blossomed as plans for a larger facility were put into place.
Reverend Miles has since managed the construction of a new sanctuary as part of his overall vision for the future of Emmanuel A.M.E. Church. In doing so, Emmanuel had reached another important milestone in history as the new sanctuary, as seen above in the far left corner of this page, was dedicated on October 26, 2008.
Emmanuel means "GOD WITH US," and today we thankfully celebrate our journey of 138 years of existence, attesting to a legacy of love and service to humanity.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brough us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.