Emmanuel Church was birthed on 8th September 1996 in my living room. Ever since I was a boy, I have felt a strong call of God to serve His people. I ministered in a few different church contexts and then, when I was in my early thirties, my wife and I found our lives involved with a lot of broken people who had no connection with church. Unsure of what we should do with these people, but convinced of God’s love and purpose for their lives, we started Emmanuel Church at our house in 47 Waringstown Road, Lurgan. We had no great intentions or plans at this point other than simply follow what we sensed were the promptings of the Holy Spirit. We gathered and worshipped in our family home for eighteen months.
In May 1998, God led us to a small, 900 square foot building in Donaghcloney on a chicken farm. There our community grew to around one hundred people. This little building became our spiritual home for almost three years; it was a place where God established deep roots of His love and truth within us. We look back on those days and see them as beautiful times of preparation for His purposes for our lives.
As our church community continued to thrive, we outgrew our building in Donaghcloney and purchased our first premises at 99 – 103 Union Street, Lurgan. We had always sensed that God ultimately wanted to position us in the centre of Lurgan and we moved there on 4th February 2001. Here we had a 3,700 square foot building, giving space to increase our numbers and facilitate the various ministries that were developing. Again, the blessing of the Lord overtook us and within a year we saw our community double in numbers with a significant number of people surrendering their lives to Jesus. Once again, we needed to start praying and searching for another building.
God led us to our current ‘home’ in Castle Lane in the centre of Lurgan – a massive 37,500 square foot building. It almost seemed like a step too far, but we believed God was in this venture, so we went for it. We had our first service in Castle Lane on 21st September 2003. It has been an incredible journey of faith and adventure. We have lived through the most wonderful mountaintop experiences and survived desperately dark valleys. In it all, God has remained faithful and has done exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever ask or imagine.
Today, as we press on in an ever-changing world, we feel a strong stirring in our souls to help ‘rewrite the story’ of our city, Ireland and the nations with the good news of the Kingdom of God. Everyday we lay hold of this vision as we fix our eyes on Jesus.
To Him we give all the honour, glory and praise.