The Emmanuel Church was founded by Dr. and & Mrs. Lechmere Clift of the U.K., who had served with the Church Missionary Society in China in the early 1920’s, developing the Emmanuel Medical Mission there. In 1929 they came to Hong Kong and began a ministry in this place.
Before long they rented four ground floor shop spaces on Nathan Road. One space was used as a Chapel, and another for the Fraternity Book Room, later renamed to Emmanuel English Bookroom, which became a well-known evangelical English book-store in Kowloon. This book room continued until the building was demolished in 1978.
Many years have passed, and many changes have occurred, but this was the foundation for the present work of the Emmanuel Church. As time went on, through evangelistic work, Chinese congregations were established. In the present, each church in the Emmanuel Church group selects representatives to serve on the Emmanuel Church Top Council. This council oversees the running of two primary schools, a medical clinic and a nursery, and co-ordinates the activities of the different churches.
Over the years various pastors have served the Emmanuel Church. Following Dr. Clift, Dr. Charles Roberts, who served under the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, became the pastor. Others who have pastored the Emmanuel Church, and the Emmanuel English Church for various lengths of time include the following: Rev. Robert Phillips, Rev. David Adeney, Rev. Duncan Dang, Rev. S. Allen Shirk, Rev. William Teng, Rev. John E. Epp, Rev. Bruce Morrison and Rev. James Buckner.
On an average Sunday morning we have about ninety people attending the worship service. The congregation is made up largely of English speaking Asians, with most of the adults being professionals who have either studied or lived abroad, and hold overseas passports. For this reason, the congregation is somewhat transient. A number left for overseas shortly before 1997; however, some have again returned to Hong Kong. At present there is an active group of teens as well as a group of young people who are starting their careers. There is a great potential for future growth.