Emmanuel English Church is an international evangelical church and is the continuation of the original Emmanuel Church, which was founded in 1929. We are the only English language church among the group of six churches in the Emmanuel Church family. 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.
To make disciples of Jesus, nurture them to maturity, and send them out to make disciples in diverse contexts in Hong Kong and beyond.
The following five core values define the culture and bring clarity to the things that matter most at Emmanuel English Church. They guide how we attain our mission and influence ministry plans. These statements help us focus on the unique things that God has called us to be as a local church.
1. The Bible Preached Truthfully and Obeyed
(2 Tim. 4:1-5; Jam. 1:22-25)
As wholly inspired of God, the content in the Bible is God’s authoritative word to us, to be obeyed and practiced by his people. The proclamation and teaching of the truth in the Bible by the power of the Holy Spirit is essential for spiritual life and growth, and empowering and transforming believers to obey.
Practically, this means we:
Regularly deliver sound teaching and preaching from the Bible
Read, study, and meditate on the Bible individually and in groups
2. Gospel-Transformed Living and Worship
(Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 1:3-6)
The gospel is central to the Christian life. Believing it is not just the way into the Christian faith, but also the way in which to grow and live out our faith daily. As we grow in our personal understanding and experience of the gospel, we grow in love for God and others. We see more of God’s goodness and desire to worship him freely and joyfully through obedience. Ongoing growth in the gospel means we live in right relationship with God, not trusting in our own works to please God, and not using God’s grace as an excuse for sin. Continual growth in the gospel means we live dependent on God’s grace to transform us.
Practically, this means we:
Remind ourselves of the truths of the gospel in our worship together
Intentionally speak the truths of the gospel into each other’s lives
Learn and revisit the gospel’s relevance for every area of our lives
Pursue excellence in our service to the Lord
Steward our time, money, and resources to bring God glory
3. Love for God’s Diverse Family
(Col. 3:9-12; Eph. 2:13-19)
God loves his church and calls his people to display his love in the gospel by loving each other as he does. Though we come from different life stages, cultures, and backgrounds, God’s love for us and in us supernaturally ties us together. We value our differences and appreciate how they are used to glorify God. We are willing to give up our preferences for the sake of one another.
Being part of God’s family also means we commit to care for each other’s good and well-being as brothers and sisters created to worship God. We show hospitality to each other. We look out for each other’s needs. We are willing to forgive and be honest with each other. We keep each other accountable to God our Father as members of his household.
Practically, this is done through:
Valuing the practice of church membership
Gathering to worship with God’s family weekly
Intentionally meeting with members who are different from us to love and encourage them
4. Every Member Discipleship and Evangelism
(Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Pet. 3:15-16)
Every believer is called to make disciples. This happens through sharing the gospel with those who do not believe. This also occurs through encouraging and helping other believers to grow in becoming more Christlike in their character, conviction, and understanding of the Bible, as well as their ability to love others and make disciples.
Practically, this means every member strives to:
Actively engage in reaching out to non-believers in their lives
Disciple fellow believers and allow themselves to be discipled in the church community
Live a life that points others to the hope and joy of the gospel
For church ministry, this means we focus on building up individuals instead of programs, on quality of character, conviction, and ability to make other disciples rather than quantity of converts.
5. Dependent, Faithful, and Faith-Filled Prayer
(Phil. 4:6-7; Acts 4:23-31; Eph. 6:18)
Prayer is the expression of a church’s faith and dependence on God’s power rather than our own. It is through sincere, faithful, dependent prayer that God works through his church to accomplish his purposes. God commands his people to pray at all times, on all occasions. We are commanded to pray unceasingly, to pray for the work of the gospel to go forth, and to lift up all our anxieties and worries in prayer.
Practically, this means we commit ourselves to praying:
As a whole church in our weekly Powerhouse prayer meetings
In our small group gatherings and meetings with fellow church members
As individuals in our day to day lives
Statement of Belief
The Bible to be wholly inspired, the immutable Word of God, and the infallible rule of Christian life and service (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12-13).
That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of a virgin, and God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 1:20-23).
In justification by faith, that man, a sinner, can be accepted by God only on the ground of faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the dead (Romans 5:1-2, 6-11, 10:9-13).
In the resurrection from the dead, and personal, bodily return of Christ to earth, a purifying hope to the believer (Acts 1:11; 1 John 3:2).
In eternal life for the saved and eternal punishment for the lost (Revelation 20:11-15).
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.