Making Disciples of Christ and equipping them for the lifelong journey of connecting, growing and serving together in our community and the world.
TRUTH – God alone is worthy of all honor, praise and worship. He is supreme and we glorify Him by following the teachings of the Bible – the divinely inspired Word of God that never changes. The only way to salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
MISSION – The Bible teaches us that we are to encourage others to follow Christ. We are committed to sharing the Good News of Jesus and to making Him known through worship, small group Bible study and a lifestyle that draws people to Christ.
GROWTH – We believe that healthy churches grow and change. We are committed to being relevant and using the most effective means to impact our community and the world with the message of the gospel.
EXCELLENCE – God deserves our very best. Every ministry of our church should display the excellence due our Lord and Savior.
GENEROSITY - In faithfulness to God and gratitude for His provision to us, we believe in giving joyfully of our resources to the ministry of the gospel, the needs of others, and missions around the world.
INREACH – In Acts 2 we are given the ultimate example of relational living. Believers need each other. We rejoice together in victories; we hold up one another when hurting; we encourage one another when we are struggling.
OUTREACH – We take seriously Jesus’ command to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We follow the example of Jesus by meeting the needs of people and showing genuine compassion. We desire to make everyone welcome at IBC. You matter!
God is the Creator and the Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. As God of Love, He desires to show us grace by engaging us in a personal relationship.
Genesis 1:1,26,27; Genesis 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 30:18; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 4:8
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character, and to relate to Him in love. He is the supreme object of God’s creation, having been crafted to intimately relate to God and others. Although man has tremendous potential for Good, he has two basic problems: aloneness (Genesis 2) and sinfulness (Genesis 3). These problems separate man from a relationship with God and his fellow man.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 59:1-2; Matthew 22:33; Romans 3:23
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. Eternal separation from God will be in the place called hell. Eternal life begins on earth and continues in the place called heaven. Heaven and hell are literal places of eternal existence. God’s desire is that no one spends eternity apart from Him, but that all would come to Him in a personal love relationship.
Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41-46; John 2:25; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; 1 John 5:11-13; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 20:15
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is the head of the church, and all believers are connected to one another and relate to one another through Him.
Isaiah 9:6 Matthew 1:22,23; John 1:1-5; John 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3,4; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Ephesians 4:15,16; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14,15
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. The greatest benefit of salvation is a relationship with God that is both intimate and personal.
John 1:12; John 14:6; Romans 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5
Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. Eternal life is knowing God through His Son, Jesus Christ, in an intimate relationship forever.
John 10:28-29; Hebrews 10:10-14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, guidance in doing what is right, and encouragement for living in intimacy with God and others.
John 14:16-17; John 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:18
The Bible is God’s Word to all men. It is written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error. The Bible is to be read, studied, and personally experienced by believers as they live in relationship with God and fellow man.
Psalm 12:6; Psalm 119:11,160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21
I am so excited to be the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church. We are currently building a new ministry team, and while we do, our wonderful congregation is doing what they are called Biblically to do----be His witnesses throughout El Dorado and the whole world. While God’s work is ongoing here at Immanuel, there is excitement in the air as we prepare to re-locate in the near future. The land was bought years ago, the plans are currently being drawn, and we pray God allows it to happen debt free, so we can pour our resources into reaching El Dorado and the world with the Good News.
My journey has taken me from college baseball at Alabama-Birmingham, to being employed as a teacher/coach for twelve years, to now being in the ministry for sixteen years. I made a decision at church when I was a child, but I really didn’t become a follower of Jesus until I was thirty-six. This has given me a passion to help people understand true salvation, and then help them grow by training up a church to make disciples. This process includes, but goes beyond evangelism. We will strive at Immanuel to help people grow to be more like Jesus, as all of their passions and affections go toward Christ our King. I would love to meet you, so come join us Sunday at Immanuel.
I joined the ministry leadership team of Immanuel Baptist Church in June 2017. My Master of Divinity degree is from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and my Bachelor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University. Along with assisting in pastoral duties, I work to ensure all of Immanuel’s resources are poured into furthering the Great Commission. My wife Marianne and I have two children, Addison and Caden.
I am so thankful to be serving students and their families at Immanuel! My passion is seeing the lives of students transformed through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. My wonderful wife, Emily, and I have been married for three years. We love to travel, play games, and have fun! We are both from Mississippi, and come to Immanuel from Fort Worth, TX, where I graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. We are very excited to be in El Dorado and to see God work through IBC as we share the good news of Jesus and make disciples.
Immanuel Baptist Church
A Review 1942-2014
In 1942, with our country at war, and a revival of Christ sweeping through the community, Second Baptist Church of El Dorado found itself at a spiritual crossroads. This period of transition, through God's love and guidance, would ultimately give birth to the mission-minded heart that is known today as Immanuel Baptist Church. The members of Second Baptist Church were split on the issue of relocation. A decision was made to allow those who opposed the move to continue on as Second Baptist Church, while allowing those who favored the expansion the opportunity to move forward, as God led and provided for them. In June of 1942, a meeting was held at the home of J.S. Beebe, Sr. with an attendance of roughly 35 individuals. After much prayer and deliberation, a decision was unanimously agreed upon. The Lord was leading this group of individuals to organize and form a new church. It was at this time, that the Rev. Clyde Hart was asked to lead and pastor this church, and upon his acceptance of this call, the name "Immanuel" was chosen, which means, “God is with us."
Rev. Clyde Hart
On June 24, 1942, charter membership was closed with 300 charter members. Today, remaining charter members are: A. V. Beebe, Mable Taylor, Elsie Nale, Martha Simmons, Gay Tanner, and Helen Thompson. It was at this time that the El Dorado School board gave the new church permission to use the Southside School on South Jackson Street, as a place to worship until a building permit could be granted and a building constructed.
In an effort to secure the new building permit, Rev. Hart traveled to New York City to present God's plan for Immanuel Baptist Church to the War Production Board. That night, members of Immanuel held an all-night prayer meeting in regards to the War Production Board's decision on the building permit. The next morning Rev. Hart drafted a telegram to the church that read, "Permit granted. Can begin building immediately. Give God all the credit. Love to all." Rev. Hart's original telegram still resides in the church library.
With a building permit obtained and land already purchased, God began providing building materials in miraculous ways. The church purchased Sandyland School and construction of the sanctuary began. The congregation came together and worked diligently to ensure the construction of the church. Children were paid to clean bricks. One cent per brick was the going rate, and after the children received their compensation, they donated all they had earned back to the church.
As with any new start-up, money soon became an issue. With the lack of an established line of credit, Immanuel was unable to qualify for abank loan; however, God had other plans. A gentleman by the name of L.L. Sugar provided $32,000 to the church to keep the building process going. God also moved Montgomery Wooley to provide the church with $85,000, allowing the church to finance the building process.
With God paving the way, the Cornerstone of the church was laid on August 15, 1943, and the church doors were opened on Sunday, May 7, 1944. That very first Sunday thirty-four (34) were baptized with twenty (20) awaiting baptism the following Sunday. And to God went the Glory!
Cornerstone ceremony, 1943
Immanuel Baptist Church Members, one week before first service in new building
In January 1945, Rev. Hart would be called to Hot Springs to pastor Central Baptist Church and in the spring of the same year, Rev R.C. Brinkley would become Immanuel Baptist Church's second Pastor. It is important to note that while times were changing and Immanuel was evolving, the heart of missions at Immanuel was always pounding. From the origin of the church, to the Dunbar Settlement on Strong Highway (1946), and Faith Mission (1959) on Wesson Road, God has constantly been using this church body to serve and love.
Immanuel Baptist Church, 1943
By 1948, Rev. Brinkley resigned and Immanuel Baptist Church called Rev. Jay D. Tolleson. Soon after, the church would vote to designate all tithes and offerings from the first Sunday of each month to pay on the retirement of all debts. Following this plan on June 17th, 1953, the church was able to declare that it was debt free, and the congregation soon voted to purchase Beech Springs for an Associational Camp. The church would soon vote to build an educational building and it was completed in 1955. In 1956 Mrs. Betty Tolleson, along with Mrs. Elsie Cate, established the church library. The library was named The Betty Tolleson Library. In May of 1960, Rev. Tolleson resigned and Rev. David E. Railey became the fourth Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church. That following September, with God's direction, the church was declared debt free, once again.
Education Building dedication
With Immanuel Baptist Church out of its infancy, a new period of growth would shape the next chapter of this mission-minded church. In March of 1965, Roy Hilton was called to be Immanuel's fifth Pastor. With the help of a donation, Bro. Hilton was able to establish a Bible study correspondence program called, the "Ministry of Sharing." The program would continue to grow until Bro. Hilton was called home by the Lord. Bro. Hilton's son, Kenneth, would take over the program and continue to mail out Bro. Hilton's "Ministry of Sharing" studies. There is a complete set of Bro. Hilton's writings available for viewing in the Immanuel library.
In May of 1977, Rev. Tommy Kimball accepted the call to serve as Immanuel's seventh Pastor. Rev. Kimball introduced the concept of "Total Missions" and the church would adopt the plan on Jan 1, 1978. Under the Plan, members would designate the amount of their offering to be given to missions and it would be divided with 50% going to Foreign Missions, 25% to Local Missions, 20% to State Missions, and 5% to Associational Missions. Following the guidelines of this plan, within five years the annual offering to missions had doubled.
Under Rev. Kimball's leadership, in 1980, the church voted to proceed with plans for video equipment to be installed in the church. An agreement was reached with El Dorado Cablevision to air the Sunday worship service to the community. This is a meaningful and successful ministry that Immanuel still provides today. In 1976, the church called Gary Glasgow as interim music director, and a few months later, offered him a full-time position. Gary was ordained to the ministry in 1979 and Immanuel has had a longtime friendship with Gary.
In 1981, the church selected architects Robinson and Wassell, to do a working drawing for a new Family Life Center, which was to be the first phase in a long range building plan. The ground breaking ceremony took place on September 26, 1981. The church moved into the new facility in July of 1983, and dedicated the building in August, 1983.
1983 - 2002 were momentous years for Immanuel. From a facilities standpoint, the church dedicated the Family Life Center in 1983 costing approximately $1.8 million and an Activities Ministry was launched under the leadership of Bruce Davis. In Dec. 1992, Dr. David Uth was called as Pastor. Ben Wasson was serving as Minister of Education. Under Bro. David's leadership there were a number of "firsts". A Singles Ministry under the direction of Terry Hughes was launched in 1994, as well as a highly successful AWANA Program that is still strong and viable today. A counseling ministry was initiated that same year under the capable leadership of Nita Gage. Also, 1994, Immanuel made a great decision and hired Vicki Pepper as full time Director of Preschool/Children's Ministries. This ministry was greatly enhanced by the construction of a Children's Education Building in 1995 and is a tremendous asset to every family here today.
In 1989, Steve Lawson was called to Immanuel as Minister of Music. Steve possessed a wealth of talent as a musician. He was the consummate choir director, always challenging others to new heights. The Sanctuary Choir grew to 90 plus in membership and under Steve's leadership performed many programs here at Immanuel and in the community. Steve was also a pianist of concert quality and shared his love for the Lord through many piano concerts. The introduction of the blended worship style and incorporating many different instruments into worship services was one of his many accomplishments. Steve's love for Immanuel and God's people may have been his best quality and was evident in the 15 years of service to the Lord here at Immanuel.
Following Bro. David's time at Immanuel were Dr. Bruce Baker and Dr. Greg Johnson. Also spending some formative years at Immanuel was Eric Geiger. Eric was called as Student Pastor in 1998 and served for approximately three years. He is now a V.P. for Lifeway Christian Resources and has authored books and publications about Church growth and leadership. He has been and continues to be a great friend to Immanuel Baptist Church.
Immanuel has a tremendous legacy in missions and ministry. James Grafton was ordained to the ministry in 1983; Carlos and Shannon commissioned as missionaries to Brazil in 1989; Steve Bowen was ordained to themministry in 1992; in 1997 Stan and Gay Littleford were sent out as missionaries to Mombasa, Africa; Eric Pearson was licensed to the ministry in 2000 and Kyle Luttrell was licensed in 2002. There may very well be no greater kingdom benefit from our church than these faithful servants. Our church formally adopted a Mission and Objectives Statement in 1991 that is a constant reminder that we exist as a body to 1.) Evangelize the lost; 2.) Edify the saved; and 3.) Exalt Jesus. May our church, guided by the Lord Jesus Christ, never lose sight of this purpose.
Clyde Hart, Immanuel's first pastor, so elegantly stated, "Reviewing a church's past is a pleasure, but living in the past can.only lead to stagnation."
The 21st century has brought both change and growth to Immanuel. During this time, Immanuel has celebrated great growth in world and community ministries. Following God's direction, the following community ministries were formed: Backyard Bible Clubs, Laundry Love, Salvation Army Meals, Taking it to the Streets, and Joy Community Bible Study. With the birth of these community ministries, Immanuel has initiated a strong and consistent campaign, to bring the Word of God and the love of Immanuel to the city and citizens of El Dorado. In addition to the local community ministries, Immanuel has also sent lay missionaries to Africa, Nicaragua, Guatemala, India, and New Orleans. Operation Christmas Child has also seen tremendous growth during this time. The number of Gospel Opportunity shoeboxes continues to grow each year. OCC is an amazing ministry that will bring the Word of God to children all over the world.
Immanuel celebrates and cherishes the time shared with all the past and current ministry leaders that have led the church during this period. Since 2003, Immanuel has been led by three Senior Pastors: Dr. Preben Vang, Faron Rogers, and current Senior Pastor, Ron Sanders. Associate Pastors who served during this time are Hal Stroupe, and Cody Calhoun. The Youth Ministry was led by Jay Ham, Steve Phillips, Warren Gasaway, and current Youth Minister, Michael Grubbs. In addition the music ministry also celebrated Joe Byars, David Woods, Jim Davidson, Eric Pearson and current Music Minister, Troy Barrios. Vicki Pepper, Minister to Children, is celebrating her 25th year of service at Immanuel Baptist Church. Kay Ruddell, Minister to Senior Adults and Special Ministries, is celebrating her 28th year of service at Immanuel Baptist Church.
(Quote from Elsie Warnock's written history)
"The 21st century saw an upsurge in interest to explore the physical possibilities of Immanuel's property. Due to increased growth, the Family Life Center took the place of the Sanctuary for worship services. The education building was demolished, and a plan was installed to update the Family Life Center. During this time the church purchased the Hwy 82 property. The property has been manicured and been the location of many church events which include youth recreation events, church fish fry's, and children's Easter egg hunts. The Hwy 82 property has also become the new location for Immanuel's Vacation Bible School."
The future of Immanuel Baptist Church is as bright as the promises of God, as long as we remember and follow what Jesus said, as recorded in John 13. "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
After intentional prayer and submission to God, He has led Immanuel Baptist Church to relocate. After an extensive search for property God blessed us with 48 acres at 3209 W. Hillsboro on the El Dorado city limits. Which has been purchased and paid for. We are currently in the construction phase of our new campus.
New Location: 3209 W. Hillsboro, El Dorado, Arkansas MAP
For safety and insurance reasons we have restricted access to the construction site, please contact the church office if you have questions or concerns. 870-862-4264
Current rendering of new campus. Check back it can change!
3/26/16 - Jack Godwin, Joy Godwin, Phillip Ward and Melissa Ward install the new "future home" sign.
12/29/16 - Old structures demolished and trees removed. Panoramic Picture: Click Here
12/29/16 - Bulldozer got stuck, excavator coming to pull it out. Dirt work halted until ground dries out.
2/15/17 - Testing again to see if the ground is dry enough to start dirt work. No go, too wet. Dirt work delayed till May or June.
6/16/17 - Ground is dry and equipment starts arriving for groundwork and a new sign the previous one was damaged in a storm.
6/20/17 - Groundwork begins! They started cutting in the east side of the campus.
Starting cut in for main entrance. Gotta have a good road to get equipment into the site.
Panoramic Picture: Click Here
6/21/17 - Starting the dirt cut in from the north side.
The last of the old structure foundation is gone.
Burning the last of the dead trees and roots.
Starting to fill in the low east side.
6/23/17 - Rained out, 5.5" of rain has stopped dirt work.