In early 1890 the chapel cut its formal ties with its mother church, organizing into the Fourth Street Baptist Church. At that time, both churches remained affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The new church grew steadily in membership; and in July of 1890 its first contribution to foreign missions was recorded.
Continuing growth contributed to the congregation’s need for a new house of worship; and on October 21, 1894, the people celebrated both a new address and a new name. Entering its new facility at 601 North Fifth Street, the church carried the name of Immanuel Baptist because, as the people unanimously agreed, “God has surely been with us.”
In 1915 the congregation voted to leave the building at Fifth and Leigh to buy an existing church building further west. The membership continued to expand, and the church exercised a greater missionary outreach within its own city while maintaining its support of the Convention’s missionaries on foreign fields. It was in this building at Pine and Grace in the early forties, that Immanuel established itself as an independent Baptist church and began to support missionaries of its own choice.
Once again God blessed the congregation with steady growth, and the people envisioned the wisdom of a larger sanctuary. In July 1958 the cornerstone was laid at the corner of Monument and Thompson Avenues for the new worship center. In 1962 the building was expanded by the addition of north and south transepts. In 1983 the facilities were further enhanced by the addition of the north educational wing which included the Fellowship Hall, kitchen, classrooms and staff offices.
On February 29, 1966 the newly purchased missionary home was dedicated in honor and in memory of Mary Baker, who was martyred on November 24, 1964 during an uprising in the Congo.
Immanuel’s missionary commitment still thrives as it sends out men and women to tell all nations the good news of the love of God and the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose from the dead. And in the spirit of Acts 2:41-47, the church continues to emphasize four major objectives – worship, instruction, fellowship, and outreach.