Emmaus, God’s family, Emmaus — people who care! "Emmaus, Emmaus, dear to our heart, beautiful house of prayer.”
Emmaus is as old as the Republic and its stories began a long time ago. It was planted as the Charles City Church in 1776 during the itinerant preaching of Elijah Baker, one of the heroes out of the struggle for religious liberty.
It has a place forever in the annals of missions history because one of its sons, Samuel Clopton, was the first missionary to be appointed by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. For at least four straight generations, Clopton men were Baptist ministers, beginning with William, who was baptized by Elijah Baker and became pastor of Emmaus about 1808. It was near the end of his life that the missionary movement began among Baptists in America and William was pro-missions. Little did he realize that his grandson would become a pioneer foreign missionary. In a sense, William’s son, James, was a missionary since he made preaching tours in the territory between the York and the James.
By 1834 our church became known as Emmaus and moved from Charles City County to New Kent County. Emmaus’ brick building still sits where it was erected in 1852. It is nestled by large shade trees and backed by old gravestones. The one-room building with all the trappings of an old worship site stands by itself. At a respectful distance are later additions of an educational building with offices and a fellowship hall.
Some things have changed across the years and there are fresh expressions of God’s grace. In what was an isolated rural landscape, the world passes with a constant din of motors and tires traveling up and down I-64 and 106. Just across the interstate from Emmaus is a housing development known as The Vineyard and truck stops.
At present we are a small congregation with a large supply of love and concern for one another. We pray to be of service to others and share the love of our Lord and Savior.
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