OUR HISTORY

 
 Original site of Immanuel Baptist Church at 17th and West End Avenues

Original site of Immanuel Baptist Church at 17th and West End Avenues

 Current location of Immanuel Baptist Church at 222 Belle Meade Boulevard

Current location of Immanuel Baptist Church at 222 Belle Meade Boulevard

Immanuel Baptist Church was officially organized in 1887, having been a mission of First Baptist Church for an unusually long 15 years. For the first 67 years as a full-fledged church, Immanuel's facilities were located at 17th and West End Avenues, one mile from downtown and its founding church. By the 1950s, the neighborhoods that once were the membership source for Immanuel had transitioned to commercial holdings. 

After pondering a decision to move for 31 years, Immanuel voted to relocate to its present location at 222 Belle Meade Boulevard. A large private residence and approximately seven acres of land at the corner of Belle Meade Boulevard and Honeywood Drive were purchased for $54,000. From 1951 to 1954, Sunday services were held both in Belle Meade and at the downtown site. Finally, on December 19, 1954, the first of the new facilities was dedicated — an educational wing and sanctuary — and the church came together in one place for worship and Bible study. The two-year construction on the current sanctuary was concluded in 1969. The chapel where the congregation worshipped for 15 years until transitioning to the sanctuary was remodeled in 2015 and dedicated on November 1, 2015.

Above and behind the baptistry in the current sanctuary is a beautiful stained-glass window that is nearly 24-feet high. Blue, in 14 different shades, is the dominant color. The colors are darkest at the bottom, gradually becoming lighter toward the top of the window. A cross can be discerned in the center of the window, especially when the sun is shining, thus providing the only permanent symbol of the Christian faith in the sanctuary. The window, with its resurrection motif, is a fitting backdrop for a believer's baptism and an attractive focal point of the sanctuary. The stained glass window was designed and constructed in Chartres, France.

(adapted from A History of Immanuel Baptist Church, 1887-1986 by Dr. Gaye L. McGlothlen)