Emmanuel Baptist Church (EBC) was founded on the 11th of January 1976 and it was officially organized in June 1976 with 24 charter members. Emmanuel was signed to be a military church. There were altogether 15 founding members. Emmanuel grew rapidly and already in September of the same year the amount of members had grown to 50.
Clearly, there was a need for this church. The first European Baptist Convention letter from the year 1976 tells us: "Four families felt the need of a second English speaking Protestant Church in the area, the military AfCent Chapel being the only other one in a radius of at least 100 miles. As the Lord began to open doors, it became evident that it was to become a Southern Baptist Mission. With the sponsorship of the Jurbise, Belgian church, services began on January 11, 1976." (EBC letter 1976) So the basic need for the church rose, when there were not enough international churches in the area. In Brunssum there has been a NATO-base since 1969 with lots of international people. Therefore a need for the second international protestant church was obvious. Because of the connection for the military base, Emmanuel was also founded as a military church (EBC letter 1976).
The first meetings took place at the AfCent school, soon to be continued at a church building in Kerkrade.
It was in 1985 that a former garage building in Hoensbroek was purchased, witch is still in use today.
Almost 4 decades later, EBC has slowly transformed from a church with an American-military identity to a more open international church, as the number of militaries in the area has dramatically decreased. Instead more Christians with other -cultural- backgrounds (like business people, students and refugees) attend.
One of the characteristics of EBC is the fact, that lots of people participate only for the time they are stationed in the area. Although it's always sad to see them leave, our sadness makes place for joy when new families join.