Who we are

Kingdom Advancing Gospel Church

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OUr Mission

At Immanuel, God is calling us to create a Kingdom Advancing Gospel culture. We want to see lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From this culture comes four priorities we hold as a church. We want our worship gatherings to be presence centered. As we proclaim God's Word, sing God's Word, and pray God's word his presence among us is our aim. Our groups are Word driven. Our D-Groups take the Word of God further into deep discipleship. As a result, we want to see God move this culture forward in joyful evangelism as we go into our communities and serve our neighbors. 

OUr Vision

for the gospel. For the city. for the world.

To be for the Gospel is to understand that we have one message of hope for the world and that hope is found in Jesus. This message is revealed in the perfect word of God. The word is the means by which we know Jesus, and Jesus is the means by which we know God the Father. We are not presenting a message, but re-presenting what God has said in His perfect word.

To be for the city means that we care for Little Rock. We want our city to thrive in every possible way, knowing that the greatest gift we can give to this city is a strong local church- a church that knows this city and is fighting for her welfare.
To be for the world means we are seeking Kingdom Advance around the world. This means through our partnerships with other churches and our partnership with church planting movements, we are seeking to take the Gospel to dark places and hard places.

our history

Immanuel Baptist Church has a long and rich history of serving our community and proclaiming the name of Jesus. When founded in 1892, Immanuel was named Third Baptist Church, but on October 16 of the same year, the members agreed to change the name to Immanuel Baptist Church, signifying “God with us.” Through the years, Immanuel has been blessed with outstanding pastoral leadership including Rev. J.B. English, Dr. W. O. Vaught Jr., Dr. Rex M. Horne Jr., Dr. Gary Hollingsworth, and Dr. Steven W. Smith.
Immanuel began with only 17 charter members in a small church on Jones Street. Over the years, Immanuel grew with many building changes and renovations at the Bishop location in downtown Little Rock. In 2001, members voted to relocate our church to its present location on Shackleford Road and the first service on the new campus was held December 14, 2003.
In 2016 the church began its Acts 1:8 ministry establishing Go Partners in the US and around the world. And, in 2020 the City Center opened in the former Kroger story adjacent to our main campus. This new facility represents a long history of mercy ministries for the city. The City Center houses the Dental Clinic, an adult education center, a clothing closet and food ministry.
We are praying for a next generation to be for the Gospel, for the City, and for the World!

FAQs regarding church structure.

What is your church structure?
Immanuel has a congregational polity. In a congregational structure, the larger decisions are made by the congregation. Larger issues would include the approval of the annual budget, the approval of the quarterly financial statement, the calling of the pastor, and the purchase of property.  We do this through quarterly business meetings.

What is the role of ministry teams (committees)? 
The church is served by 15 various ministry teams (committees) of the church. For example the finance team meets monthly to review the church’s finances. From this group an annual budget team is chosen to work with the ministry staff in the cultivation of a church budget. The personnel team assists in the maintaining of the personnel policies for the ministry staff. They also develop the annual personnel budget, and assist in finding new staff should the need arise.
Every year the nominating team fills vacancies on the committees. Generally people serve on a committee for three years.

What is the role of the ministry staff?
The ministries and operations of the church are carried out through the leadership of the ministry staff. The ministries are also supported by directors, and support staff.

What is the role of the deacons? 
Deacons serve to advance the mission of the church. In Acts 6, individuals were called upon to help quell church conflict and serve practical needs, which allowed Peter and the others to give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). Our deacons serve in many practical ways including the distribution of the Lord’s Supper, visiting hospitals, and ministering to the widows of the church.
At various times, the deacons request nominations from the church. From these nominations, candidates are asked to complete a questionnaire that assess their biblical qualifications, as expressed in I Tim. 3:8-13. This is followed by an interview, and then ultimately a vote by the deacons. There is no time limit on deacon service.

Who are Trustees and what do they do? 
Trustees represent the church as official signers of legal contracts or regulatory agreements involving the church. Therefore, they generally have experience in one or more of the following fields: legal, accounting, real estate, banking, etc. Our four trustees are deacons and have been a member of the church for at least twenty years.
When a vacancy occurs, the remaining trustees recommend a replacement to the deacons.  The deacon body approves the election of a Trustee.  The term of a Trustee is unlimited and usually a Trustee serves until resignation or death.

Other questions…
If you have other questions regarding Immanuel you can submit them by emailing info@ibclr.org. We want to make our ministry structures stronger and communicate them more clearly.

Finally, as Southern Baptist we have a statement of faith called The Baptist Faith and Message.  You can read the whole statement here, and below is Article Six of the Baptist Faith and Message on the Church.

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its two scriptural offices are that of pastor/elder/overseer and deacon. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3