In 1980, our founder, Rev. Ricardo Cachedon and his wife, Aurora, migrated from Panama with eight members and began a church in their apartment. In just one short year, the ministry had increased in membership and rented their first space from another church. The following year, 1982, the church was able to rent a space on their own was became known as The First Panamanian Church.
In 1984, the baton was passed to Pastor Eduardo Simmons and his wife, Judith. During their tenure, the ministry continued to grow and in 1986, the ministry purchased its first building. Several years later, in 1992, the name of the church was aptly changed to the Emmanuel Church of God. As the ministry began to expand, the need for a much larger space was evident. In 1995, a larger building was purchased and remains the headquarters for the church even today.
When Pastor Simmons migrated to Panama in 2000, the reins were passed to his assistant, Rev. Curt Courtenay, who is the Senior Pastor today. Under the auspices of Bishop Courtenay and his wife, Pastor Aracely Courtenay, the Emmanuel Christian Cultural Fellowship (2003) was founded and two churches were planted.
Emmanuel continues to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ locally, nationally and internationally through its community outreach and missions work via its PROJECT REACH ministry and has established a school for creative arts (Yadah School of Creative Arts). Through the Yadah School of Creative Arts, Emmanuel has been able to assist other churches to do effective creative arts ministry in their assemblies. Through dramas, plays and concerts Emmanuel has become known for its excellence in the arts.
With a special focus on building families from within, Emmanuel has become a resource for families reaching out for balance. Over the last decade, Emmanuel has hosted conferences and raised up new ministries internally (Men of Integrity, CIVIS, Talitha-Cumi) to address the family needs of its growing membership.
God has commanded us to “enlarge our territory”; and in doing so, our borders carry us to great nations as one body. We are currently pressing towards the mark of building a 21st century people to live fulfilling and well balanced lives, to affect change in every cultural system in this world. As ambassadors of the love of Christ, we endeavor to establish the Kingdom of God until His return.