In October 1996, Rev. Herman L. Gladney, founder of Emanuel AME Church, responded to the Lord’s call upon him to begin a new congregation in Stafford, Virginia. After much prayer, encouragement of family and friends, and the approval of the Presiding Elder of the Capitol District of the Washington Annual Conference, Rev. Gladney and his wife Sabrina, began searching for a suitable location to conduct worship services.
After a thorough search of the Stafford area, the Lord opened the doors for them at Brooke Point High School and the first worship service of the Emanuel AME Mission was held on Sunday, February 16, 1997, with 12 starting members. In April 1997 during the 47th Session of the Washington Annual Conference of the AME Church, Emanuel AME Mission was officially admitted and added to the roll of the Capitol District with 20 members. The conference accepted the name Emanuel AME Mission for the new congregation and the Presiding Bishop appointed Rev. Gladney as the Pastor.
In May 1997 Emanuel held its first Quarterly Conference to complete its organization. The membership had increased and the Presiding Elder announced that the congregation had moved from mission status to full status as a church. The church added new ministries to include a Church School, weekly Bible study, and Youth Ministry. The church continues to add ministries to meet the needs of the congregation and community. Emanuel immediately began looking for a permanent worship facility in the Stafford area. God placed it upon the heart of the New Life Community Church, a local non-denominational congregation, to open their doors to Emanuel without charge to meet the church’s space requirements and ministry needs. Because of this tremendous act of love and kindness, the New Life Community Church will forever be a part of the history of Emanuel AME Church.
In October 1999 Emanuel purchased 12 acres of land with a 10,000 square foot building in Stafford. The congregation hired an architect and began making plans to renovate the building to serve as their permanent worship facility.
On August 15, 2002 the building was destroyed by fire before the renovation construction had begun. The cause of the fire was never determined. The congregation showed its faith in God by staying united and standing strong in the face of this apparent tragedy.
After much prayer and keeping the faith in Jan 2007 the Lord blessed Emmanuel with the purchase of a new church home. The church's first service in the new building was Mother’s Day Service May 12, 2007. The congregation moved into the building in May and held a dedication on June 16, 2007.
The mission of Emmanuel AME Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading the gospel through word and deed. The church’s vision is to impact people in a positive way by providing a holistic ministry that develops disciples of Jesus Christ and empowering them in all areas of their lives. The church will forever remain committed to God and dedicated to its motto: “Building People for Christ”