During a meeting in December 1955, Pastor Gerhard Gebauer, who served Bethany Baptist Church at that time, declared that he and his wife felt called to begin a new church in Vancouver, British Columbia. In January 1956, a founding core group of committed believers met at Bethany and the name “Immanuel” (God with us) was chosen as the name for the new church plant. In March God three houses, side by side, went up for sale for $13,800; which seemed a significant amount at that time. The men of the church chose not to demolish the homes, but instead disassembled each piece by piece, sold what they could and saved the rest. These men were recyclers before recycling was cool! God in His providence placed many skilled workers from almost every trade in the new
church and so most of the work was done by volunteers who worked during the day and built in the evenings. The building project was an overwhelming financial undertaking for new immigrants trying to establish themselves in a new country and grow a new church. But God blessed and forged in them a great passion to give sacrificially and joyfully.
Where we’re going
Although the initial purpose of Immanuel Baptist Church was to serve the German immigrants who were arriving in Canada, we are now a church that serves the nations! We are Anglo and we are Korean; we are Chinese and we are Filipino; we are Hispanic and we are Slavic. God has gathered us from among the scattered nations, unified us in Christ and is empowering us to point all peoples to Him.
“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession!” Psalm 2:8 (ESV)