Emmanuel Community Church (formerly Elmira Christian Center) is a gospel-centered church in Elmira, NY, committed to glorifying the triune God by worshiping and making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Since 1944, ECC has seen God’s faithfulness and grace as we have labored together as a church in Elmira to proclaim, preserve, and display the gospel, the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). We are not just a building or an event but a people, sinners saved by grace. We are a local expression of the universal body of Christ that transcends space, time, and denomination. Our church is full of imperfect people, and that should make you feel all the more welcome. We all fall short of God’s glory and need a Savior, Jesus Christ.
A Reformed, Baptist, and Evangelical Church
As Christians, we are part of the one, holy, catholic (“universal”), and apostolic church of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. At ECC, we joyfully affirm the core beliefs and practices taught by the Bible, expressed in the creeds, and held by all orthodox Christians throughout the ages. Yet within this larger stream of Christianity we can further be described as Reformed, Baptist, and Evangelical.
Reformed means our theological heritage and identity is that of the 16th century Protestant Reformation. We affirm the five solas of the Reformation—that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, and that the church is to always be reformed according to Scripture alone.
Baptist means we affirm the distinctive contributions of the Baptist tradition as a renewal movement within the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. These distinctives include regenerate church membership, believers’ baptism, congregational governance, and religious liberty.
Evangelical means we believe, proclaim, and rejoice in the good news of Jesus Christ: his life, death, and resurrection. We also embrace such doctrines as the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, the Trinity, the centrality of the atonement, salvation by grace through faith, the importance of Christian witness, and the necessity of personal conversion. At ECC, it is all about the gospel.
For more information, check out our Statement of Faith, theological distinctives, and the Creeds and Confessions we joyfully affirm along with other believers. We are associated with 9 Marks and The Gospel Coalition church networks
Our Church Mission
At ECC, we want the gospel we proclaim to create a gospel culture. A gospel culture exists when a church lives as though Jesus truly is the King of the world, as if they have truly experienced the loving kindness of God. It’s when the doctrine of God adorns our lives, and the beauty of the new creation in Christ is portrayed before a watching world. This is what we strive to cultivate as we carry out our mission.
As a Christian church in Elmira, our mission is to make disciples of the risen Lord Jesus and change our communities with the good news of what God has done in Christ, his Son. We gladly share this same Scriptural mission with all true Christian churches. But how do we do this? Simple: We are a church joyfully devoted to doctrine, fellowship, prayer, and witness, which is the pattern of the church we see in Scripture (cf. Acts 2:41-42). In other words, we seek to be centered on the word of the risen Lord Jesus (doctrine), transformed by his love (fellowship), and dependent upon his power (prayer) because we are ultimately committed to his glory (witness).
We are Joyfully Devoted to Doctrine
Being devoted to doctrine means being devoted to the Scriptures—hearing, believing, and continuing steadfastly in the Word of God. Through his infallible word, God reveals his glory to us. Through his powerful word, Christ rules his church. And through his all-sufficient word, the Spirit renews us day by day. His gospel word is both the instrument of our salvation and the means of our sanctification. It is how we are both born again and made more like Christ. And so, a true church is a community of disciples where the word of our King is proclaimed, loved, read, studied, and obeyed in its entirety; sound gospel doctrine is the lifeblood of the church. We are a church joyfully devoted to doctrine, centered on the word of the risen Lord Jesus. This conviction is realized in everything we do here at ECC—our preaching, teaching, liturgy, prayer, singing, Community Groups, fellowship, and evangelism.
We are Joyfully Devoted to Fellowship
Through our union with Christ, we have fellowship with God. But this blessed fellowship is not something we experience in isolation from other believers; it’s a fellowship we experience together. Far more than being friends or weekly acquaintances, the church is the new creation family of God! When it comes to discipleship, there’s not just a body of doctrine that must be believed and obeyed; there is a body of believers that must be loved and encouraged. We have not only been saved from the King’s judgment, but we have been saved to his kingdom. And because of his great grace and loving kindness, we bear burdens in love and break bread with joy; we encourage the weak and comfort the weary. We are a church joyfully devoted to fellowship, transformed by the love of the risen Lord Jesus. We strongly believe that Christianity is a corporate matter and that the Christian life of joyful love and obedience can be fully realized only in relation to others.
We are Joyfully Devoted to Prayer
Every significant moment in the history of the early church as recorded in Acts was marked by prayer. The church was devoted to prayer because their King was devoted to prayer. He taught them to pray. He commanded them to pray. He had even given them his Spirit so that they would pray! So, his disciples expressed the fellowship they had with God through Christ by his Spirit through prayer. While Jesus is the one who builds his church, he has graciously given his church the opportunity to participate with him through prayer. And a church that that truly depends upon God to change hearts of stone, to raise the dead to life, and to renew the world, will pray. We pray because in our own strength, we are helpless. On our own we will fall into temptation and sin. Apart from Christ we can do nothing. Thus, we are a church joyfully devoted to prayer, dependent upon the power of the risen Lord Jesus. Indeed, our church will only succeed in making disciples of our King as we rely upon God in fervent prayer.
We are Joyfully Devoted to Witness
The church exists to make known the glories of our triune God that his saving power might be known in all the earth. We have been commissioned to make disciples of Jesus since repentance for the forgiveness of sins comes only through faith in his name; true joy and lasting peace are only found in Christ alone. So, whether gathered for worship on the Lord’s Day or scattered throughout our communities during the week, our aim is to make much of Jesus by pointing others to him and making known his gospel of grace. We do this by both preaching the good news of his life, death, and resurrection, and also by portraying the reality of this gospel. For when the church not only proclaims the glories of Christ but portrays the beauty of Christ, then the church bears faithful gospel witness. We are a church joyfully devoted to witness, committed to the glory of the risen Lord Jesus. It is our desire that every knee bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, all for the glory of God alone.
Join us Sundays
We gather every Lord’s Day to worship at 10:30am and have classes at 9:30am. Our church is located at 237 East Miller St, Elmira NY, 14904, on the corner of Miller and Falck streets. Everyone is welcome to attend!