Timeline for Changes and Revisions
To the Emmanuel Faith Community Church Statement of Faith
In 1939 a group of people joined with Pastor Earl Morgan to form a new church. It was the Deacons of this newly formed church that oversaw the development of the first Statement of Faith, based largely on the Niagara Creed. This evangelical, fundamentalist “Creed” came out of a conference held in Niagara, Ontario, in 1878.
Over the period of a few months, the Elders expanded the 14 points of that Creed into statements and added an additional statement or section that addressed the nature of divine healing. Their priority for the new doctrinal statement was that it be scripturally sound in all that it said. It wasn’t until 1940 that the membership officially voted to adopt our original Statement of Faith.
In the years that followed, specifically from 1943 to 1961, a number of changes were made to create a “more meaningful statement”, according to the EFCC history book. Then on October 25th of 1961, a more complete revision of the Statement of Faith was presented by the Elders and approved by the members. This version added titles to each of the 15 sections, included a rewording of some of the sections like those concerning “Man’s Sin Nature” and “Christ, The Theme of Scripture”, as well as a complete revision of the section about “The 2nd Coming of Christ.”
Between 1961 and 1979, there were a few changes. However, in 1979, under the leadership of Ed Sams, the Chairman of the Board of Elders, and Dr. Richard Strauss, the Senior Pastor, the Elders initiated a review of the Statement of Faith as part of a full review of EFCC’s Constitution & Bylaws.
Though what we believe as stated in previous versions remained essentially the same, the new proposed document involved a “much needed” revision in order to “meet our current and future needs”, according the Elder minutes of December 2nd, 1980.
The 15 points that had formed the outline for the previous Statements of Faith were reduced to 11 Sections. Every one of the former points were changed through rewording, moving ideas from one section to another, eliminating ideas and combining others. After months of study, writing and prayer with review by committees and the church family, the Elders presented to the members a revised Statement at the October 27, 1982 Quarterly Church Meeting. It was voted on and adopted at that time.
Twice since, once in 1987 and another time in 1997, minor word changes were made for clarification. However, it is largely the 1982 version of the Statement that not only expresses what we corporately agree to teach but also is our official doctrinal understanding of what the Scriptures say.
It is with gratitude to all who have gone before us for their work in carefully and prayerfully handling the Scriptures that the Board of Elders has begun to consider a new revision to refresh and update the EFCC Statement of Faith. The Board is committed to being biblical in all that is written by using the words of Scripture as much as possible, to ensure that anyone who could sign the current Statement can also sign the new one, and to focusing on what unites us or what we believe together. We covet your prayers and your participation in this process.
Page editor’s note regarding the photos displayed on this page:
The photos on this page show a little history of Emmanuel Faith, and some people who were key to the current Statement of faith.
Pictured above from top of page, and below:
• The first church deacons who helped draft our original Statement of Faith;
• The first Emmanuel Faith Church building;
• Ed Sams, an Elder Board Chairman in the late 1970s and early 1980s who was key to the later Statement of Faith updates;
• Former Senior Pastor, Dr. Richard Strauss; and
• An EFCC church meeting in our present (pre-1990s remodel) Worship Center.