Our Church History
In the beginning ...
In October 1939, God birthed the vision for Emmanuel Faith Community Church. The Rev. Earl Morgan, a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate, felt called to preach the Word of God, independent of any specific denomination. God confirmed the call in his heart by bringing 200 men, women and children to the very first meeting at Central Elementary School in Escondido to start a church where the Word of God would be its sole foundation.
Later, the first EFCC worship services took place in the Women’s Club House that stood at Grand Avenue and Broadway. Even back then,we were starting to live out our current 2020 Vision statement, being “a church that risks using all means to invite people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds into a life-transforming relationship with God through Jesus Christ. ”As the love of God poured out from the congregation into the community, the growing church family moved to a new church property at 7th and Maple in Escondido. Within a couple decades, the ministry at the church continued to expand, and more and more people flocked to the church that was becoming well-known for its strong Bible teaching.
In 1971, Pastor Coy Maret, who shepherded the church from 1944 to 1971, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony at our current campus at Felicita/17th in Escondido. Under the wise and loving care of Dr. Richard Strauss, senior pastor from 1972 to 1993, and Pastor Jim Welch, the church continued to grow, reaching thousands in our community in addition to an ever expanding global outreach.
Pastor Dennis Keating, stepped into the role of senior pastor in 1993, continuing the tradition of strong Bible teaching. He emphasized “honoring God by living like Jesus” in three main ways: growing in a life-transforming relationship with God, connecting in life-changing relationships, and sharing by taking risks to bring hope through service and outreach.
When Pastor Dennis decided to step down, an extensive pastor search brought us our current Lead Pastor Ryan Paulson in August 2019. Pastor Ryan was EFCC's college pastor from 2007-2012, and was the Lead Pastor at South Fellowship Church in Colorado 2012-2019. Ryan, who is married to Kelly and has three children, loves to creatively communicate the timeless truths of the scripture in a relevant and culturally engaging way. He is convinced that the local church is the hope of the world and has dedicated his life to preaching the gospel and building disciples of Christ.
To read testimonies from those who have been impacted by our church ministry, click here.
To read Bev Ambsbary Davenport's Walk Down Memory Lane at EFCC, click here.