Mt. Emory Baptist Church
Sunday, June 23, 2024
We love you and there's nothing you can do about it.

Our History

Mt. Emory Baptist Church History
(1837 - 2017)
The Mount Emory Baptist Church began with a meeting in the home of William Dalton in 1837. The first church for Negroes in Jacksonville, IL was founded July 27, 1837. Seven sincere Christians, Philis Logan, Clarissa Duncan, Sallie Burke, Samantha Woodfork, Julia Young, Henry Duncan and Adam Young along with Rev. John Livingston and Rev. Samuel Ball, came together as Second Baptist Church and was commonly referred to as the Colored Missionary Baptist Church. 
This body of baptized believers was also known as the Second Baptist Church. Due to growth in membership, church services were held in the Old Grade School building on Anna Street. The increase in membership precipitated the need of a Sunday School headed by a white man known as Louis Hatfield. Later, another white man by the name of Samuel Nichols served as superintendent. Eventually, a black man named John Barnett, the first Negro to graduate from Jacksonville High School, became the first Sunday School Secretary. 
In its early days, Mount Emory Baptist Church had no regular pastor but relied on the services of various pulpit supply preachers for their worship services. Andrew W. Jackson, a local barber, reputed to have been the first black person to reside in Morgan County, later joined the church.  He began studying for the ministry and eventually became the first pastor for the church in the early 1860's.  Mount Emory continued to prosper as ex-slaves migrated to the North and settled in the village of Jacksonville. Henry Duncan sold the land on the corner of Marion and Church streets to Mount Emory. A two-story church building was constructed which stood over 112 years. In the later 1970’s on the same site a new church building was built through a community drive supported by city officials and monies from the church’s building fund. The mortgage was paid in full within 14 months. 
Chronology of Pastors:  Rev. John Livingston, Rev. Samuel Ball, Rev. A.W. Jackson, Rev. W.W. Stewart, Rev. Bonner, Rev. J.W. Muse, Rev. Bonner, Rev. H.H. DeWitt, Rev. Cushon, Rev. James Mason, Rev. Cromwell, Rev. Russell, Rev. Downing, Rev. E.L. Scruggs, Rev. Crocket, Rev. W. Henry Snowden, Rev. Johnson, Rev. T.A. Johnson, Rev. H.L. Adel, Rev. D.C. Jones, Rev. A.V. Harris, Rev. E.E. Thompson, Rev. George Holiday, Rev. H.N. Nance, Rev. Nathaniel H. Butler, Rev. E.T. Davis, Rev. A. William Staten, Rev. P. Dercy Smartt, Rev. Clemon Porter, Rev. Charles Thompson Jr., Rev. Terrance L. Holder, and Rev. David L. Stewart. Through the years, we thank God for the many other great ministers who served the church on an interim basis until a Pastor was called.  
On January 31, 2005, God sent our current Pastor, Rev. David L. Stewart, to Mt. Emory.  A very effective communicator, Pastor Stewart’s practical and dynamic teaching style helps people apply the Word of God to their everyday lives.  Under Pastor Stewart's leadership, Mt. Emory has truly become a worldwide ministry through live streaming, a new church website, Facebook page, online giving and spiritual webconferences. Rev. Stewart came to Mt. Emory stating, "I love you and there's nothing you can do about it." Years of testing has proven this not to be a simple statement or slogan but commitment to a life of Agape Love. Through sharing the this love, people from all walks of life have made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  
Mount Emory Baptist Church has been a cornerstone of the religious and civic history of the City of Jacksonville and of the State of Illinois. It is recognized as one of the oldest African American Churches in the State of Illinois.  From Rev. Andrew Jackson to our current pastor, Rev. David L. Stewart, Mount Emory has been served by 32 pastors over a span of 171 years.  Each of these men, called by God and guided by the Holy Spirit, contributed his part in bringing the church to this great day.