On 23 April 2016, precisely 50 years to the day, 200 or more of God’s people joined together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Emmanuel Evangelical Baptist Church in Cardiff.
It was it a time to renew acquaintances young and old and, above all, give thanks to God for his abiding faithfulness to us over these 50 years.
As we look back as a fellowship, we recognise the vision given by God to the original trustees and members at Emmanuel, of preaching the unchanging gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to those who live around the church.
Today, there are very few left of the original membership — many have been called home to glory — but we give thanks to God for their witness. It still remains our key motivation that the Lord might, through the earnest prayer and service of his people, bring many to a true and living faith in Christ.
Through the good, and not so easy, times, the Lord has preserved and protected his people here and provided us with an increasingly diverse group of young and old members, including young families, who continue to worship and serve him in the local community.
During the day and over the weekend, our thoughts were led by a longstanding friend of the fellowship, Rev. Brian Edwards, from Hook Evangelical Church in Surrey.
At our main thanksgiving service on 23 April, he reminded us from John 14:12 of what Christ meant when he promised his disciples that they would do ‘greater works than these’. What an encouragement for us to expect glorious and greater things for the future!
At our Sunday worship services, Mr Edwards again led us in thanksgiving. He reminded us of the glorious gospel that we preach, and what it means that Christ has purged us from our sins (Hebrews 1:3).
In the evening, we were reminded of the promise given to Joseph that the Lord was with him and prospered all that he did. It was a joyous weekend. We hold on to the hope of ‘Emmanuel — God with us’!