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Emmanuel Church of God in Christ

Historical Marker

Emmanuel Church of God in Christ

In the heart of Arlington's historic African American community, "The Hill," local residents came together as early as 1895 to form a community church at this site. Known at different times as the Church of God in Christ, Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, Holiness, and Arlington Church of God in Christ, the congregation grew in The Hill's commercial district alongside neighborhood grocery stores, restaurants and night clubs, as well as schools, residences and other churches. Elders Garrett and E.W. Battle served as early church leaders of the congregation, which held regular camp meetings for area worshipers. The Holiness philosophy of the church includes an emphasis on Bible-based education, as well as the roles of two spiritual leaders: the pastor and the church mother, who serves as guide and teacher of children and new members. Although oral tradition locates the congregation at this site at the turn of the 20th century, it did not formally own the property until 1937, when trustees purchased the land. Within two years, Jesse Pointer and other members constructed this sanctuary, which remains in use. At the time of the building's construction, the Rev. David Augusta Kelly served as pastor. Since its beginnings, Arlington's Church of God in Christ has served local residents as a place of worship and community. It has been an important part of the physical and spiritual landscape of the historic neighborhood for generations, and it continues to uphold the traditions established by its founding members more than a century ago. (2005)


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