A MESSAGE FROM WILLIE

Come be our guest at the Emporia Avenue Church of Christ!
You will find us very open and receptive. Strangers soon become close friends because of the warm atmosphere of love and grace found among us. We are a church where everyone is welcome. We will help you integrate and find your role in the family. If you are looking for love, we have some to share.
As to theology, we are very Bible-based. However, that does not make us extreme or closed minded. Being conservative has not made us dogmatic. We are still seeking truth and trying apply what we learn to our own lives. We have discovered that none of us is perfect, so we will not require that of you. The Bible is our only basis of authority in faith and practice. We are part of no affiliation for governance of the church, outside the local church. Our shepherds lead us and feed us from God’s word, in the Spirit.
Try us. We think you will find that you like us. We expect to like you too. You’re just friends we haven’t yet met.


-W. E. Hamblen, Minister



Elders

Loy Burnett

Roger Foltz

Willie Hamblen

Allyn Lamb

Leroy Tice

Deacons

Brandon Faust

Steven Lamb

Matt McManamey

Brett Morrison

Roger Rankin

Tom Taverner

Ministers

Willie Hamblen

Pulpit Minister

Jed Sikes

Involvement & Youth Minister.

Staff

Jana Foltz

Congregation Secretary

Vonda Kaljumaa

Building Coordinator


WE ARE THANKFUL THAT YOU ARE HERE.

COME VISIT, OR GIVE US A CALL! WE WOULD LOVE TO GET TO KNOW YOU.



What You Can Expect When You Visit

BACKGROUND

    Our background may help you understand us.  Our goal is to restore the New Testament church in our time.  We attempt to determine from the Bible what the church was like in the beginning and to be like that original church as much as possible.  We believe that is a worthy goal. 
    We strive to be a non-denominational, Bible-centered church.  We know our conclusions aren’t flawless, and our practices are sometimes colored by habit, preference, tradition, or convenience.  Even so, we hold the Bible as our only guide in religious matters.  Now, let us walk you through a typical worship service.
    If you visit another Church of Christ, you may notice some variations because every Church of Christ is autonomous (self-ruled, independent).  We are not associated with any denomination or organized religious group.

THE SETTING

    Doors are open at 1144 S, Emporia, which is at the corner of Lincoln and Emporia.  You will enter what we refer to as the “auditorium” where you will find rows of pews for the worshipers.  There are no reserved seats, feel free to sit anywhere you choose.

THE PRAYING

    Spoken prayers are a large part of our gatherings.  We believe in the power of prayer.  We often pray for specific needs and requests.

THE SINGING

    On the screen at the front of the auditorium, the words & music will usually be displayed.  There will be a songbook for you to use in the bookrack in front of you if that’s what you prefer, or if the songs aren’t projected.  When the song number is announced, you can turn to that number in the songbook.
    One of the unique things about Emporia Avenue is that the music is “a cappella;” that is, we sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments.  We simply want to worship God in the purest way possible, and since the New Testament leaves out the use of instrumental music, we believe it is best to exclude it also.
1
    We hope you will find the singing meaningful, with everyone being invited to participate.

THE LORD'S SUPPER

    The Lord’s Supper will be included in the Sunday worship service because we observe this memorial every Sunday.  The reason for this is our desire to follow the New Testament teaching.  The first-century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week 5.  We assume from this that they did it the first day of every week, and we know from respected historians that in early centuries the Lord’s Supper was an every Sunday Commemoration 6. 
    During this memorial, plates containing pieces of unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation.  The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus.  Each participating person will break off a piece of bread and eat it.
    Next, trays filled with cups will be distributed,  The cups contain “fruit of the vine,” or grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus
7.  Each participant will drink the contents of one cup.
    If you choose not to participate, don’t be embarrassed.  Feel free to pass the plate or tray to the person next to you.  This supper is the original way of remembering the sacrifices Jesus made on our behalf.

THE PREACHING

    Who preaches is not as important as what is preached.  Our ministers do not have a specific title.  They are not referred to as Pastor or Reverend.  We just call them by their first name for that is what they prefer.  They won’t be wearing any special clothing that sets them apart.  They are one of us.  The reason for this is our belief that all are equal 2 in the priesthood of believers.
    The lesson will likely be from 25-35 minutes in length.  We hope that you find it refreshingly Bible centered.

THE INVITING

    Inviting worshipers to make a commitment for Jesus will be a part of the sermon.  At the close of the lesson, the preacher will “extend an invitation.”  He will encourage those who wish to “respond” to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings.  Don’t feel ill at ease during this invitation, you will not be singled out in any way.
    There may be several who respond, or none.  Some may respond for baptism.  Some respond to confess sins, or to ask for prayers for a specific need.  Others will come to ask to “identify” with this congregation.
    If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness the baptism during the service.  The baptism will be by immersion
3 for the forgiveness of sins 4.

THE OFFERING

  How many times will you be asked for money?  None.  Plates will be passed to collect the weekly financial offerings from our members 8.  As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation.  Feel perfectly comfortable in just passing the collection plate on down the row.

THE PEOPLE

    So, what kind of people can you expect to find?  Pretty much the entire spectrum.  As in any group, we are diverse, coming from varied backgrounds and at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth.
    We don’t know everything, but we are learning.
    We don’t do everything right, but we are improving.
    We don’t always treat each other as we should, but we are growing.

    We are on the journey together.

    You see, we are not brought together by any illusion of our perfection or personal righteousness.  We are brought together by our recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleaning blood of Jesus. 9 We are brought together by a common goal.  We want to be God’s people, organized and worshipping according to God’s plan.  We want to be Christ’s church.  This is the reason we can worship together, stick together, and - with God’s help - make a difference in the world we live in.
    The bottom line is, you will find people who love Jesus and love the Bible.  We would love for you to join us in our pursuit of Him and His word this Sunday morning.  Would you please join us?

What Will Be Expected Of You?

    You are welcome to participate, but don’t feel obligated; just observe if that is your choice.  You may be asked to fill out a guest card, and you will find them in the rack in front of you.  This card simply provides information so that we can write or call to thank you for your visit.  Supply only information you are comfortable sharing.

Notes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 14:15, Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 2:12
  2. Matthew 23:8-12, Galatians 3:26-28, 1 Peter 2:5-9
  3. Acts 8:35-39, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12
  4. Acts 2:38
  5. Acts 20:7
  6. Neander, Eusebius
  7. 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
  8. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
  9. Mark 2:17,k Romans 5:6-9, Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1:7


Adapted and edited from the original by Joe Barnett from Pathways Publications and the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, OK.  Used with permission.



OUR HISTORY


  • Established in 1930
  • 1965 - Current Building Constructed 
  • 1978 - Blanche Philips Fund Established
  • 1988 - Fellowship Hall Completed

  In early 1930 the mission-minded leaders of the West Side church in Wichita desired to establish a congregation in another area of town. They learned that a white frame church building at the corner of Emporia Avenue and Lincoln Street was for sale. They rented the building with an option to buy and their minister, G.K. Wallace, preached there in a two-week gospel meeting. Several people were baptized and enough interest created to begin the work toward establishing a new congregation in that location.
  The church building was soon purchased and G.K. Wallace divided his time between the West Side church and those meeting at the Emporia Avenue building. In December of that same year, he preached a 15-day meeting during which the new congregation was organized. Three elders and four deacons were appointed. In January 1931 Glenn L. Wallace began his work preaching for the 135 charter members of the Emporia Avenue Church of Christ. From the beginning the congregation was self-supporting and was soon involved in spreading the gospel locally and abroad.
  Over the years, the congregation grew until a larger building was needed. In 1965 A new brick building was built just north of the smaller white frame building, which was torn down and the area paved for a parking lot. In 1988 the brick building was expanded to include offices, a kitchen, restrooms, and a large fellowship hall with partitions for extra classrooms.
  Since its beginning Emporia Avenue Church of Christ has been a mission-minded, gospel-loving family. Through the years, the church has established other local congregations, and has supported or assisted with mission efforts in Minnesota and other works in Africa, Europe, and China. The church has also encouraged and assisted young men who desire to be preachers.
Currently the congregation has five elders and six deacons. The pulpit minister is Willie Hamblen and the Involvement & Youth Minister is Jed Sikes.