–Taken from the April 26th, 1997 issue of the Baptist New Mexican

Pastor Paul Chambliss crossed the overpass from Grants into Milan and viewed the huge collection of trailer homes on that historic day in December. The exact date was December 22, 1957.  That day, the Lord guided Pastor Chambliss and his family, with a little nudging from the Mission Department of BCNM, to enter into a new God-sent adventure and spiritual commission.

From mission to church berthed itself on the eve of May 4, 1958.  That night, after a vote, it was officially declared the First Baptist Church of Milan; it was a proud day to remember in our church’s history.

Through the Lord’s direction , the second pastor of the church, Pastor Stanley Unruh, took on the tremendous work ahead.  During this time, the membership grew to 400, while the church was also beginning a mission work in Bluewater.

Pastor George Hammond later accepted leadership responsibilities as the third pastor of the First Baptist Church of Milan and assisted the church’s efforts in a major mission outreach that includes San Rafael, San Mateo, and San Jose Drive, in the Grants area.

Entering troubled times with fellowship and mounting financial debt, the livelihood of the church became threatened and in question.  Again, the Almighty God showed that He is in control of His church, this time by sending an administrative angel: Reverend Raymond Pratt.  The Reverend Pratt was named the fourth pastor of First Baptist and, through his God-given abilities, the church survived to celebrate its eighteenth anniversary.  This celebration was a “Note Burning” ceremony, which symbolized that the church was debt free.  By now, the property included two lots in the front of the church and two in the back.

Later, Reverend Winfred Walker was named the fifth pastor.  In January 1984, the new pastor and church officials assembled to cast an important vote.  Afterward, First Baptist Church of Milan was officially changed to Immanuel Baptist Church.

Another troubled era began, with confusion and division creating new frustrations for Immanuel Baptist Church, causing great difficulty for the sixth pastor: Pastor Don Davidson.  Again, however, through God’s power and understanding, the needs of His church were met by another talented rebuilding angel, blessed and ready for testing.  In January 1991, an ordination service was held at Immanuel Baptist Church for Reverend Garland Moore.  Pastor Moore became the seventh (an honorable number by biblical standards) in the chain of pastoral leadership at Immanuel.  Pastor Moore is known as a “People person” and, through his continued loving, Christ-like attitude, he continues to head this unsinkable church with compassion, understanding, and a mighty prayer fist.

On May 4, 2008, Immanuel celebrated its 50th anniversary.  A large crowd was on hand for the services, including many from Immanuel’s past.  Letters were read from Rev. Perry Broom and others who were unable to attend.  We were blessed with special music by Deacon Ed Corley, Wayne Melton, Gay Simpkins, Kellyn Moore, and Unfailing Love.  Speakers included KKIM Albuquerque Christian radio general manager Dewey Moede and John Loudat, Editor of the Baptist New Mexican.  Rev. Loudat presented Rev. Moore with a plaque from the New Mexico Southern Baptist Convention, congratulating the church on its 50 years of serving Christ, and a letter from Convention head Dr. Joseph Bunce.  After services, awards for service to the church in the last 50 years were presented and a slide show of past photos was displayed.  Finally, everyone gathered in the back for a fellowship meal to finish the celebration.