Who We Are
In 1997 two historic downtown churches in Schenectady, New York, joined together to form a common ministry as the federated congregation of Emmanuel-Friedens Church. Both churches were begun during the late 1800's. Emmanuel was a mission church of the First Baptist Church, Schenectady. In 1904 it rebuilt on its present site, following a fire which destroyed the original building. In 1953 an educational wing was added. The last major renovation in 1992 added a new lobby providing for handicap accessibility. Friedens United Church of Christ has its roots in the German immigration of the late 1800's. Services were conducted in German during the first decades of the century. By the middle of the 1990's the congregation had dwindled to about twenty in worship. Due to Emmanuel's recent renovations, its more elaborate educational facilities, and its location in the city, the congregation of Friedens decided to sell its building and move to Emmanuel. Today the church is active in both denominations, with the Reverend Larry Phillips, its pastor since 1983, having dual standing. In 2007 Marcia Tolman, commissioned by the United Church of Christ, was called as our Director of Christian Education.
As separate congregations, both Emmanuel and Friedens were involved in community ministry. Emmanuel was instrumental in the founding of the Schenectady Inner City Ministry which provides a variety of ministries to the city, such as housing and food. SICM is supported by nearly sixty local congregations. Friedens UCC was very involved in starting Bethesda House, a drop-in center for homeless and low-income people, and was the first home for the center. Today Emmanuel-Friedens continues to support over 15 local mission projects including Concern for the Hungry, Habitat for Humanity, Home Furnishings, and the Samaritan Counseling Center. In addition, nearly 20 different community organizations use the church during the week.
Links to our denominations:
American Baptist Churches USA
American Baptist Churches - New York State
Capital Area Baptist Association
United Church of Christ
NYS United Church of Christ
Hudson Mohawk Association, UCC