In 1787, Reverends Richard Allen and Absalom Jones withdrew from the St. George Methodist Church because of "unkind treatment" and restrictions placed upon worshipers of African descent. They founded The Free African Society, which was the beginning of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1816, Richard Allen called together sixteen representatives from Bethel African Church in Philadelphia, and African Churches in Baltimore, Maryland; Wilmington, Delaware; Attleboro, Pennsylvania, and Salem, New Jersey, to meet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A church organization or "connection" was organized as the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Richard Allen was the founder and first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Emmanuel AME's History



As we look back into the history of our church, we remember with great pride the contributions and sacrifices of those who have gone on before us.  We honor them and remember them today.


Emmanuel A.M.E. Church was organized in 1917 on the corner of Hackberry and Nebraska Street (now known as Martin Luther King Drive) under the leadership of Rev. Jack Connor.


The first church building was a little shed and remained without a name until 1918.  During that time our church was referred to as Little Bethel.  Bishop Brooks felt it was time for this labor of love to have a name, so he gave the church the name "Emmanuel", which means God with us.


Around 1919, Rev. Adamson was appointed pastor of Emmanuel and under his leadership the first church structure was built with a down payment of $200.00.  The church was located at 805 South Pine Street.  When the note was paid in full under the leadership of Rev. W.E. Thomas, a remodeling program began.  The cornerstone was laid on October 9, 1949.  Several pastors continued to serve Emmanuel.


Under the leadership of Rev. Drinkard Timms, Jr., the membership grew, and the vision of a new church was born.  The pastor was informed by Bro. Howard Sheridan about some land for sale in the Dellcrest neighborhood.  The land was purchased with a generous contribution of $3,000 from former First Lady Regina V. Dixon.


In October 1982, God smiled on Emmanuel and sent Rev. Michael W. Gibson.  Under his leadership the church began a new life.  The church on 805 South Pine Street was sold and construction on the new church began.  During this transition Emmanuel's church services were held at the Alamo Branch YMCA.  The first worship service in the new building took place on December 8, 1985.


In November 1992, Emmanuel received a new shepherd-retired Col. I.V. Tolbert, Chaplain USAF, to serve as pastor of Emmanuel.  Under Rev. Tolbert's leadership, Emmanuel paid off a 30-year mortgage in 12 years; purchased additional acres of land adjacent to the church; and began and completed construction on our current sanctuary.  The first worship service in the new sanctuary was held in June 2005.  After many years of faithful service to the people of God and Emmanuel, Rev. Tolbert retired.


In November 2008, we began anew with Rev. Chuma Okoli. Rev. Okoli's love for God is reflected in his spirit of service.  Under his leadership the people of Emmanuel continued to be REJUVENATED, REGENERATED and EMPOWERED to attain "The Next Level Vision".  Our prayer is that Emmanuel continues to be a beacon of hope in the community for many more years to come as we look forward to higher heights with our Pastor Rev. Carl E.  Garmon Sr.  Pastor Garmon came to Emmanuel to encourage us to take "One step at a time" and ensure that Emmanuel "Makes a Difference Where We Are" To God be the Glory, for the things He has done!!!


"To faithfully proclaim and teach the Word of God; to make disciples; to serve those in need; and by our witness, win others to Christ." 


"To build up a regenerating, rejuvenating kingdom people empowered; physically, socially, economically, and politically."


“God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family.”

Our Pastor

Reverend Carl E. Garmon, Sr., Pastor


Mrs. Janice Garmon, First Lady

Welcome to Emmanuel A.M.E Church where we believe in “Making A Difference Where We Are”. We also believe you are a part of God’s plan and God has a vision for your life that is greater than any vision that you can have for yourself or that others can have for you. Together we can make a difference by Exalting Christ and Empowering People!

It is the MISSION of The Emmanuel A.M.E. Church of San Antonio, Texas, to effectively minister the Word of God to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of God’s people through biblical teaching, preaching and outreach, providing balance for their overall life.

WE BELIEVE that we are called to address the needs of the total person, as our Savior did, and strive to lift the name of Jesus in our community and the world in which we live through our commitment to praise, worship, stewardship, and evangelism.

Our worship service is Sunday at 10:00 am

Whether you have been around church your entire life or your visit to Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church will be your first church experience, we are sure to have something here especially for you! Please click the link for detailed directions to our campus as well as helpful hints for your visit.


“Making A Difference Where We Are”

Pastor Carl and Sis Janice Garmon


The Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) is an international faith-based, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), granted Special Consultative Category II Status in 1985 in partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The WMS is composed of over 800,000 members located across four continents in thirty-two countries. We are in the forefront of works of mission, at the head of the Church, operating from the highest level within each of twenty Episcopal Districts and reporting to every meeting of the General and Annual Conferences.

As the Women’s representational entity of the AMEC nationally and worldwide, the WMS has a record of 131 years of service committed to winning souls to Christ, health, economic, peace and justice issues. The WMS hosts an annual conference at the United Nations every October at which members of the various agencies and components of the United Nations offer workshops and seminars on current global issues. The WMS has established a Foundation to support education through scholarships and social and economic development for the diversified constituencies we are privileged to serve.

The YPD under the leadership of the Women's Missionary Society provides meaningful youth training programs and opportunities for leadership experience in all areas of church life.  By providing training in Evangelism, Christian Social Relations, and Education programs the YPD is designed to connect youth more fully to the mission of the church and increase knowledge of the African Methodist Episcopal Church history and the scriptures.