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Our Pastor

Pastor Linwood R. Taylor is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Church International (ECI).  Prior to founding ECI, he served in numerous ministry capacities essential to his practical ministerial development. He also serves as President of Emmanuel Ministries International, Inc., the church’s corporation.


Pastor Taylor continued his theological training at the Mid-Atlantic Apostolic Bible College, and the Chesapeake Theological Seminary, and is currently pursuing his doctorate at Liberty University.  He holds an A.S. Degree in Business Management from J.S. Reynolds College in Richmond, VA, a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Towson University, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Baltimore.  Additionally, he attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ where he majored in political science.  While living in Chattanooga, TN, he attended the University of TN at Chattanooga where he majored in business administration, with a concentration in marketing.  He has participated in mentorship programs, serving as mentor to elementary school students. 


Our History

From Our House to His House

A Brief History of Emmanuel Church International

Psalm 127:1 says “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: …”
This passage is primarily directed toward the family, but it applies to the church as well. Throughout the New Testament we see that God uses the family to illustrate how He deals with the church. Just as the family is the symbol of the church, a strong family directly benefits the church.

Kathleen Norris, the contemporary poet/essayist said, “Home ought to be our clearinghouse, the place from which we go forth lessoned and disciplined, and ready for life.” It all starts in the house, as it did in our pastor’s house, years ago with a mission to “Equip People to Make A Difference.”

Prior to the launching of Emmanuel Church International, our founding corporation, Emmanuel Ministries International, Inc., was created in Chattanooga, TN.  Our current pastor was its President and CEO, and still serves in that capacity today.  But this was only the starting point.  Our pastor and his family later moved to the Baltimore area. 

In September 1998, our pastor and his family along with a few friends began worshiping in the basement of his home. The church soon outgrew the pastor’s house.

On October 18, 1998 the first public service was held at Deer Park Middle Magnet School in Randallstown, Maryland.  The church was named Emmanuel Ministries International Fellowship.  After approximately four years of worshipping in the school, the ministry purchased a  5.97-acre site in the Gwynn Oak, MD area.  The ministry formed a partnership with a local developer and Portrait Emmanuel, LLC, was formed.  This faith-based and private industry collaboration birthed what is now Valerie Manor and our current church location.  The name of the church was changed to its current name, Emmanuel Church International. 

In 2005 the ministry broke ground for its new building which was grand opened in 2008.  The building in which we now worship is Phase I, our multi-purpose center. Phase II which is already in the planning stages, calls for the development of an expanded multi-purpose and family life center, with additional classroom space for many of the ministry’s outreach programs.  The county planning commission has already approved the project.  Phase III will consist of a Worship Center which will be built on donated land adjacent to the multi-purpose and family life center. 

The ministry has a presence in Liberia West Africa, through the establishment of Emmanuel Church International in Buchanan Liberia under the leadership of Pastor Sylvester Barclay.

Our church launched the first phase of its education program called Emmanuel Early Childhood Learning Center which is state licensed and certified to teach children 3—5 years old.

Our pastor humbly recognizes that all glory belongs to God, as the vision is not his, but the Lords.  Hence, “The Vision Is Always Greater Than the Man”.


Kathy Gray

Dance Ministries


Jerome Durant

Facilities Coordinator


Pastor James B. Smith

Family Life & Care Ministry

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Ebonie Valentin

Director of Social/Multimedia


Steve Reynolds

Intercessory Prayer


Faith M. Owhonda

Intercessory Prayer


Julius Durant

Men's Ministry


Deborah Durant



Pastor Sandra E. Smith

MOSAIC Ministry


Georgianna Wilson

MOSAIC Ministry


Lenora Wilson

Women's Ministry


Richard Mosely

Music Ministry & Praise Team

Statement of Faith

We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, to be the Inspired Word of God, the complete Revelation of His will for the salvation of mankind, and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternal; revealed according to His own Divine purpose as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.

We believe that the Holy Spirit is active in the Church of Jesus Christ. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, convict mankind of sin, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local Church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.

We believe in the personal and premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this ‘Blessed Hope’ has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgement and everlasting conscious punishment.

We believe that the church’s calling is to worship God and to witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, by preaching the Gospel among all nations and by demonstrating its commitment to righteousness and justice on behalf of all people.

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