Our Story

The Emmaus Community



The Emmaus Community (TEC) is a non-denominational Christian community that is a unique fusion of post-modern and traditional African-American worship traditions. TEC began in the spring of 2005 when Alise Barrymore and James King along with five of their friends gathered around a dinner table and planted the seed of what would become a thriving faith community. Soon seven became eighteen, and eighteen launched a dream. During this time, G-d repeatedly affirmed the vision of creating a place for those who are “distant, disconnected, or disenfranchised.” A place where you can belong before you believe.

The Launch Team invited fifty friends to pray with them for three months. Through this intercessory team it was determined that Emmaus should move forward and only forward. Fellowship Instructional Groups (FIG) met during the fall of 2005 in the auditorium of Prairie State College, culminating with monthly Sunday “Preview” gatherings held at the Marcus Theatre in Chicago Heights. Word of mouth and word of heart brought more and more people each week—seeking comfort, coffee, and Christ. After the surprising opportunity to purchase a building in early 2006, a determined and dedicated “Campus Team” renovated the property during a three-week period. All hands on deck took on a new meaning as individuals became teams and teams became family working together to create a space fit for the King.

Fittingly, on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006, The Emmaus Community began meeting regularly at 925 MacArthur Drive in Chicago Heights, Illinois. TEC currently is a community of over 300 members and conducts weekly worship gatherings for both adults and youth, and continues to support the Family in spreading the word and the love of G-d.

Lastly, we are committed to live by our Core Passions: