Humble Beginnings

The Emmanuel Center was born as Emmanuel Episcopal Center an outreach of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee for its first 24 years.  It was 1989, and the Rev. Colenzo J. Hubbard was hired as Executive Director to serve the residents of South Memphis – one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation.  The Emmanuel Center started in the most common of places – a game of touch football on a strip of dry dirt and dead grass. That game started as a simple way for Father Hubbard to pass a warm autumn afternoon with five young boys. What followed was more than an afternoon of fun – it was the start of one of the strongest inner city ministries Memphis has ever seen.

The primary focus of this ministry has been – and continues to be – equipping individuals to reach their God given potential.



Brooks Museum project created by college students and EC participants