Our pastoral staff shares the passion that we all become dedicated Christ-followers, and in turn impact the community around us. Under their guidance and encouragement, our church strives to capitalize on the wonderful opportunity we have to reach out in love with the good news of Jesus Christ! We continue to discover how God wants to use Clairemont Emmanuel in local communities and around the world. We hope you will join us on this awesome journey.
Clairemont Emmanuel was formed in October 1971 through the merger of Emmanuel Baptist Church (located on Jewel St. in Pacific Beach) and Clairemont Baptist Church (on the Galveston St. site). There were 347 charter members, including many of our current members. The roots of Clairemont Emmanuel reach back to the 1940's when Claude Cudabec, a postman and lay minister from College Avenue, began church planting efforts in the Women's Club House in Mission Beach. "Old Emmanuel" remained a small fellowship until 1968, when it relocated to Pacific Beach and Rev. Raymond Hahn was called as pastor. From its beginnings, the church was affiliated with the Baptist General Conference.
In 1962 Pastor Von was appointed full-time minister of youth. under his leadership during the "Jesus Movement" the youth group grew to over 300 in attendance by the close of the sixties. As the Jewel St. facility was outgrown, God opened the opportunity to join with Clairemont Baptist and developed a united ministry. Pastor Von challenged 'his kids' to become disciples of Christ and servants of His Kingdom -- and as the Lord blessed this vision. From 1977-1981, over thirty young people were commissioned as missionaries from Clairemont Emmanuel. This emphasis on member missionaries going into ministries all over the world remains a vital expression of God's calling for our church today.
With Pastor Hahn's retirement in 1984, associate Steve Walker became senior pastor. The beginnings of the Clairemont Emmanuel Schools and the Counseling Center ministries date from these transitional years, offering professional services to the community. Steve was young, enthusiastic and a fine expository teacher of the Scriptures through 1989 when he was invited to pastor a church in Oregon.
In 1991 Jim Smith was called as senior pastor. Posing the question "What would Jesus do -- through us?' led to work projects, ministry initiatives and the building of a strong pastoral staff. Jim stayed through the fall of 2002, and associate Kenny Dodd filled the interim -- and was formally hired as senior pastor in December that same year. Kenny has headed our current pastoral staff since.