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Rev. Dr. Cheryl Henson currently serves as our interim pastor. Four years ago Cheryl retired as Senior Pastor of First Baptist, Topeka Kansas. Following her retirement, she served as Interim Minister of First Baptist Church of Oak Park, Illinois. For ten years Pastor Cheryl served as the Regional Associate Minister of Area I of Great Rivers Region (Illinois and Missouri) overseeing 57 churches in the northern section of Illinois with responsibilities for pastoral recruitment, pastor’s continuing education, church renewal, and camping curriculum coordinator. She received her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL where she also taught as an adjunct professor in the doctoral program in the area of transformational ministry. She is certified as a Natural Church Growth Coach and has expertise in non-profit fundraising. In March, she completed 46 years in ministry.

Cheryl shares, “My new calling is to serve churches in transition. A verse I didn’t really appreciate until I was in my late 40’s is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In my younger years I tended to think I knew exactly what I had planned for my life. I was born in a small Iowa town along the Mississippi river and I wanted to marry my childhood sweetheart (we were 7 and 9 when we first met) and see the world. I also never wanted to go to college, and certainly wanted to be finished with school as soon as possible. God had different plans. I went on to college, on to seminary and on to doctoral work. I did marry my childhood sweetheart and we have been married for 46 years now. In hind sight, I appreciate that God’s plans were so much bigger than my own.  We often limit our lives, our relationships, and our potential by what we think we should be or do, but God has a bigger vision. His “masterplan” is “priceless.” Even now He is at work on a plan for a new pastor for First Congregational Church. Even now He is at work on the plan for your life. Why not consciously yield control and let Him give you new hope for your future? Let go and let God be God!”

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At First Congregational Church our Mission is to help Grow the Family of God.  We lean into Jesus who leads us to Worship & Grow, Serve & Go.

The church has been integral to the community of Emporia since 1857.  And, while the church celebrates a long history of mission in Emporia and around the world, we seek to honor God's call for this Century.

Our Worship is focused on inviting people into the presence of God.

Our mission leads us to feed the hungry--in both body and spirit so that we all may Grow in our knowledge of Jesus and act on His Word--the Bible.

We want to Serve the community such that the Name of Jesus and His work to save us and grow us is crystal clear.  That Name empowers us to Go and share the Good News of the Gospel.

We are affiliated with like-minded Congregational Christians in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (4Cs) and the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.

See the "Knowing Jesus" page for more information about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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