Emmanuel Community Church was birthed by Pastor David Verzilli. David began his ministry in Youngstown in 1954 when he became an associate of the late Evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman immediately after his graduation from Eastern Bible Institute in Pennsylvania.
He conducted weekly prayer meetings in Youngstown, Salem, Painsville and Franklin, Pa. at first, and his responsibilities increased as Miss Kuhlman's ministry expanded. Eventually he was conducting most Sunday services at Stambaugh, as well as prayer meetings in Youngstown, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
When Miss Kuhlman died in 1976, the Kathryn Kuhlman Ministry, based in Pittsburgh, continued to broadcast her taped messages and mail her books and other publications. Pastor Verzilli assumed leadership of the congregation and eventually separated from the Kathryn Kuhlman Ministry to form a full-gospel interdenominational ministry called David Verzilli gospel ministry.
After being in Stambaugh Auditorium for 28 years (pictured on the bottom left), Rev. Verzilli and the congregation felt it was time to establish permanent headquarters somewhere else.