Emmanuel Church began in 1859 with services being held in the 1787 school/free church called “The Brook” near present day Dumbarton and Brook Roads. The Rev. Richard Hooker Wilmer held services there until the present-day church was built. John Stewart of Brook Hill donated the land, the funds to build the church and supported the minister with the help of his brother Daniel Kerr Stewart. The Right Reverend John Johns consecrated and named the Gothic Revival style church “Emmanuel,” God with Us on July 6, 1860. The 200-seat capacity church was known as The Little Church in the Pine Woods because it set back off of Brook Road in a grove of pines.
During the Civil War, troops from both sides camped on the grounds when traveling on the Brook Turnpike. The church weathered the war with only minor vandalism occurring at the end when the northern troops were returning home.
The Joseph Bryan Building, constructed in the English Tudor style, was built on the property in 1910 to be used as a parish hall, offices and parochial school. The school remained open until 1950. In 2007 the building was refurbished and renamed the Bryan Education Center. In 1957, a new parish hall and offices were added to the left side of the church with a breezeway connecting them.