Our Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Emanuel A. Heyliger, was born in Guyana, South America. He graduated from Kings College, London University, West Virginia Institute of Technology and Marshall University Graduate College. In addition, he did Post Graduate work at Bethel Seminary and Wheeling Jesuit University.
The Rt. Rev. Emanuel Heyliger is the Senior Pastor of Ferguson Memorial Baptist Church in Dunbar, WV. He has served faithfully in this capacity since May 1, 1980. He is the proud father and mentor of three beautiful daughters, and the grandfather one granddaughter and four grandsons.
Rev. Heyliger has served as Assistant General Secretary, Congress of Christian Education, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.; Executive Board Member, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.; President, Charleston Black Ministerial Alliance; Chairman, Ordination Council, Mt. Olivet Baptist Association; Administrative Assistant to the Moderator, Mt. Olivet Baptist Association; Chairman, Stewardship Committee, Mt. Olivet Baptist Association; Member, Evangelism Commission, West Virginia Baptist Convention; Chairman, Religious Affairs of the State of West Virginia NAACP. He also served on the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Diversity for the City of Charleston; The Kanawha County Vision 2000 Human Resource Committee; Board Member, National Center for Human Relations at West Virginia State University and Condemnation Commissioner for Kanawha Coun
He was appointed by Governor Gaston Caperton to the West Virginia Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission. He was also appointed by Governor Cecil Underwood to the Board of Mission West Virginia and re-appointed to the West Virginia Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission. He was certified by the Virginia State Supreme Court as a mediating specialist. He specializes in bringing people together for he believes that they can be unity in diversity. He has been a confidant and counselors to Governors, Senators and Mayors. Also, he has served as Chaplain to the Senate of the West Virginia State Legislature.
Rev. Heyliger serves as the chairperson of KISRA – the faith–based and community-serving initiative of the church. He is known as being a National Preacher, Lecturer, Evangelist, and Conference Speaker. After the Burundi Civil War, Rev. Heyliger was invited to Tanzania where he ordained twenty ministers from both the Hutu and Tutsi tribes to serve in the war torn era. Because of this he was made an International Ordination Bishop of the Protestant Elim Evangelical Churches. He also provides leadership for churches in North and South America, the United Kingdom, East and West Africa.
Among his major achievements was the vision and construction of the beautiful edifice in which the Saints at Ferguson now worship. This sanctuary and Christian Education Center was a project valued at over one million dollars. This accomplishment was attained through faith in the Almighty God, devout members of Ferguson, and the gifted leadership of
Rev. Heyliger in forging community, economic, and business alliances. In 2008, a grant of $5 million from the U. S. Government was used to build the Empowerment Center, which is a one stop center for business, banking, job training, job development and education. This fulfills Rev. Heyliger’s dream of transforming the West Dunbar area into a Renaissance of renewal.
He established a Covenant in 1995 with One Valley Bank (now BB&T), one of the largest banks in the country, to provide loans for cars, housing and business for all people, especially the poor and minority, who would have never had the opportunity. Because of this he was recognized as the Small Business Advocate of the year by the US Small Business Administration. Under his leadership, Ferguson Baptist has been recognized by the State of West Virginia with the Governor Service Award. Because of his dedicated service to the community, he was made an Honorary Sheriff. West Virginia State University Alumni and admitted to the Leadership Circle for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Rev. Heyliger participated in the international arena as Speaker & Lecturer in several major conferences in Canada, South America, Nigeria and Ghana. His message is that the true gospel is holistic and empowering in every facet of life. This is an unwavering and passionate commitment.
Some of his proudest achievements include, preaching before the 8.5 million at the Baptist Convention, The Potter’s House, Dallas, Texas, where Bishop T. D. Jakes is the pastor, the four governor’s inaugural service and the Commencement Exercise at the Idahousa University in Benin, Nigeria.
Under the pastorate of Rev. Heyliger, the spiritual growth and maturity at Ferguson has been phenomenal and seems to increase with each worship service. We are confident of our continued growth both spiritually and physically, as souls come forth to give their lives to Christ after hearing a powerful Word from God through his great manservant, Emanuel Heyliger.