Rev. Emmanuel James Vaughn, Sr.
“I love you and you can’t do nothing about it.” This is my praise statement and I mean every word of it. What you see is what you get, I loved the work and the members of all the churches I have pastored. I always just wanted to be a good pastor. My friends and family call me “Manny”. I was born November 10, 1948, in Gary, Indiana to Elizabeth Jackson and James Vaughn who has presided me in death.
At the age of 8 years old, I was working in the church and Pastor Brown would let me open the church on Sunday to make a fire in the wood stove, and on some occasions, he would let me say the prayer for the service. My sisters and I would play church and of course I would be the pastor. At 10 years old, I had a paper route, and with my entrepreneurial spirit, I turned my paper route into a business hiring my relatives so they could make some money, and this increased my territory. I had the best customer service AND the biggest paper route in Gary, Indiana. The Gary Tribute paper made me one of their youngest managers!
I graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1967 and went to work in the Gary Steel Mill for a short time. I decided that this was not the job for me when the foreman sent me inside a furnace to clean scale off the walls and the bottom of my shoes started melting. It was hot as Hell!! I left the furnace and headed for the door. As I passed the guard, I handed him my pass. He said, “You’ll need this to get back into work tomorrow!” And I said, “No, I don’t!” and kept walking. Shortly after that, I joined the United States Air Force. While serving, I received several unit awards, citations, and stripes for outstanding service. It was in the Recruiting Command that I received some of the highest honors the Air Force had to offer. I was named the number two Recruiter in the United States from 1982-1983 and was invited to the White House to meet President Reagan. I received stripes for exceptional performance, 1st African American of the Recruiting Team of the Year, and 1st African American to receive 3 Gold Badges, 5 Silver Badges, and 3 Bronze Badges in Recruiting while serving my country.
I brought that same enthusiasm to my ministry, winning souls for Christ! What a Joy, and Privilege it has been serving God and His people. Every church that I have pastored, I have loved the people and they have loved me. I have made some wonderful memories and friends. I have served at Bethel AME Church in Seymour, Indiana…Spruce Street AME Church in Terre Haute, Indiana…. Allen Temple AME Church in Marion, Indiana…First AME Church in Gary, Indiana, and Grant Memorial in Chicago, Illinois.
My lovely wife Mary has been my help mate, and what a wonderful journey we have been on. My son, Tyrone Vaughn preceded me in death, Emmanuel J. Vaughn, Jr. and George T. Wills Jr., my daughters Aleycia Vaughn and Teresa Wills, my sisters Gloria Reynolds, and Karen Jackson, my brother Freddie Jackson, and my many grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends—my last words to you are, “I love you and you can’t do nothing about it!”