Our vision

Peaceful, connected, and thriving
neighborhoods where all live, learn,
work, worship, and play.

Our Mission

To invest in the lives of all in Martindale-Brightwood and
surrounding neighborhoods through community-driven
opportunities that foster stability, growth, and
a vision of hope.

Core values

Faith: Grounding our ministry in faith with a love for our neigbors and hope for a brighter future.
Servant Leadership: Demonstrating our leadership through serving the community with humility, compassion and excellence.
Equity: Fostering a sense of belonging and ensuring access to resources for all who benefit and serve.
Community: Amplifying community voice to galvanize actions towards social and economic justice.
Collaboration: Promoting authentic collaborations essential to achieving desired outcomes
Integrity: Holding outselves to the highest standards in stewardship while embracing community accountability.

Diversity Statement

Commitment: Edna Martin Christian Center is committed to foster an inclusive environment where individual differences among us are respected, appreciated and recognized as qualities that enrich the environment in which we work and serve. In order to realize fully our mission, we are committed to actively fostering diversity, inclusion and cultural competency throughout our operational efforts.

Diversity is defined as a concept which is based on acceptance and respect. It is acceptance that each individual is unique and the individual’s differences are recognized. These differences include race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, political and religious beliefs, age, the influence of one’s culture, the effects of physical and mental limitations and ethnic factors which influence how one interacts. Acceptance and respect come from investigating, discussing and understanding these differences and then demonstrating one’s embracement of the concept through actions.


  • 1941

    Edna Martin starts a Christian day care in a one-room rented apartment on Roosevelt Avenue. Two young girls are the first to benefit.

  • 1942

    Now beyond capacity, the rented apartment is no longer practical or affordable. Daycare relocates to a large tent.

  • 1946

    Martin's work gains support of Indianapolis Baptist Churches, designated as a Home Mission, officially named East Side Christian Center, and relocated to a three-room house on Martindale Avenue. After-school programs begin, children's choir started.

  • 1949

    Center buys a house and two empty lots on Arsenal Avenue. An addition would be built at this site later, and another house would be bought for use as a second-hand store.

  • 1954-'55

    Playground equipment added. Sewing and Cooking classes started. VBS hosts 600 hot meals and 29 conversions.

  • 1957-'60

    Center nursery school becomes licensed. More than 2,400 attend programs. 2,000 meals served on a budget of $100. Indiana Bell donated colorful phone wire so kids can weave baskets.

  • 1965-'68

    Center builds its own building at 1970 Caroline Avenue with programs including tutoring, housekeeping, sewing, cooking, arts, music, 19 clubs, 9 study classes, 4 basketball teams, and a library. Mrs. Edna Martin receives honorary doctorate from Franklin College.

  • 1970

    Soul Ark, a separate program just for teens, opens in its own building on Roosevelt Avenue. 1,001 kids attend Center's Christmas party.

  • 1974

    Suffering from cancer, founder Mrs. Edna Martin passes away at the age of 76. East Side Christian Center renamed the Edna Martin Christian Center.

  • 1995

    Dozens of EMCC kids attend summer camp at Indian Creek Baptist Camp, and have continued every summer since.

  • 2013-'15

    Center relocates to 37 Place, a more central location in the heart of the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood. The Edna Martin Childcare Ministry also became a certified Level 3 FSSA Paths to Quality day care.

  • 2016

    After-school programs move to new facility on Ralston Avenue. Recently the home of Jireh Sports, this former Mobile Oil Processing facility offers room to grow in the 23,240-sq. ft. building.

  • 2017-Current

    Phase 1 of Thrive! campaign is completed at the Leadership and Legacy Campus. A new child care center now houses 88 additional students and offers state of the art classrooms and offices.