|Immanuel Lutheran Church
About Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church is located in Jackson, Michigan. We are members of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Immanuel Lutheran Church was founded in 1925 and continues to be a vibrant place of worship and a key home for many local outreach programs.
Mission, Purpose, and Guiding PrinciplesGod has a mission. The purpose of our church is to support God's mission in this world. We reently adopted a Purpose Statement: Claimed and nourished by Christ, we share God's transforming love with all. This statment reflects our guiding principles:
- We follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- We serve those in need.
- We welcome all people as Christ has welcomed us.
- We teach, learn and proclaim the Living Word of God.
- We worship and pray together as part of the whole body of Christ.
- We share Christ's grace, healing, forgiveness and joy.
- We celebrate and share our God-given gifts and talents.
Founding and Early Years
On Sunday, September 13, 1925, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reform, part of the United Lutheran Church of America, held their first service in the YMCA at 125 West Cortland Street. Reverend C. P. Weiskotten presided over the service. Bible school started at 9:30 am, and the church service started at 10:45 am. The first congregation was made up of eighteen charter members.
On Palm Sunday, March 28, 1926 the congregation dedicated a new church home in a residential property at 321 West Cortland. The building was purchased for $9,200. That same year, the name was changed to Immanuel Lutheran Church. Services were held there until 1945.
From June through September of 1945, services were held at the Patience-Montgomery Funeral Home on First Street. The altar was rolled into the chapel and set up each Sunday from a storage room. When the terms of the lease expired, services were moved to Saint John's Evangelical and Reformed Church.
Finally in 1949 the congregation lead by Rev. Everett Bunck was able to move into a small chapel it had built on the corner of Higby Street and Michigan Avenue. The building was valued at $30,000 and seated approximately 125 people. The congregation soon outgrew the chapel and plans were made for a much larger building. This new building was connected to the small chapel by a brick breezeway. With the parking lot, the church took up the entire block on Michigan Avenue from Higby Street to Brown Street. The building was completed in 1958 with a cost of $145,000 and seated 400 people. The new building also contained offices, and a Sunday school/fellowship room called Luther Hall. The small chapel continued to be used for some Sunday school classes and confirmation classes.
The new church was dedicated in November of 1958 with a week's worth of celebrations. Following the first Sunday service lead by Rev. Bunck, there was a reception in Luther Hall. There was a public reception for city officials, construction workers and contractors held at 2 pm with a public recognition service and open house following that. On Monday there was a special service for the ministers and wives of the Michigan Synod with a luncheon served afterwards. On Wednesday at 7:30 pm, area church choirs, choir directors, and organists were invited to hear a concert by Immanuel's church organist, Mrs. Clayton Everett. On Friday at 7:30 pm, the youth of the church were invited to bring friends for a tour of the new building.
In 1982, a $168,800 remodeling project was dedicated during a service lead by Rev. Raymond Peterson. The project included renovations to the kitchen, Luther Hall, the nursery, and the sacristy. The administrative offices were moved to a house adjacent to the parking lot. Luther Hall was improved so that it could seat 175 people for dinner, or it could be divided by acoustic panels into nine classrooms.
Then in 1995 "Growing in Faith, Growing in Grace", a capital campaign, was begun. The campaign raised $360,000 in pledge commitments for the building fund over a three year period. In the spring of 1997, the little chapel was torn down to make way for a new education wing. During the construction, offices and a gathering place were added to the west side of the building with an elevator to make it handicap accessible, and renovations were made to the sanctuary. While construction was taking place, a sign was placed on the side of the building inviting others to "Come Grow with Us". On September 20, 1998 the construction was complete and the building was dedicated in a service by Rev. David Mann.
Our church building has been used by many organizations over the years. Presently, Great Start Collaborative, Hospice, Tuesday Musicale Board, Jackson Men's Chorus, the Pantry Board, Better Breathers, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), and the Food Pantry are among those groups who utilize the building during the week. The congregation is proud to share our building with so many worthwhile organizations.
Come be an active part of Immanuel!
Immanuel has been fortunate to have had twelve very talented and dedicated pastors over the eighty-seven years of our existence. We are very thankful to them all.
- 1925-1926 Rev. C.P. Weiskotten
- 1926-1927 Rev. Fridolph Nelson
- 1927-1929 Rev. A.L. Angersback
- 1929-1941 Rev. H.N. Thompshone
- 1941-1944 Rev. Cranston Gesell
- 1945-1948 Rev. Richard Miller
- 1948-1961 Rev. Everett Bunck
- 1961-1969 Rev. J. William Wahl
- 1969-1973 Rev. James Keyser
- 1973-1988 Rev. Raymond Peterson
- 1988-1999 Rev. David Mann
- 2001-2012 Rev. Erick Johnson
Presently, we are pleased to have Rev. David Eidson as our pastor.
Information was taken from the an article published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot and the booklet "Immanuel Lutheran Church History 1925-2000".