“God is With Us” — 150 Years and Counting
“Immanuel” is a Hebrew word that means “God is With Us.” At Immanuel Lutheran Church & School, we know this to be the undeniable truth and we understand that it has only been through God’s will that we have continued to grow and thrive over the years. Day in and day out, we see the blessings of His Spirit spread through the education of our children, worship of Jesus Christ, the atonement of our sins, and witnessing rebirth as a child of God through baptism.
“The purpose of Immanuel Lutheran Church & School is to enrich the faith of all members and to seek and to save the lost through preaching God’s Word, teaching His people, and reaching out with Christ’s love.”
At Immanuel Lutheran Church & School, we live our lives to show people — both in our church/school family and in the community — the love of Our Savior Jesus Christ.
A Historical Look at Immanuel Lutheran Church & School
Immanuel Lutheran has a long, God-blessed history in the heart of Washington. The church was founded by nine charter members on April 21, 1862, in the midst of the Civil War that divided the country. The charter members were dedicated to the Word of God and the pure teaching of it.
At the time, there was no dedicated Lutheran Church, and Lutherans living in Washington worshipped God with other Christian faiths in a German Protestant Church. Early on, the church had about 50 members who gathered in various churches until a lot was purchased and a modest, 24- by 40-foot brick church was built. The church, which still stands in its original location, was dedicated on January 18, 1863.
Recognizing the value of a Christian education, the founders were dedicated to opening a school, and soon after the church was built, a school was formed with 15 students and the pastor serving as the teacher. Both the church and school flourished, quickly outgrowing the existing building and property. After five years, the church size had tripled to 150; and 15 years after its founding, the Immanuel Lutheran Church family had grown to 350 members. Church leaders led a bid for a new church building, minus the steeple, dome, cross, and lightning rod, all of which were provided by the congregation. The new church — this one 72 feet by 38 feet, with eight 23-foot pillars, a 32-foot dome, and a 125-foot steeple — was constructed just west of the original church site and dedicated November 26, 1882.
Many additions and renovations to both the church and school were made in the years that followed. After 130 years, God blessed the church with a new sanctuary that was dedicated Sunday, September 20, 2012. Now, more than 500 members gather in the space during a typical weekend. The school has continued to grow, too, with more than 200 students enrolled each year.
Throughout its history, Immanuel Lutheran Church has been served by 15 pastors. Our current pastor, Dr. Mark Bangert, has led the church since 1992.
Blessed Beyond Measure
As you can see, Immanuel Lutheran Church & School has been blessed beyond measure. It’s evident to all who enter that indeed, “God is with us.” Through a Civil War, two world wars, and tragedies both at home and abroad, God has shown us that He will never leave or forsake us. Despite the pain and searing loss that comes from sin, our congregation has only become closer to Jesus Christ, our Savior, and Redeemer.
With humble gratitude, we continue to worship the Holy Trinity, and give thanks for all that they continue to do within our midst.
We always welcome new faces, whether you’re just visiting, or you want to join the tight-knit faith community of Immanuel Lutheran. Contact us to learn more.