A Brief History of Immanuel
Compiled by Menard E. Bartell
Pastor Willis A. Yarian served this congregation from 1966 to
November of 1972. Pastor William Uffenbeck, of Holy Cross Lutheran
Church, Golden, Illinois, supplied this congregation November and
December of 1972 and January and February of 1973. On March 4, 1973,
Pastor Floyd Ohman was installed and remained until November 4, 1979.
A Quilting Guild was organized by the church women in August of 1971.
These dedicated ladies have given freely of their time, talents, and
means to beautify our church property wherever and whenever needed.
In the winter of 1972 to the year 1973, the parsonage was remodeled
at a cost of $3,600. In 1974 cushions for the pews were installed, and
in 1975 new steel doors were installed in the entryway of the Church.
Also, the entire interior of the Parochial School was renovated by
lowering ceilings, plastering where needed, and completely repainting at
a cost of $2,400.
Pastor Henry Flessner accepted the call to Immanuel and was installed
April 20, 1980. That same year a new furnace was installed in the
Church, and the School roof was repaired. A monthly newsletter, The Sun
Times, was started and still continues, and a prayer chain was
established and activated.
A Worship Committee was organized in 1981, and that same year a
Chimes Fund for the church organ was established. 1981 was also the
first year ladies served on the Church Council (Anna Wienke and Patricia
In 1982, Casablanca ceiling fans were installed in the Church, and a
new garage was added to the parsonage. In 1983, the Holzgrafe
Construction company of Quincy, Illinois repaired the south entranceway
of the Church. A new roof was installed on the south entrance to the
basement of the Church. The total cost of repairs was $3,000.
Information was received on a plan for the merger of several synods
of the Lutheran churches in the United States in 1983, and interest
continued to develop through the coming years.
The organ chimes were installed in January of 1984. Gifts in the
amount of three thousand dollars were donated to establish a new mission
church in Peoria, Illinois (Peace Lutheran Church). On May 20, 1984, our
congregation voted to tear down the teacherage, which was no longer
In June 1985, a family night was celebrated, honoring Pastor Henry
Flessner on the 35th year of his ordination into the
ministry. In November and December of 1986 the congregation had a new
pictorial directory made of all the members.
On June 30, 1987, Pastor Flessner retired, and his last sermon at
Immanuel was preached on July 12, 1987. On August 5, 1987, Hesse
Builders contracted to decorate and renovate the parsonage for the next
pastor and his family.
In November of 1987, Pastor Ronald F. Graham accepted Immanuelís
call to be the next pastor. On January 1, 1988, the merger of the
American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America, and the
Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches became official. Immanuel
voted affirmatively and is now a member congregation of the new
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (E.L.C.A.), Central/Southern
On February 3, 1988, a constitution committee was appointed to
determine what had to be done to have the constitution of Immanuel
Lutheran Church coincide with the proposed congregational constitution
of the E.L.C.A. This committee consisted of Pastor Graham, Patricia
Loeschen, Merle White, and Menard Bartell. From their efforts, the new
constitution of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of Golden, Illinois
was adopted at a special meeting of the congregation on September 30,
1990. At this time, the name of the womenís auxiliary, formerly named
the American Lutheran Church Women, was changed to Women of the E.L.C.A.
Likewise, the menís auxiliary, previously named the Menís Lutheran
Brotherhood, was changed to Lutheran Men in Mission.
In 1989, the Parochial School was tuck pointed, completely water
proofed, and a new roof installed. In 1990, a new amplifier was added to
the Churchís sound system, and a new cordless microphone was
purchased. A new roof for the entire Church was installed by Hesse
Builders at a cost of $25,191.50. At this time, the Immanuel
Congregation decided to celebrate its 125th Anniversary of
organization, setting the date of the celebration for September 18,
In 1991, the size of the Congregation Council (formerly called the
Church Council) was reduced from 11 to 7 members. Also, in 1991, a sump
pump (120 gallons per minute) was installed in the Church basement to
alleviate the damage of sudden and heavy rain storms.
The first meeting of the 125th Anniversary Committee was
held February 10, 1991. The officers and committee were: Chairman, Merle
White; Assistant to Chairman and Historian, Anna Wienke; Secretary and
Compiler of Immanuel Church history from 1969 to the present, Menard
Bartell; Immanuelís leader and advisor, Pastor Graham; Verna White;
Vernice Bartell; John and Patricia Loeschen; and Dillard and Marie
The Congregation Council voted to establish a museum, with Pastor
Graham and Anna Wienke to plan this project. The museum is located in
the west end of the lower level of the Church, and is known as the
"Heritage Room." It has memorabilia of Immanuelís history,
artifacts, events, and pictures, especially of the Confirmation Classes
through the years.
On August 31, 1992, a special congregational meeting was held for the
purpose to approve a plan for redecorating the complete interior of
Immanuel Lutheran Church. The bid of $26,682.00 from Max Autenrieb
Contractors, of Edwardsville, Illinois was accepted, with work to be
completed by the summer of 1993.
In the summer of 1993, the Churchís pictorial directory was
completed. Actual photo taking dates were July 20 and 21, 1993. The
company selected to do these photos was United Church Directories,
located in Galion, Ohio. Their representative cooperated with our
Pictorial Directory Committee, resulting in a pleasant and successful
photo taking session. Souvenir plates commemorating Immanuelís 125th
Anniversary were ordered from Brown and Bigelow (World Wide
Manufacturing Company) of Covington, Tennessee.
Many dedicated committees and workers strove to celebrate this most
important occasion to the glory of God. Many plans and decisions were
made. Immanuel was grateful to all who contributed their prayers, gifts,
and service in various ways.
The enthusiasm and excitement for the celebration of the 125th
Anniversary built up and reached its climax on the actual date of the
anniversary, September 18, 1994.
Immanuel Church will continue through prayer and divine guidance to
fulfill the Lordís Great Commission, "Go into all the world
preaching the Gospel, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit."