1954 TO 2014
THE FIRST DECADE - 1954 TO 1963
Three families, the Andersons, Ludvigsens, and the Randisi’s met for the first services held in a private home in 1952, under the guidance of Dr. Louis Grey.
Under the leadership of The Rev. Peter Schroder, the congregation was organized April 11, 1954, with 121 charter members; 70 adults and 51 children. The ground breaking for Schroder Hall was in March of 1954. The site was purchased for $5,000. It was built under the leadership of Chris Lambrecht. His wife, Alice, was able to attend Immanuel's 60th anniversary celebration in 2014 and tell many stories from the early days. The cost of building was $16,500. Schroder Hall, the first sanctuary, was dedicated in August of 1954.
In 1956, The Rev. Milton Johnson became pastor. During his years at Immanuel, the church's first sanctuary (Luther Hall) was built. It was dedicated December 11, 1960. Schroder Hall became the Fellowship Hall. During Pastor Johnson’s eight years the church grew significantly in numbers and resources. The Rev. Dan Bohline served as an intern for a year during this decade.
THE SECOND DECADE - 1964 TO 1973
The Rev. Carl Tambert began his ministry at Immanuel in February of 1963. During his time with us, the education wing was built and Sunday School rooms were added to Schroder Hall. Luther Hall was remodeled to include pews instead of chairs, carpeting was installed, and the Fireside Room was added. The Rev. Donald Helsel and The Rev. Herman Jonas served as Assistant Pastors during this decade.
THE THIRD DECADE - 1974 TO 1983
In September, 1973, The Rev. A. Everett Nielsen was called to serve Immanuel. A couples group called the “HimandHers”, which had begun some years earlier, grew and continued to meet for progressive dinners and other social outings. In 1975, the church went camping and had a picnic at Mt. Cross. Summer worship services were held on Wednesday evenings in the patio area during 1976.
1978 - 1984 Dr. Roger Hansen became pastor in 1978. As he was a chaplain in the Armed Forces, every national holiday the church had color guards present the flag at Sunday services. The 25th Anniversary celebration was held October 7, 1979. The new LBW hymn books were used for the first time in 1980. We held a Lay Renewal program in 1982, and a new Rogers organ was dedicated in March of that year.
THE FOURTH DECADE - 1984 TO 1993
1984 - 2005 The Rev. Jack Ericson was installed as pastor on October 7, 1984. In April of 1985 we celebrated our 30th Anniversary and all the former pastors were invited back for one Sunday during the year.
During these years we were involved with the Intern program from Pacific Lutheran Serminary in Berkeley. Five interns each served a year with us: Richard Bowley, Jeff Ruby, Barbara Condon-Hennessy, Barry Long, and Hans Wiersma.
In 1988, the new Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed by a merger of two church bodies, and Immanuel became part of the large ELCA Church body and part of the Sierra Pacific Synod.
With the merger, we became more involved with Sunny View Manor Lutheran Home, with members of our church serving on the board and on the Ladies Auxiliary.
In 1991, Pastor Ericson noted that the carpet in Luther Hall was beginning to show wear and tear. That sparked many discussions, meetings, planning, and fund raising over the new few years, and the church decided to take a step forward and build a new sanctuary.
THE FIFTH DECADE - 1994 TO 2003
Our present sanctuary was built starting in 1995. It was dedicated June 2, 1996. The contemporary service was started in March of 1996.
In 2000, Luther Hall was remodeled to serve as our Fellowship Hall, and the kitchen was also remodeled. That allowed Immanuel to host the Alpha Omega Homeless Shelter for a week every November.
During this decade the Youth Group began traveling to Mexico each year to help build homes, a tradition that continues to the present day.
On April 25, 2004, Immanuel celebrated its 50th anniversary with music and stories from the first five decades.
THE SIXTH DECADE - 2004 TO 2014
During this decade we were led by three pastors: The Rev. Jack Ericson who retired in 2005; The Rev. Laurie Andersen, who was installed in July, 2007; and The Rev. David Schick, who began his ministry at Immanuel in March, 2010. We were also served by two interim Pastors, The Rev. Jan Womer, and The Rev. Marcus Hess. Much of Immanuel's current staff joined us in this last decade, including Danny Dye, Youth Director; and Nancy Allgeier, Parish Office Administrator.
Under Pastor Schick’s leadership, we have expanded our global mission outreach to build an AIDs clinic in Africa.
By 2015 we were partnering with three overseas outreach efforts by supporting missionaries in Eastern Europe, Kenya, and Rwanda. We also participated enthusiastically in the ELCA Malaria campaign.
Our Youth Group continues to travel to Mexico every summer and has grown substantially under Danny Dye’s leadership. Immanuel’s youth began hosting an annual VBS/Day Camp in the summer of 2012, as well as many other events such as the Living Nativity. Matt Peters has grown the Youth Chorus, which sings at our 9am service. Our youth are now an integral part of our worship team as readers, communion assistants and acolytes.
We replaced our Grant Road sign in January 2012 to welcome everyone. We bought and installed a new Rodgers digital organ in 2013. On Sunday, May 18, 2014, we celebrated our 60th anniversary with a video produced by one of our youth. The evening included music, skits, good food, and reflections of Immanuel's early beginnings from several charter members who attended the evening's festivities.
Our music program has grown with a Sunday school choir led by Carla Schick. In recent years we began promoting our beautiful sanctuary for weddings and special events as part of our outreach efforts. Immanuel is now a popular venue for wedding celebrations and partners with many area congregations to provide this service.
In September 2015 , we are dedicated a beautiful new dual projection system in Immanuel's sanctuary. This is proving to be a great new tool for enhancing our worship services, visually illustrating sermons, and providing video for memorials, weddings, and other types of gatherings.