History

Sanctuary pictureOn December 15, 1904 eight laymen and Pastor L.C. Jacobson met at the John Skarstad home to organize and name Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. They affiliated with the Hauge Synod. Rev. L.C. Jacobson was called as its first pastor. They entered parish relations with Franklin, Zion and Hauge West Prairie congregations.

During the first seven years the congregation met in the homes of the members. In 1911 a lot was purchased on South Center Street and the original church was built. It was dedicated July 23, 1911, by Rev. M.G. Hanson, President of Hauge Synod. In 1921 a 14’ x 50’ addition was built and a full basement was added. The parish served the Lord continually during those years growing under the leadership of the Rev. D.T. Borgen, who was with Immanuel for twenty-five years. The Rev. Peder Nordsletten came to Immanuel and guided her through the recovery years until the congregation felt it should have an expanded ministry. On January 6, 1960 the congregation voted to sever its parish ties with the country congregations and form a one point parish. A parsonage was purchased and pastor called.

A parish study committee was organized in 1965 to evaluate the needs of Immanuel. It was decided in 1967 to move ahead with a building program and a drive was undertaken. It was decided to relocate due to the condition of the structure and the land costs downtown. Architects of William Schafer and Associates of Minneapolis were chosen to design and supervise the construction. It was decided to build on a cooperative basis by hiring a supplier, Schoenrock Sons, Inc. and his crews who specialize in building churches that wish to reduce the cost of construction by helping in all phases of the construction. Pastor C.D. Jacobson resigned in June, 1968 and held a Final Service and groundbreaking ceremony the same day.

Immanuel’s construction proceeded and seminarians from Wartburg Seminary of Dubuque, Iowa, supplied men for the worship services. In the fall, more permanent arrangements were made with Seminarians Gaylord Odegaard and Charles Sheppard to teach confirmation and preach. In December, Student Pastor Sheppard accepted a call to Immanuel and became interim pastor until his graduation and ordination in June, 1969. He was installed later that month.The congregation moved into the facilities on Advent Sunday, November 30th and have worked to complete and furnish this structure to God’s Glory. May his divine guidance be remembered as He led us in these years of service.

Pastors that have served Immanuel are:
Rev. L.C. Jacobson, 1904-1912;
Rev. J.J. Jacobson, 1913-1919;
Rev. D.T. Borgen, 1920-1945;
Rev. Peder Nordsletten, 1945-1960;
Rev. James Homme, 1960-1963;
Pastor C.D. Jacobson, 1963-1968;
and Pastor Charles Sheppard.

The following former members are serving the church in the ministry: Rev. Luther Borgen, Racine Wis.; Rev. T.N. Borgen, Black Earth, Wis.; Rev. William White, Westland, Mich.

Looking backward, Immanuel has much to be thankful for: more than sixty-years—God has visited us with the Gospel of His son; His Word has been proclaimed by faithful messengers; the Sacraments rightly administered; the sorrowing have been comforted, the weak strengthened and the fainthearted encouraged. Only Eternity will reveal the blessing that has come to the members of Immanuel through the labors of those who have gone before.Looking forward, we are faced with an even greater challenge in a world filled with problems, futility and frustration. It is the challenge for us who have been so blessed to pass this blessing on to our descendants and others in our community that need the message of the Gospel.

This history was taken from the November, 1964 bulletin written by T.N. Borgen, whose devotion and faithful service to Immanuel is remembered as a witness to his faith and the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. Current Information was edited in.

Taken from the Dedication Service Folder
Sunday July 19th, 1970