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Pieces of History from Emmanuel

While our buildings and locations are notable, we must realize that a church is not just a building. What has started and kept Emmanuel going for 100 years is its members; people who are part of a church family united in devotion and service to God. – Dwight Schmidt, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Emmanuel in 2015

Prayer at the Dedication of the Church Building in 1961:

O Lord, our God, accept we pray,

            The house we consecrate this day;

And let Thy glory fill this place-

            The glory of thy truth and grace.


O Father, Son and Holy Ghost,

            Here bless us as we need it most;

Our prayers and praise accept in love,

            And fit us for our home above.

- Pastor J.F. Mertz


Many more sacrifices of time, talent, and treasure must be made. Many more difficulties will be encountered and must be overcome. Many more material impovements will have to be made. Though we will be perplexed at times, we shall not be afraid. In Christ’s Name and in His strength we must and will move forward. Only in this way will the future history of Emmanuel Lutheran be written to the glory of God and the eternal welfare of many immortal souls. – from the ‘History of Our Church’ completed for the dedication of the church building, and the completed merger of the three congregations of St. James, Neudorf, and Emmanuel into one, on October 8, 1961 


From a translation of the German document from the cornerstone of St. James Lutheran Church:

Let these lines speak to you as from our dead lips, and may these thoughts come to you as a message from eternity – to you who are still carrying the burdens of this world, regardless of whether the Word of God is foolishness unto you or a light unto your path. There is salvation in no other name under heaven among men, and that is the Name of Jesus our Savior. 

-       Sunday June 8, 1902, Henry Nagel, Lutheran Pastor


From the German message found in the cornerstone of Neudorf Lutheran Church: 

May the Lord bless the work which we have begun. And when this church is finished, may it serve many years in aiding many souls to find their way through this world in such a way that they will not lose eternal life. May the members be… ever mindful of the Word of God: ‘Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.’ – June 16, 1903 – Henry Nagel, Lutheran Pastor



Claudia Seymour concluded her history of Emmanuel at the 30th anniversary with these words:


This passage comes from the presiding bishop of the ELCA and is quoted from a letter sent by him to Pastor Meether in 1987: …Lutherans should above all be clear about the church’s great gift to humanity…the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is Christ –born, ministering, crucified, risen, and reigning—that we are to bring to a broken world. Other diaconal gifts we bring, in the name of Christ and out of loyalty to Christ. They, too, bear witness to the central gift, the person of Christ. But it is the living word that we preach that provides the focus of our Christian witness.

            Thirty years from now let it be said that we have remained focused on our Lord Jesus Christ. As this history is finished may we remind ourselves that God will have the last word, and it will be wonderful.

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