Immanuel Lutheran celebrates 140 years of blessings

Saturday, April 29, 2006

After 140 years, the congregation of Immanuel Lutheran Church is still celebrating God's blessings.

On May 7, the church will recognize those blessings with a celebration of its 140th anniversary.

According to the Rev. Mark Boettcher, the event will include a guest speaker, special music, group photograph and lunch, all beginning at 8:45 a.m. next Sunday.

Immanuel Lutheran was organized May 10, 1866. The church is located in its third building, which was constructed in 1900. The earliest members attended services in a log cabin, followed by a brick building built in 1867.

Member Dorothy Gholson said the original congregation of about 15 was a break off another evangelical church.

The first baptism was in May 1866. The first marriage and confirmation in the church took place in 1867. Electricity first came to the church in 1949.

The church now has 138 members, including Gholson, who has attended there her whole life.

Even after 48 years there, Gholson said her family looks for similar small, country churches when they go on vacation.

"There's tradition there. We're an old German church, we do things the old German way though we've modernized quite a bit, but it's still a good country church," said Gholson.

The church building currently used by the congregation is 106 years old, with a perma-stone exterior, stained glass windows and recently refurbished pipe organ originally purchased for $1,470 in 1925.

Following the covered-dish lunch, there will be a balloon launch, hay rides and root beer floats.

The guest speaker at the Sunday morning service will be the Rev. Ray Mirly, who serves as Missouri district president for the LCMS.

The Saxony Lutheran High School band will perform along with an anniversary choir from the church.

After the service, balloons with tags that include the church's location, will be launched. A memorial tree will be planted at the church cemetery.

The church is located on Highway F in Tilsit, past Gordonville on Highway Z, then Highway OO to Highway F.

cmiller@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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