WEST ELY — The theme for the 150th anniversary of Immanuel Lutheran Church, West Ely, is 1 Peter 1:25 — “But the word of the Lord endures forever.” The congregation will celebrate the milestone Sunday, Oct. 27 at the church, which is located at 6510 County Road 263 in Hannibal (West Ely).
The first official meeting of Immanuel Lutheran Church took place March 8, 1869. In 1872, the church joined the Missouri Synod. From 1869, to 1889, Immanuel acquired 15 acres of land, a church, school, other buildings and then established a cemetery.
On Oct. 17, 1911, a new one-room school house was dedicated. The doors of Immanuel Lutheran School were closed after 119 years at the end of the 1988 term. The building is presently undergoing a restoration. Members of the congregation will use the facility as a Christian history education tool, and for congregational and community functions.
In March 1913, a new church building was dedicated. One of the highlights of the new church was the hand-pumped Hinners pipe organ. Later, an electric motor was installed to pump the billows. This organ was restored and moved to the present building in 2010.
In 1914, the current parsonage was built. A Parish Hall was added to the property in 1953 and still serves the congregation and community.
Realizing more space was needed for growing Bible classes and finding the church structure was failing, the 1913 church was razed and replaced with a new structure in 2010. The fully-accessible facility features a large sanctuary, fellowship hall, vestry, narthex, five rooms for Bible classes, two office and a balcony.
Today's congregation is is rich in German history, with many of the members having ties to the original founders.
Church services on Sunday, Oct. 27 will be held at 11 a.m. The guest speaker will be The Reverend Doctor Robert Lee Hagen, president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the lector will be Pastor Kenneth Schamber, retired pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and the officiant will be Pastor Scott Salo, the current pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
A meal will be served from 12:15-2 p.m. The school building will be open and history displays can be viewed throughout the afternoon. The Immanuel choir will present a music program at 2 p.m. A cake and punch reception will conclude the celebration.
The congregation welcomes the community to come and join in celebrating God's many blessings to His church.