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Immanuel’s History

A Brief Timeline History

1854 to 1992


Many Swedish immigrants, when they arrived in Chicago in the mid 1800’s, joined the Norwegian Lutheran Congregation, led by Rev. Paul Andersen, because there was no Swedish Lutheran Church. A Swedish Lutheran pastor, Rev. Tuve N. Hasselquist, came to Chicago on January 16, 1853, and organized Immanuel Lutheran Church with 80 persons. Rev. Erland Carlsson was sent to serve as the permanent pastor and preached his first sermon on August 28, 1853, to a membership of 36 people.

timeline1854: Existing church property was purchased at Superior and Orleans streets.

1860: Augustana Synod was formed. Augustana College and Seminary were found(ed) in Immanuel’s schoolhouse.

Nov. 7, 1869: A new church was built and dedicated at Sedgwick and Hobbie streets. It was the largest church owned by any Augustana parish.

Oct. 8, 1871: The Great Chicago Fire destroyed the new church and only the records were saved.

1875: Rev. Carlsson resigned as Immanuel’s pastor, but continued to serve as President of the Illinois conference and President of the Augustana Synod.

April 4, 1875: The church was rebuilt and dedicated , and the Rev. C.A. Evald installed as the new pastor by Rev. Carlsson. Membership stood at 2,200 (1,446 adults).

1889: Immanuel’s membership reached it’s high point of 1,536 adults.

1892: Mrs. Emmy Evald founded the Women’s Missionary Society and served as President for 43 years.

1910: Pastor Evald had died in 1909. Rev. E.K. Jonson was installed as the new pastor. Rev. Evald had faithfully served Immanuel for 36 years, was President of the Illinois Conference, a board member of Augustana Hospital and the Chicago Lutheran Seminary.

1915: Pastor Jonson resigned to accept a call at Ebenezer Lutheran Church.

1915: Rev. Peterson was elected President of the Illinois Conference, Augustana Synod. Rev. C.O. Bengston was called as Immanuel’s pastor.

1921: Ground was broken, and the corner stone laid for a new church building at Elmdale and Greenview Avenues.

1949: After 30 years of faithful service, Rev. Bengston resigned to become President of the Illinois Conference. Rev. Eric J. Gustavson was installed as Immanuel’s pastor by Rev. Bengston.

1952: The cherished dream had come true with the dedication of a new edifice.

1953: The membership of Immanuel, on its 100th anniversary was 1,360 (1,003 communicants and 357 children) – the largest in 60 years.

1954: The Lutheran Service of Holy Communion for the World Council of Churches was celebrated at Immanuel.

1957: The Liturgical Commission of the National Lutheran Council met at Immanuel for promotions of the new Service Book and Hymnal. Immanuel and Olivet Lutheran Churches merge.

1958: Rev. Gustavson resigned to become pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Moline, Illinois.

1959: Rev. Curtis and other Edgewater clergy formed the Edgewater Communiy Council.

1974: Rev. Carl C. McKenzie was installed as pastor.

1975: Immanuel enrolled in the Teaching Parish Program of the Lutheran School of Theology.

1985: The 125th Anniversary of LSTC’s Internship program. Michelle Knapp installed as Parish Nurse for Immanuel and Ebenezer.

1992: Rev. Timothy McKenzie was ordained and called by the Division for Global Ministry to serve as missionary to Japan.

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