Who we are
Mission Statement: "Inspired by God's Grace to Love and Serve All"
Welcome to Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rhinelander, Wisconisn. All are welcome! There is so much going on here for children, adults, parents, teenagers and more! Take a look around, visit us for worship and stay for coffee!
We believe and hold that all are God's people and God's people are saved by grace through faith. Whether you are looking for worship, Christian education, fellowship, service, or community action, Immanuel is the place for you.
Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org), was originally organized on June 4, 1890, as the Scandinavian Lutheran church Society of Rhinelander. On October 6, 1890, they purchased property to build the church building. They held their first service in a half-completed building on November 19, 1890. Members of the congregation had done much of the work.
There was a continual conflict concerning which language, Norwegian or Swedish, should be used for worship. This led to the development of two congregations organizing on September 7, 1891, Immanuel's official starting date.
In 1922, the congregation voted to have half the worship services in English and half in Swedish. This practice continued well into the 1930's.
The congregation purchased the property where Immanuel currently stands in 1922 and in 1929 built the original building on this site at a cost of slightly more than $17,000. Members added an addition in 1960. In 1981, Immanuel purchased two more lots for further expansion. The old buildings on these lots were torn down, and in 1997 Immanuel constructed its latest addition. The mortgage for that addition in 1997 was paid off in June 2018, with a mortgage burning party held on July 29, 2018.
But the building is not really who we are. Immanuel is all about the people. People who are caring, supportive, and always looking for opportunities to serve our loving God. From members walking one-on-one with others who are going through tough times, to donating food and serving meals in places of need, the people of Immanuel ARE the hands of God in our world today.
Members and friends have come from throughout the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Immanuel has always reached beyond its doors to the community with its welcoming hospitality. In the early years, the church was strongly devoted to church missions and was known for its smorgasbords and bake sales as a means to support their activities. These traditions continue today in the annual Christmas bake sale where lefse and other speciality Scandinavian baked goods are sold.