About Us

A Brief History of Immanuel

Back in 1861, when Abraham Lincoln was our President and a terrible civil war had just begun, a small group of German Lutherans in Bay City organized a Christian congregation – Immanuel Lutheran Church. Their first house of worship also served as their first school house – a building that they purchased at the corner of Sixth and Madison Streets in 1862. Some years later they acquired a new piece of land near the Lincoln and Tenth Street intersection where they built a new school in 1883 and a new church in 1890. A major portion of the present Immanuel Lutheran School facility was constructed there in 1929, and the present Immanuel Lutheran Church building was built there in 1958. Renovations and additions were added to both in 2000. In and beyond these buildings, for more than a century-and-a-half, members and friends of Immanuel Lutheran Church have gathered together around Word and Sacrament to worship and adore Jesus Christ, their Immanuel, ever with them as He promised, until the end of time.

Immanuel Lutheran Church – our church – is a Christian congregation presently numbering nearly 2000 baptized members. As was true of our predecessors, by God’s grace through the power of the Holy Spirit, we, the members of Immanuel, profess our saving faith in our redeeming, once crucified, and now ever-living Savior and Lord. Together with more than 6000 sister congregations, we are affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the mission of which is to vigorously make known the love of Christ by word and deed in congregations, communities, and the world. Our own congregation constitution articulates the fact that we at Immanuel are committed to serving our Lord and Master, accepting and confessing the Bible as God’s inspired Word, establishing and perpetuating the office of the ministry of the Word, preaching and teaching God’s Word, administering the Sacraments, providing and promoting Christian education, spreading the Gospel, extending the Kingdom of God, providing pastoral care for our members, and exercising Christian love and fellowship.

Our parish school (preschool through eighth grade), represents a very significant emphasis in our congregation’s total ministry. Founded in 1863, Immanuel Lutheran School continues yet today to be an institution that provides for children of our congregation and our community a high quality educational program with a distinctively Christian focus. Our school has been recognized for its excellence, as well as for its caring atmosphere. It has been established, and it exists to strongly support and enhance the Christian nurture and teaching that is given to children through home and church.

Together, the people of Immanuel are a family of sinner-saints. Together, we praise our God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We worship together. We support one another. We pray with one another. We call pastors and teachers and other church workers to minister among us. We baptize children and others new to the faith. We receive Christ’s body and blood in the bread and wine of Holy Communion. We meet together around God’s Word in Sunday school and Bible class settings. On an every-week basis since 1926, we broadcast our worship service over radio airwaves. We provide for parents an opportunity for their children to learn and grow in the distinctive Christ-first setting of our school. We perform Christian marriages. We visit and bring Gospel peace to the sick and infirmed. We give Christian counsel in God’s Word. We conduct Christian funerals. We celebrate life eternal.

And we invite you to visit us, to get to know us, to learn more about our church and school, and most especially, to join us in bringing highest praise our God!

Immanuel Membership

Membership at Immanuel Lutheran consist of:

  • Baptized Membership, all souls within the congregation who have been baptized.
  • Communicant Membership, all souls within the congregation who have been received by rite of confirmation either as a youth or adult.
  • Voting Membership, all communicant members of the congregation who have attained the age of 18 years.

Changes in membership occur through Holy Baptism, Confirmation, Transfer (via letter) from a sister congregation, Profession of Faith.
Please contact the Church Office to discuss any of these procedures.