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Immanuel Church and School History


Immanuel was founded in 1881 and is now a congregation of over 600 baptized members. We are part of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, which serves as an adviser and supporter in our local, national, and world ministries.

Immanuel's history dates back to December 9, 1877, when the first Lutheran services was held in Danbury by the Rev. C.V. Stutz for a group originating in Rondout, New York. On January 23, 1881, 22 men organized the "German Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Church U.A.C. (Unaltered Augsburg Confession) of Danbury, Connecticut", now known as Immanuel Lutheran Church.

We are to this day indebted to the founding fathers for their dedication and foresight. Their first effort as a Christian congregation was that of opening a Christian Day School. This was done in 1881 on Patch Street. In 1882, however, land was purchased on Foster Street, the present school site, and on this land a church, school and parsonage were soon built. Land on Tamarack Avenue was purchased in 1903 for a cemetery.

Although the second school building on Foster Street, as well as the church, were virtually destroyed by fire in the spring of 1929, the school was rebuilt by members by late fall of that year and was occupied until demolished to make room for the Foster Street school dedicated on August 25, 1957.

The original church building on Foster Street was in use until November 20, 1910. The West Street church building, built in 1865, as a Second Congregational Church, was purchased by the Immanuel congregation and dedicated as a Lutheran church on November 27, 1910.

The original 1876 Johnson organ in the church was played at church services by Pulitzer Prize composer and musician Charles Ives,for a short time starting in February 1889. The present Janssen Memorial Organ was built by the Moller Organ Company and dedicated on May 27, 1973. Many of the original Johnson organ pipes were used in the building of the new organ.

On July 16, 2005, the church and school moved to their current location at 18 Clapboard Ridge Road.

 

Senior Pastors

Rev. W.A. Fischer 1881-1900
Rev. Edward H. Fischer (W.A. Fischer's brother) 1900-1930
Rev. Bernard W. Janssen 1930-1960
Rev. Hans A. Voss 1960-1986
Rev. Richard E. Kuehnert, Jr. 1986-1999
Rev. Daniel Wehmeier 1999-2004
Rev. Walt J. Harper 2004-Present


Associate Pastors

Rev. Donald McGrath 1965-1968
Rev. Gregory J. Wismar 1971-1972
Rev. Walter J. Warneck 1972-1975
Rev. John W. Welge 1977-1985
Rev. David Johnson 1989-1991
Rev. Daniel Wehmeier 1993-1998
Rev. Walt Harper 2000-2004
Rev. Joel Cundiff 2009-Present

 

Principals

G. Wente 1881-1888
Albert H. Miller 1889-1905
E.M. Dressler 1906-1937
Otto J. Prokopy 1938-1942
Edwin C. Grube 1942-1973
Robert Sanger 1973-1986
Sylvia Person 1986-1989
Christine Rowe 1989-2000
Walter Harper 2000-2001
Katherine Fischer 2001-2003
Carla Russell 2003-2004
George Tomka 2004-2007
Nate Palkewick 2007-2015
Victoria Baker 2015- present

 


Daughter Congregations

St. Andrew Ridgefield, CT
Christ the King Newtown, CT
Good Shepherd New Fairfield, CT
Trinity Lutheran New Milford, CT
Christ the King Pawling, NY