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History

For a dollar and a quarter per acre, a courageous group of Immigrants from Lippe, Germany, purchased the land which was to be the fulfillment of an arduous and hazardous journey toward their dreams of a better life in American freedom and plenty. They began their journey from the village of Langenholzhausen in May, 1847 and sailed on a little ship called the “Agnes von Bremen” to the “New World.”

Hardship, over-crowded boats and trains, disease, and death itself hounded our settlers all the way. Yet, by their fiercely faithful trust in their abiding God, they established their community, and their church, the "Reformed Immanuel Congregation," a name revealed in minutes from December, 1853. The congregation was active in the founding, just a few hundred yards from the church, Mission House Theological Seminary in 1862. The seminary merged with Yankton Theological Seminary one hundred years later to form United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minnesota.

With great joy, a church building, a symbol of faith, was erected in 1858 and was used until 1912. The old church building was donated to Mission house (now Lakeland College), for use as a gymnasium.

In 1947, the Immanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church celebrated their centennial anniversary, preserving and continuing a tradition and history that continues to be our foundation. A significant part of their 100 years is recorded in a Centennial Anniversary Booklet, prepared especially for the occasion.

A special year was also observed in 1972, when the Immanuel congregation, now a United Church of Christ, celebrated 125 years of Christian service, worship, and fellowship.

The next benchmark year for Immanuel wasn't that long ago. The congregation turned 150 in 1997. The whole year was filled with special festivities including: a Confirmation Reunion, guest speakers (many of whom were former Pastors of Immanuel) and the making of a new history book. Immanuel continues in ministry; with God's grace and strength, will do so for a long time to come

Since May 1st, the Reverend Frederick Trost, D.D., Dr. Theol., has been serving as our Interim Minister. For twenty years, until his retirement in 2001, he was the President of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ, and prior to that he served as Senior Pastor of St. Pauls UCC in Chicago (1964-1981). A founder of the Biblical-Theological-Liturgical Fellowship of the UCC, he was active in the formation of the Mercersburg Society, the Craigville Theological Colloquies and the Confessing Christ project in the UCC. For many years, he served as Secretary and then as Chair of the Working Group that developed “Full Communion” with the Evangelical (Protestant) Church of the Union in East and West Germany, a United Church composed of Lutheran, Reformed and United congregations that stretched across the “Iron Curtain” and beyond the “Berlin Wall.”

We are also served by Licensed Minister Pamela Hodgson, a life-long member of the congregation and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as well as the Wisconsin Conference Lay Academy. She is bi-vocational; one of only 44 “Master Cheesemakers” in the United States, and one who has recently been recognized as only the second women in the country to have received this honor.



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W3694 CTH FF, Plymouth, WI 53073-4819 920-565-3554