Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Church Website: http://www.immanuellutheran.org/history.htm
History of Baltimore City & County; John Thomas Scharf, 1881, J.B. Lippencott & Company, publishers, Philadelphia PA.
History of Baltimore 1729-1898, Elliott (Published 1898 S.B. Nelson, Publisher)
Immanuel Lutheran Church was founded on October 3, 1864. [Elliott indicates 1867] They were a group of devout Christians who were zealous for the truth of the divine Word and were determined to preserve it for themselves and for their children. Until a church could be erected, services were held above an engine house located at Gough and Dallas Streets. This was another congregation that sprang out of the old Second German Lutheran.
The first resident pastor of the congregation was the Rev. Claus Stuercken, who was extended the call on November 10, 1864.
Six months after organization, the construction of the impressive church edifice on Caroline Street, near Baltimore Street, was begun. This building served the congregation as its house of worship for more than three-quarters of a century.
The Christian day school, which the congregation has maintained throughout its existence, in actuality, antedates the congregation itself. It was originally the “Eastern School District” of a downtown Lutheran congregation, which later was divided into two parishes.
In March 1874, a tract of land was purchased near Harford Road on Grindon Lane to serve as a congregational cemetery.
The years immediately proceeding the turn of the century were years of great blessing for the congregation. During this period it expanded to one of the largest Lutheran churches of the city and played a leading role in the development of Lutheranism in Baltimore.
Following the retirement of Pastor Stuercken from the active ministry, due to reasons of ill health, Rev. Timotheus Stiemke was called from New Orleans, Louisiana to begin his long and fruitful service at Immanuel. He served the congregation until his death in 1908, and was succeeded by his son Henry, who was serving as a missionary in Brazil, South America. After five years Pastor Henry Stiemke accepted a charge in Geneva, New York and was succeeded by Reverend Otto Burhenn. Rev. Burhenn was installed as pastor on June 8, 1913, until October 28, 1938, when he died during an operation. The Associate Pastor, Rev. Eldor A. Cassens, was later installed as Immanuel’s pastor on November 20, 1938.
During the summer of 1934 a fire, started by lightning, nearly destroyed the house of worship. The building was later reconstructed. At this time, the question to move to a new location was introduced. With a decline in membership since 1920, due to the natural move to suburbia, the church would have been faced with a bleak future. Successive meetings of the committee led to the unanimous decision for the congregation to relocate.
In August of 1946, work on the new structure was under way at the newly acquired two-acre tract at Loch Raven and Belvedere. On September 28, 1947, the Fellowship Hall was dedicated and acted as a place of worship until the church proper could be finished. By January 28, 1951, the present church was dedicated. If not for the monies of Mrs. Emma Wolpman Momberger, given as a memorial to her parents, the construction of the church proper would have been unattainable due to the post-war Government restrictions.
The Rev. Eldor A. Cassens was well known for his encouragement in the congregational move of the church on Caroline Street to the current site at Loch Raven and Belvedere. Rev. Cassens left for oncoming severe health reasons in 1972. Rev. Raymond Huddle was later installed as Pastor but left after a short time due to health reasons at the time. Rev. Hubert Temme was installed as Pastor in 1977 and served the congregation until 1988 when he accepted a call to work with the Wheat Ridge Foundation; later he accepted a call to a Lutheran Church in Hong Kong. The congregation was served by an interim Pastor, Rev. Otto Reinbacher, for two years until our current Pastor was called. Rev. D. Paul Nelson was called from Durham, North Carolina and installed in 1990 at Immanuel. After his retirement, our present pastor, Rev. Charles C. Minetree, accepted Immanuel's Call and was installed as Senior Pastor in 2005.
We recall with gratitude the many that provide funds for the exquisite appointments and furnishings of this church. We also value the labors of others who worked arduously, prayed fervently, and gave liberally in order that Immanuel might worship here in a structure which is regarded to be one of the finest examples of church architectural design in America by the Church Architectural Guild of America.
Twenty Fifth Anniversary Program of Immanuel
Pastors of Immanuel:
Rev. Claus Stuercken 1864
Rev. Timotheus Stiemke 1895
Rev. Henry Stiemke
Rev. Otto Burhenn 1913-1938
Rev. Eldor A. Cassens 1938-1972
Rev. Raymond Huddle
Rev. Hubert Temme 1977-1988
Rev. Otto Reinbacher (Interim)
Rev. D. Paul Nelson 1990-2005
Rev. Charles Minetree 2005
Location of Church:
5701 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21239-2990
Records at the Maryland Archives, MSA S 1512-2474 (00/59/06/34)