History of Immanuel Lutheran Church
Back around 1904-1911, a group of German Lutherans, led by Mr. Carl Rau Sr., started gathering for worship services in homes, in a room at the top of the old Court House, the old Congregational Church, and the Mengis building which was next to the Rau home (now the Walker Art Gallery). Pastors Brauer, Albrecht, Buenger and Priess from the Bemidji, Cass Lake and Pequot Lake parishes served this group. In 1915, this group was officially organized as Immanuel Lutheran Church a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Officially organized as Immanuel Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
July 29, 1917
Carl S. Munger installed as first pastor
Parsonage purchased in Walker, near the current Holiday Station
Decision to build first church
May 7, 1924
First meeting of the newly organized Ladies Aid Society
August 6, 1924
New church building was dedicated
Last service by Pastor Mundinger before accepting a call to Hopkins, MN
Pastor Mundinger later earned a Doctor’s Degree and was a professor at the seminary.
Rev. E.H. Polster took over as interim pastor until May 1930
September 2, 1930 –April 12, 1936
Rev. Louis Morgal, who also had preaching stations at Brevik and Hackensack plus the tubercular patients at the State Sanatorium
(Ah-Gwah-Ching). During his time here a Walther League was organized for the Youth of the church.
Summer 1936-September 9, 1941
Rev. Fred Miller served the Walker-Hackensack-Guthrie parish living in the parsonage at Walker. Rev. Fred Miller served until
September 9, 1941 when he was called to active duty in the Army.
Rev. Paul Walther accepted the call to the Walker field and served until he was called to serve in Ormsby, MN
November 14, 1948-1957
Rev. August Engelhard served as Pastor of the Walker-Akeley parish until he accepted a call to Randall, MN
Rev. T.G.Van der Bloemen served the Walker-Akeley parishes. During his stay here he also held an early morning service at the
Hi-Y Drive-In Theatre during the summer months.
June 17, 1959
The Altar Guild was formed and held their first meeting.
The Walker-Akeley parishes were served by Rev. Roy Biberdorf. Late during this time a new parsonage was being built in Walker on
Rev. Herman Mutterer accepted the call to the Walker-Akeley Parishes and served until his retirement in 1971 to a home in Nevis.
Dedication of the new parsonage by Rev. Mutterer
Spring 1971-May 1977
St. Louis Seminary Student Rev. Carl Prostka served at Walker-Akeley Parishes until he was called to Farmington, New York. It was
during his tenure that talk of a new church came up. The decision was reached to build a new church on the site of the old church
on the corner of 5th street and Michigan Avenue.
August 21, 1977
Ground breaking for the new church building. During this time services were held at Hope Lutheran Church on Saturday nights.
July 1977-January 21, 1978
Rev. Herman Mutterer returned and served as vacancy pastor. On Sunday afternoon, January 22, Pastor Schaefer was installed by
Pastor Mutterer, who performed his last duty on Earth. Our Lord called him to his heavenly home on January 27, 1978.
January 22, 1978- January 2, 1983
Pastor Henry Schaefer served as Pastor to the Walker-Akeley Parishes until he was called to Freistatt, MO.
August 6, 1978
Dedication service at the new church building.
July 3, 1983-April 1987
St. Louis Seminary student, Pastor Daniel Schumm served the dual parishes of Walker-Akeley until he was called to Fort Wayne,
December 8, 1985
Mortgage burning ceremony for the new church building.
The congregations of Immanuel at Walker and St. John’s at Akeley voted to disband as a dual parish.
August 2, 1987-March 1989
Seminary student Gregory Tyler served as Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church until he was called to Osseo, MN.
March 1989 – July 23, 1989
Pastor Orville Aho and Pastor Tom Palomaki served as interim pastors.
July 23, 1990
The 75th Anniversary was held for Immanuel Lutheran Church. The special speaker for the occasion was Dr. August Mennicke, 1st Vice President of the Lutheran Church –Missouri Synod.
July 23, 1989-December 11, 1994
Seminary student Ronald May served as Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church until he was called to serve in Indianapolis, IN.
December 1994- December 31, 1995
Pastor Orville Aho, Pastor Tom Palomaki (Chaplain at Ah-Gwah-Ching) and Pastor Leroy Philaya served as interim pastors at
January 1, 1996 – May 28, 2000
Pastor Donald Wagner served as Pastor at Immanuel until he was called to Elbow Lake, MN. During this time it was decided to
build a new and larger church with an education wing to start a school.
May 4, 1997
Ground breaking for the new church at the present location ½ mile east of the Y-Junction of Hwy 371 & 200.
A School Steering Committee was formed.
July 1, 1997
The church building in Walker at 5th & Michigan was sold for $185,000. Members were able to rent the basement to hold church
service while the new church was being built.
August 3, 1997
The Rite of Disposition of a Church Building was held in the upstairs of church building in town.
December 14, 1997
First Worship Service was held at the new church.
March 17, 1998
Men of Immanuel held their first organizational meeting. The primary purpose of the group was to nurture Christian fellowship and to
supply leadership, encouragement, and support to the church projects and activities.
July 18, 1998
With the paving done and some landscaping done an open house was held for the community to view the new church facility.
August 9, 1998
Service of Dedication of the new church was held with guest speaker, Pastor David Bode, President on MN North District.
Immanuel Lutheran School doors opened with 14 students enrolled in our Minnesota State Licensor Preschool Program.
The 2nd Annual ABC Sale was held at the church for the first time.
Kindergarten was added to Immanuel Lutheran School with enrollment being 9 in Kindergarten and 24 in Preschool.
June-December 31, 2000
Rev. W. F. Neumann served as vacancy pastor.
Grades 1-3 were added to Immanuel Lutheran School
January 14, 2001-June 30, 2002
Rev. George Krueger accepted the call to Immanuel Lutheran Church and served until his retirement.
Grades 4-5 were added to Immanuel Lutheran School.
A Call was placed and accepted by Janna Kietzman as new Principal/Teacher starting for the 2002-2003 School year.
July 21, 2002-May 15, 2008
Seminary student Daniel Burns accepted the call to Immanuel Lutheran church until he was called to Marion, WI.
6th Grade was added to Immanuel Lutheran School.
A call was placed and accepted by Holly Goetze to teach grades 4-8
7th & 8th Grade were added to Immanuel Lutheran School.
June 22, 2008-February 2, 2013
Seminary student Micheal Bitz accepted the call to Immanuel Lutheran School.
He took a leave of Absence due to health reasons on February 2, 2013.
December 31, 2013
Rev. Bitz officially resigned and relinquished his call to Immanuel because of ongoing health issues and an inability to fulfill it.
February 9, 2013-September 7, 2014
Rev. Ed Behling served as vacancy pastor.
Call Committee was established
September 7, 2014
Rev. Matthew Vrudny was installed as Pastor for Immanuel Lutheran Church coming from a duel parish in Bruno and Finlayson, MN
October 4, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church held a Centennial Celebration with a Morning Divine Service at 10:00 am and a catered lunch following.
MN North District President Fondow was joined by Pastor Matthew Vrudny, Rev. Greg Tyler, Rev. Michael Bitz and Rev. George Krueger in celebrating the Divine Worship service.