Immanuel Lutheran Church of Brookfield to Celebrate its 100th Anniversary with Church Service & Banquet

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Immanuel Lutheran Church, School and Child Care, 13445 W. Hampton Road in Brookfield, originally of Butler, will officially celebrate its 100th anniversary on Reformation Sunday, October 28, 2012. An anniversary church service at Immanuel and banquet celebration at Milwaukee Lutheran High School will follow.

The anniversary church service is the only service that day, at 10:00 am in Immanuel's Field House, with special music of choirs, handbells, a wind ensemble, and praise band. Senior Pastor Rev. Daniel Schneider will officiate, Associate Pastor Rev. David Benning assisting, along with President of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, South Wisconsin District, Rev. John C. Wille.

A banquet celebration will be held in the gymnasium of Milwaukee Lutheran High School, 9700 W. Grantosa Drive in Milwaukee at 12:30 pm. Dinner and activities will include historical displays, DVD presentation, greetings from local officials and former pastors. Former members and families are encouraged to attend. Cost is $20 per person, $5 per children ages 3-12 years, free for children under 3 years. Payments are due with an RSVP by October 21, 2012. To sign up for the banquet, please contact the church office at (262) 781-7140, email churchsecretary@immanuelbrookfield.org, or order online athttp://www.immanuelbrookfield.org/church/anniversary/anniversary-dinner-tickets/.

Ongoing anniversary events throughout 2012 included: a Dedication Concert for Immanuel's organ, February 19; School Musical, May 3; Day of Community Service, May 5; Golf Outing, July 22; and an Old Fashioned Church Picnic, August 19.

Immanuel Lutheran Church began as the Village of Butler in Waukesha County was growing, at that time called "New Butler" to differentiate it from the original Butler settlement at 124th St. and Capitol. German Lutherans in the area were looking to have a church nearby. The Wisconsin District of the "German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States" … later to be named the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod … began a preaching station in New Butler, most likely in the spring of 1912, with the Rev. John C. Schmidt from Hope Lutheran Church in Milwaukee holding these services. A “preaching station” was a first step in determining interest in a new area to start a congregation.

The first services, in German, were held in New Butler, in the carpenter shop of Oscar Staats, a contractor and builder who built New Butler's public school and bank. On July 22, 1912, the Wisconsin District, (a.k.a. South Wisconsin District), obtained three lots in New Butler on the northwest corner of Moeller and Birch Streets, today known as 127th Street at W. Peck Place. The land was donated from the John Schroeder Lumber Company. The building was then moved to its longtime site on W. Derby Place in the spring of 1917, a more favorable location, on three lots donated by the same lumber company. This original location and building move had never been recorded in Immanuel’s church history, and was discovered while doing research in 2011.

Immanuel has traditionally celebrated its anniversary close to Reformation Sunday or October 31st, (a Thursday in 1912), and has long been recorded as the date of Immanuel's first building's dedication. The church building was in use in October of 1912 and school was held there, so some small dedication would have occurred. However, another new discovery this year in newspaper accounts shows that Immanuel held a more formal dedication of its church building on the afternoon of Sunday, December 8, 1912. The Rev. John C. Schmidt officiated with guest preacher the Rev. Bernard Sievers from St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Sentinel article from December 9, 1912 stated, “The church proper is 40x28 feet in size and of frame construction with cement foundation.” The first congregational meeting was held on December 11, in the apartment of Oscar Staats. The minutes of that meeting recorded that $27.88 was collected at the dedication service; $11 of it was to be spent on the pulpit, $5.17 was to be used to buy coal, 20 cents was to be deducted for a telephone call to Lannon, and the remainder of the sum was to be used to buy indoor lighting.

Immanuel's charter members were the families of August Gaulke, his son-in law Fred Mueller, Oscar Staats and Louis Leissring. Louis' brother Edgar Leissring also participated, but is not listed as a charter member as he was only 19 at the time. Edgar would later become the postmaster of Butler. Some descendants of the Gaulke, Mueller, and Edgar Leissring families aremembers of Immanuel today.

Services in the German language gradually gave way to English-speaking services, and the church grew. School classes were held in a room in the back of the church and taught by the pastor. The school closed for some time and re-opened in 1950. Immanuel moved one-half mile west and dedicated the first church on Immanuel's present property in February 1955, in Brookfield on Hampton Rd. and 135th Street. A separate school building was completed in 1959. An enlargement to the school and addition to the church were completed in 1962. In February 1983, the present church building was dedicated, attached to the school and offices. The Multi-Purpose or All-Purpose Room, now called the Field House, was completed in 1999.A Conference Center was added in 2009.

Immanuel Lutheran is a member of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). Immanuel Lutheran School offers Christian education, beginning with three-year-old prekindergarten classes and continuing through the eighth grade. Immanuel Lutheran Child Care is open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. year-round to children from the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years. More information about the church, school and child care may be found at www.immanuelbrookfield.org.


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