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All About Immanuel

Facilities at Immanuel

Our Church, which was dedicated May,1958, seats 350, and worshippers enjoy the sounds from our Wicks pipe organ. Our congregation has been serving the Rolla area for over 80 years and numbers approximately 500 members.

The Fellowship Hall, located in the lower level of the building, was renovated in the summer of 2002. In addition to the fellowship hall, the lower level also contains a Youth Room, Nursery, kitchen, office for the parish nurse and a conference room.

Directly to the west of the church is the Family Life Center which was dedicated July 2000. This building is connected to the Christian Day School and provides a gymnasium, lunchroom, kitchen, handicap accessible restrooms and showers. The upper level is now being utilized as part of Immanuel’s REACH program.

Immanuel Lutheran School was built in 1960 and serves 2 year olds through PreK.

The Campus House, a residential facility located at 806 West 10th Street, was purchased to serve as a home away from home for university students.

Activities such as Thursday night Bible study, Game Nights, Sunday Suppers, retreats and servant events encourage the students to develop spiritually.

Two or three students reside in the House and provide a welcoming presence for others who drop in for fellowship or a quiet place to study. Residents also help maintain the facility.

History of our Congregation

As early as 1865, Rolla Lutherans were served by a traveling missionary, Friedrich Liebe. In the following fifteen years, German Lutherans in Rolla were served from time to time by additional missionaries. Finally, in 1880, Peace Lutheran Church was established in the rural community of Elk Prairie southeast of Rolla.

Pastor Ottomar Krueger of Peace Elk Prairie organized a new congregation named Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rolla, and a constitution was adopted in 1916. However, this new congregation remained merely a preaching station with services held in public buildings and other churches until 1924.

In 1924, the congregation was reorganized under the direction of Rev. Otto Meyer, then Pastor of Peace Elk Prairie, as a joint parish with Peace Elk Prairie. In 1925, Rev. Fredrick Schilt, a candidate from the St. Louis Seminary was called to serve the joint parish and he was to reside in Rolla where the mission opportunities were the greatest. That same year, land was purchased at Spring and 12th Streets for a new church. Many members and friends helped build the brick structure, which was dedicated July 11, 1926. In 1928, a parsonage was built next to the church.

Some dates of importance in Immanuel’s history are:

The Dorcas Society was organized in 1926. Ministry to the students of The Missouri School of Mines (MSM) began in 1930.

Then, in 1933, Immanuel Lutheran School opened with eight grades and 25 pupils. A permanent school building was purchased in 1935 and dedicated in 1936. Also in 1936, the Lydia Circle was organized.

Immanuel Rolla became a separate parish from Peace Elk Prairie in 1944 and the Gamma Delta Association for Lutheran students at MSM was founded. The Beta Sigma Psi Lutheran Fraternity was established on the MSM campus in 1952.

In 1955, Immanuel purchased property at Spring and Eleventh Streets for a new church. The cornerstone was laid in 1957, and the church was dedicated May, 1958. The old church, parsonage and school were sold to the VFW in 1959.

Immanuel Lutheran School had to suspended operations for the school years 1946-47, 1953-54, and 1954-55 because of the difficulty in securing a teacher. The school reopened in 1955 with just a kindergarten and plans to add a grade each year. Four grades and two teachers made up the 1959-60 school year. Since the original school building had been sold in 1959, a new school building was built in 1959 on Eleventh Street and was ready for occupancy in January 1960.

To provide for more effective school administration, a Principal, Neil Sandfort, was called to both teach and administer the school. The school has offered Kindergarten through Sixth Grade in the Eleventh Street building since 1962.

MSM was renamed The University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) in 1964 and Immanuel Congregation continued to minister to students at UMR. A formal Campus Ministry program for students at UMR that was subsidized by the Missouri District of the LCMS began in 1971 and Rev. Warren Schmidt was called as the first campus pastor.

In 1973, the congregation purchased property on Highway 72 for a second Lutheran church and Redeemer Lutheran Church was organized as a daughter congregation by a group of members coming from Immanuel.

In 1978, the house that separated the church and the school was purchased and used as a Campus House for the Campus Ministry until 1995. At this time, the house was razed to make way for a Family Life Center to be attached to the school building and provide a gymnasium and additional space for school and congregational activities. A house across Eleventh Street from the school was purchased in 1996 to provide a new home for the Campus Ministry program. The Family Life Center was dedicated July 23, 2000.

Pastors that have served Immanuel Lutheran are: Otto Meyer, 1924; Fredrick Shildt, 1925-1929; Paul Streufert, 1929-1937; William Bachert, 1937-1942; Gilbert Seager, 1942-1947; Norman Ellermann, 1948-1953; William Frederichs, 1954-1967; Howard Hilsabeck, 1967-1976; Garth Baker, 1977-1997; Mark McIntyre, 1997-2001; and Stephen Kamprath, 2003-Present. In addition, campus pastors that have served Immanuel Lutheran are: Warren Schmidt 1971 -1975; LaVerne Janssen, 1977-1992; Mark McIntyre, 1993-1997; and Douglas Ochner, 1998-2003. The position of campus pastor has been unfilled since that time with Pastor Kamprath assuming many of the campus ministry duties.

Principals that have served Immanuel Lutheran School are: Neil Sandfort, 1961-1978; Howard Voelker, 1978-1984; Ken Greimann (Acting Principal), 1984-1985; Jim Schmidt, 1985-1998, Rick Krumland, 1998-2012, Barb Watkins, 2013-2013, Sammye Elliott, 2013-2015. In 2015, the school added the Rolla Early Childhood Christian Education Center (REACH) program which provides preschool for 2 year old children through Pre-K. It no longer offers classes for Kindergarten or the higher grades. Brook Boen serves presently as the preschool director.