HJ - Immanuel Lutheran 150 Aerial

An aerial view of Immanuel Lutheran Church during its 150th anniversary Sunday, Sept. 1 shows many in attendance. (photo courtesy of Justin Dammann)

The 150th Anniversary of Immanuel Lutheran Church was celebrated Sept. 1, at the church in rural Clarinda. One of the highlights was the presence of many guests. Several former pastors and teachers participated in the event.

The celebration began at 9 a.m. with Host Pastor Wade Brandt leading the service. Guest speaker was Pastor Jerome “Jerry” Wagoner who encouraged the youth of the congregation to participate in “laying foundation blocks”.

Pastor Wagoner shared his memories of life at Immanuel and his personal humorous observations of building the present church which was completed in 1960.

Communion was served.

Special music was provided by the Immanuel Choir who sang “Cornerstone” and soloist Jara Johnson Following the service, remarks were made by Myron Sunderman, anniversary co-chairperson. Myron introduced special guests and provided information about a drone photo that was taken by Justin Damman on the church lawn. Pastor Marlin Otte, Marion, Illinois, delivered the meal prayer.

A meal was served by the ladies of Immanuel. The food was catered by J Bruners restaurant and the Page County Cattlemen’s Association prepared the steak sandwiches.

Many photos, past and present, were displayed on the tables and bulletin boards; these photos sparked laughter and conversation. There was also a memorabilia table where trivets, Christmas ornaments and cookbooks could be purchased. Vintage vehicles (including tractors, thrashers, spreaders, buggies, etc.) were on display on the east side of the church. A video loop of church history was shown and will help preserve photos and information.

Following food and fellowship the afternoon worship service was conducted by Host Pastor Wade Brandt. Pastor Dr. Wally Arp from Oveido, Florida, delivered the afternoon address. He was a 12 year old child when he arrived at Immanuel Lutheran Church, rural Clarinda, with his parents Pastor Dr. Gary & Marge Arp and three siblings. He incorporated many of his memories and antics in his enlightening message.

The choir sang and soloists Jara Johnson and Lisa Espinosa shared their musical talent. The afternoon service concluded with choir members and audience participants singing a beautiful and memorable rendition of The Benediction. Following the service Myron Sunderman introduced guest speakers who shared their special heart-felt memories. Letters were read from those who were unable to attend.

After the second service, dessert was served in the fellowship hall by the ladies of Immanuel. A cemetery walk followed at the adjacent Immanuel Cemetery. Shuttle service was available. The walk through the cemetery was interesting and informative with knowledgeable presenters located in the gravestone areas of the church founders. A historical booklet was available with cemetery information.

Approximately 575 people attended the days events. Each family was given a comprehensive book with much information including church and school history, officers, staff, former pastors and teachers, Sunday school and bible study. LYF, LWML, veterans, and many photos past and present.

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