History Of Emmanuel
1752 September 8, John Potts purchased 990 acres of land from Samuel McCall, on part of which he laid out Pottsgrove (now called Pottstown).
1753 Lots were given to the Society of Friends and the German settlers for churches and burial grounds.
1760 A log church was erected on the site of our present church, which was shared by the Lutheran and Reformed settlers.
1771 The Archives of Old Ministerium of Pennsylvania Synod, located in the Seminary at Mount Airy, confirm 1771 as the year in which this group of Lutherans was accepted as an organized church – hence our founding date.
1796 The log church building was decaying, and it was decided to build a brick building – Zion’s Church. 195,000 bricks were used at a cost of $6,000 and are still in place in the walls today.
1861 On February 16, the English Lutherans left the Old Brick Church (Zion’s) and erected the Church of the Transfiguration.
1871 The German Lutherans and remaining English Lutherans left Zion’s, receiving the northern half of the property and $1800 as their interest in the Old Brick Church. The cornerstone of the original present church building was laid in July of that year. The congregation as incorporated under the title “German and English Evangelical Lutheran Emmanuel’s Church”.
1872 The building was occupied by May and dedication services were held in September. The original dimensions of the church were 99.5 feet by 63 feet. The original contract price was $33,000, which did not include the cost of furniture or the cost of the stained glass windows.
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1878 A terrible storm caused damage to the church. The tower was lifted from its base and the bell was demolished. It took 2 years to complete the repairs, which included a slight alteration in the basement to accommodate a rapidly growing Primary Department.
1884 Further alterations were made and space was prepared in the sanctuary for a pipe organ which was purchased in 1885.
1903 The annex was built to the east end of the church to provide more room for the Primary Department. Benches were rearranged in the Main Room and an entrance was added from Walnut Street into this room.
1912 The entire interior of the church was renovated. A porch was added in front of the main door, the stairways leading to the sanctuary and the balconies were rebuilt, the style of architecture in the sanctuary was changed from Romanesque to English Gothic, side balconies were removed and a new ceiling, as well as new chancel fittings were installed. The altar, reredos, pulpit, lectern, baptismal font, and communion rail were all new and carved from Caen Stone, imported from Normandy.
1929 The new Memorial Sunday School Building was erected, costing $125,000. The dimensions of this addition were 100 feet by 90 feet. The new addition was called the Memorial Sunday School Building in memory of those persons whose bodies were buried in the path of the new addition and whose remains were reinterred beneath the Main Sunday School room. A new fully equipped and modern kitchen was added to the west side, and storage rooms, a locker room, shower/bath, and other accessories were added adjacent to the new recreation room in the basement.
1932 The Chapel was enlarged and the Normal Class Room (now theGenesis Class Room) was added
1956 The new Educational Building was built at a cost of $350,000.00 at the east end of the building. This also included adding air conditioning in the sanctuary and the building of a fire tower.
1973 Emmanuel Lutheran Preschool, Inc. was organized.
1981 Purchased and demolished the former Pottstown High School, which was located next door, to make way for a new parking lot. Costs were shared with Zion’s. Included was the building of a portico from the educational wing entrance our into the new parking lot. The new parking lot was dedicated on May 25, 1985.
1988 The interior of the Nave was renovated and the organ was rebuilt by Schantz Organ Company. Dedication of the renovated Nave and organ took place in 1989.
1999 Renovation and relocation of offices to the educational wing of the building began. By mid-year the office renovation was completed. The space formerly used by the pastors would become the library and the former church office would be an audio visual room. Pastor Burlington B. Latshaw, III, was called to serve the congregation. Pastor Acker retired.
2000 Founders Day was instituted on the first Sunday of June. Continued as a yearly event.
2002 Montgomery Early Learning Center (MELC) becomes a tenant of Emmanuel, using the space previously used by the preschool.
2005 After extensive meetings and discussion, Transfiguration Lutheran Church decided to close its doors and join in with Emmanuel, becoming one congregation.
2006 Paul Xander began to serve Emmanuel, first as vicar, then as Associate Pastor, with a special emphasis on Evangelism and Outreach. He served Emmanuel until 2008.
2008 - 2009 Bill Nash retires as Church organist after many years of dedicated service. Andrew Meade is hired as the Minister of Music, in charge of both Contemporary and Traditional worship.
December 31, 2009 Pastor Latshaw retires. The congregation enters a transition period, focusing on rebuilding committee and program structures, deepening relationships, and increasing generosity both inside and outside of the congregation.
2009 - 2011 Pastor Lynette Chapman became Interim Pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church
2011 Pastor Laurie Anderson was pastor at Emmanuel.
2012 – 2014 Pastor Jim Wolford - Interim Pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church
2015 - 2018 Reverend Phillip Waselik serves as pastor.
2018 - 2019 Pastor Christian McMullan serves as the bridge Pastor at Emmanuel
2018 - 2019 Emmanuel partners with Grace Lutheran Church in Pottstown to call one pastor to serve both churches, marking the first time this has been attempted in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod
MARKED WITH THE CROSS OF CHRIST FOREVER, WE ARE CLAIMED, GATHERED AND SENT FOR THE SAKE OF THE WORLD. THIS IS THE MISSION STATEMENT OF THE ELCA. AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH, WE BELIEVE THAT WE ARE FREED IN CHRIST TO SERVE AND LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR. WITH OUR HANDS, WE DO GOD’S WORK OF RESTORING AND RECONCILING COMMUNITIES IN JESUS’ NAME THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
Biblical and theological foundation
Members of the church are called and privileged to participate in God's work in the world. God calls and empowers us for mission. As a community of believers justified by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), we do not describe mission in terms of our own work but with reference to the healing, salvation and restoration that God accomplishes through Christ. We seek the guidance of the Spirit in our planning, while expecting surprising developments and unanticipated opportunities. Grounded in God’s love and forgiveness, we are equipped to live and serve here and now, in the world, with all its complexities, tensions and ambiguities. We have the courage to explore the world as saints and sinners who are certain of God's promises and of the confident hope that all God's loving purposes will be fulfilled when our risen Lord Jesus Christ returns (1 John 3:2).