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Our History

Over 163 Years on the Ridge

Emmanuel Lutheran Church can trace its history back to the 1850's, when several Lutheran families settled in Macon Township, in the neighborhood of the present church property. In 1855, these families asked the Rev. Trautman of Adrian to serve them with the Word of God and the Sacraments. The congregation was officially incorporated on January 2, 1861, with the first constitution adopted and signed by 14 members under the name St. Immanuel German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in the Township of Macon, Lenawee County, Michigan. The first property of the church was purchased in 1864, and later sold. The church built another parsonage next to the church in 1899. A school house was built in 1898, with an addition in 1919. 

Services at Emmanuel were conducted only in german until 1913, when it was decided to have English services every other Sunday. This continued until the outbreak of World War I, when most of the German services were dropped. In 1924, the German services were dropped altogether. 

On April 22, 1920, a cyclone destroyed the original church and parsonage, but the congregation resolved to rebuild both. The rebuilt church was re-dedicated in November of 1920. In 1925, a basement was built under the church and school which served as a place for social gatherings. 

The Sunday School was officially organized in 1936, replacing the traditional Christenlehre, a catechism study for the young confirmed during the church service. In 1944, the church's name was officially changed to Emmanuel Lutheran Church at Britton, Michigan. By the late 1950's, the Sunday School attendance was recorded as 138 children, requiring a staff of 20 teachers. The first Vacation Bible School was held in 1954, with 50 students attending. 

1862 Church
Post 1920 Church

In 1960, the congregation resolved to build a new house of worship, since the size of the building at the time required two services on Sundays. Five acres were donated across the road from the old church, and the present-day building was completed and dedicated on June 23, 1963. In 1978, a bell tower was built in front of the church and the bell from the original church, inscribed with John 3:16 Also hat Gott die welt geliebt, das er seinen eingeborenen sohn gab, auf dass alle, die an ihn glauben, nicht verloren werden, sondern das ewige leben haben, was installed and re-dedicated. 

In 1988, the property adjacent to the church on Welch Road was purchased from the township. The building on the property was removed in 1995 when the congregation decided to build a new parsonage at this location. The present parsonage was completed in early 1996. In 2001, an addition to the church was started, which included classrooms, administrative offices, and renovation of the kitchen. This addition was finished in 2003. 

Emmanuel Lutheran Church celebrates its 163rd anniversary in 2024. May God continue to bless our congregation as we work within our community to fulfill the Great Commission, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

2003 Church
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