The History of Our Congregation

1950 – In September 1950, Bethlehem Lutheran Church Extension began Sunday school and Worship services in the Coffey School in Detroit, with Rev. Henry Aukee as interim pastor. 

1951 – In the fall of 1951 Pastor Melvin Hagelberg began work as Mission Developer.
   Services moved to Emerson School in Detroit and a parsonage was purchased.
  The Northwest Mission was organized. 

1953 – Dec.13,  Northwest Emmanuel  Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized with a charter membership of 295 adults; Pastor Melvin Hagelberg called as Emmanuel’s first pastor.

1956 – July 10, ground-breaking for a new church building in Southfield.

1957 - June 16, first worship service in new church building; a dedication service was held on     October  17th.

1958 – June, hosted National Suomi Synod Convention

1962 – Emmanuel joined the LCA and dropped “Northwest” from its name.

1965 – February 7, Rev. Donald Muehlnickel called to be Emmanuel’s second pastor.
  The parsonage in Detroit  was sold and a new parsonage was built on Plum Hollow Street.
  A pipe organ, audio system and new room dividers for the fellowship hall were purchased and           installed.  The chancel was renovated and the parking lot was paved. 

1967 – May 21, new parsonage dedicated

1968 – Pastor William Graf served as Vicar at Emmanuel; Under his leadership a strong youth     program was developed. 

1971 – February 14, new Wick pipe organ dedicated

1973 – Major remodeling and renovation program completed

1976 – October 10, Rev. L. Alden Erlandson called to be Emmanuel’s third pastor

1978 – Silver Anniversary Celebration 

1986 – Emmanuel began using a computer for church membership and financial records. 

1988 – 35th Anniversary Celebration 

1989 – Emmanuel became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) 

1991 – July 14, Rev. Roland Troike, Jr. called to be Emmanuel’s fourth pastor

1995 – Emmanuel entered the Stephen Ministry program. 

1996 – Elevator dedicated

2000 – Summer – Pastor Troike’s sabbatical; accessible bathroom constructed. 

2002 – Peace Garden dedicated

2003 - June 8 – Dedication of new Hand bells
  50th Anniversary Celebration.
  July –  Rev. John Freed began to serve as supply pastor until the end of the year. 

2004 – Rev. Michael Rothgery, interim pastor from January 2004 – June 2005.

2005 – Pastor David Maddox II called as our 5th pastor, June 27, 2005 and was installed on July 17,     2005. 
  Established a ministry for the residents living at the Fountains of Southfield
  The food pantry to assist the needy was revitalized
  Holy Communion began to be celebrated every Sunday. 

2006 – Nursery/Multi-purpose room constructed by John and Craig Moilanen families and crew;
  Front steps to the church repaired. 

2007 – October, new Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnals began to be used

2008 – The Community  Garden was established in cooperation with the Southfield Garden Club.

2010 – April 18 - Pastor David Maddox II left Emmanuel for a new call; Emmanuel began the process of searching for a new pastor.
   June -- Pastor Dellis W. Hudson began as Interim Pastor
   December -- The Kitchen floor was retiled for the first time since the building was built.

2011 – May -- Pastor Dellis W. Hudson left
   December 2011 – Christmas Caroling for the homebound resumed after many years. 

2012 – March -- Pastor Stanley Eckermann began as Interim Pastor
   August -- Pastor Stanley Eckermann left; 

   Vicar Jackie Rau started as as Emmanuel's full time Pastor
   September 23, 2012 Vicar Jackie Rau Ordained at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Livonia.

2013 – November 24 --  Celebrated 60 years serving the Southfield area by hosting an evening meal   and concert with the folk group "At Average".

2014 – Monthly Lunch and Learn programs started.
            A land survey was ordered to prepare for the possible sale of the parsonage property.

2015 – Parsonage property offered for sale.

2016 – Parsonage property sold.

2017 – Resurfaced parking lot

2018 – April Pastor Jackie Rau left

               July Pastor Jill Heather called by the Southeast Michigan Synod to serve as transitional pastor

2019    September  Hosted Finn Fest USA and celebrated with a full church our Finnish beginnings

2020 – March Emmanuel closed the church to in person worship and other activities as recommended by the State of
               Michigan because of Covid-19 virus. Virtual worship services began using computer technology.
2020  December
 Pastor Jill Heather is diagnosed with Covi-19 and dies soon after.

2021  July Emmanuel resumes in-person worship services after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted

2022- Feb -  Emmanuel calls Karole Langset to serve as Pastor. Feb 26, she is ordained at her home-congregation of Shepherd of the Lakes, Walled Lake.