Educating Children For Over 100 Years
Immanuel Lutheran School "Weide meine Laemmer"
"Feed my lambs" John 21:15 From its earliest days under Pastor Brend, Immanuel Lutheran maintained both a Sunday School and also a Saturday School where young people could receive additional christian instruction. This policy was continued and expanded under Pastor Duessel. In addition to the Sunday and Saturday school, the congregation resolved to engage a full time teacher and start a Christian day school.
The congregation believed that the school was necessary so that the children could receive a secular, as well as religious education under the guidance of Christian teachers and their own Pastor. The first teachers of Immanuel Lutheran School faced a tremendous task. Until 1906, each teacher taught all eight grades with the help of the Pastor.
The first teacher to be called was Charles F. Jessen, who came to Immanuel in 1898. Teacher Jessen was a graduate of Addison, Illinois Teacher's Seminary, which later became Concordia College of River Forest. Teacher Jessen and Pastor Duessel were the first teachers of Immanuel Lutheran School.
Initially, classes were held in the enlarged basement of the 1896 church. After the 1907 church on West and Meadow Street had been completed, the entire 1986 church building was used as the school. In later years, before the 1924 school was built, classes were also held in the basement of the church on West and Meadow Street.
In the early 1920's, as school enrollment continued to increase, it became more and more evident that improved school facilities would have to be provided. In May, 1922, a resolution was passed that the congregation would build a new school. A special organization was formed by the young people of the congregation called "The Harvesters." The one and only purpose of this group was to collect funds for the new school. This very well organized group, dedicated group of young people set out on their mission and in autumn of 1924 the corner stone was laid and construction proceeded. By Spring 1925, the new school was completed and dedicated into use.
The 1925 school served Immanuel Lutheran well for over thirty years before a larger school was needed. It was after Principal Herbert L. Kern retired, when Principal Oscar H. Wulff took the helm, that the current school building for Immanuel Lutheran School came to be. In 1963, the Immanuel Lutheran School we all know and love today was built and dedicated into service.
Special thanks to A.H. Erling Jr. for providing historical details in his book
"The Story of Immanuel Congregation - Our First Century - A Journey in Faith"