150th Anniversary

Serving Alpena Since 1874

Read more at the Alpena News

This year—2024—marks the 150th anniversary of Immanuel Lutheran Church as a congregation.

From our humble beginnings in a wooden church on Second Avenue, we have been blessed to become one of the largest Lutheran congregations in Northeast Michigan, actively ministering to our community, reaching thousands on our broadcasts on WBKB-TV, and providing a Christ-centered education to Alpena families at our day school.

To celebrate this milestone, we have planned a year full of activities.

Whether you're a current or former member of Immanuel or a part of the Alpena community, you're invited to take part and help us celebrate 150 years of building Christ's kingdom in Northeast Michigan.

We look forward to seeing you!

Our History

Immanuel Lutheran Church's story begins in the early 1870s. Large numbers of German immigrants were immigrating to Northeast Michigan at the time, drawn by cheap land and a prosperous economy.

Pastor Friedrich Sievers began ministering to this growing community, and in 1874, he helped establish Immanuel Lutheran Church as a congregation.

Our original church buildings were located on Alpena's north side. The first wooden church burned down in 1888. A new building was erected on the same location less than a year later. In 1939, Immanuel built and dedicated a new church at 722 North Second Avenue (currently the Salvation Army Church).

In 1958, local industrialist Jesse Besser donated a plot of land at US-23 and Wilson Street to the congregation for the purpose of building a new home for Immanuel Lutheran School. Immanuel's growth in the years that followed necessitated the construction of a new sanctuary. Additional land on the school site proved to be the perfect location.

Under the leadership of Pastor David Nickel and Pastor James Erickson, Immanuel moved into its new home in 1994. Over seven hundred people attended Immanuel's dedication. In 2014, Pastor Joshua Schultz became associate pastor at Immanuel.

We look forward to being a beacon of Christ's light in Alpena for many, many years to come.

Share Your Memories

We’re inviting all friends of Immanuel to share their photos of our 150th Anniversary festivities. Just upload your files using the form below.

By sharing your email address, you'll get access to a shared drive where you can view all of our 150th Anniversary photos.