HISTORY OF IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH- CLARINDA, IOWA
Many of the early German Lutheran immigrants to Clarinda, Iowa homestead farmed northwest of Clarinda, page County, Iowa. Many of them immigrated from Jackson County Indiana, where they originally settled from Germany. They moved to northwest Clarinda, Page County around 1868. Initially, these early German Lutheran settlers met in private homes. As time went on, they decided to officially organize a Lutheran congregation and would call the church Immanuel (God With Us) Lutheran church. They are affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to this day.
In August 1869, the church adopted its constitution and was signed by the following eight charter members: Fred Barthels, Henry Driftmier, John Groeling, Fred Knost, Henry Otte, Fred Sundermann, Henry Sundermann, William (Wilhelm) Sundermann. The congregation purchased twenty acres of land on the northwest corner of Section 2, Nodaway Township, which is the current location, as well. In the fall of 1869, the congregation erected a building, which the first floor was the pastor’s home, and the second floor was for the church and school.
Other German immigrants settled in the area with some of the other names of Wagoner, Steeve, Rope, Herzberg, Baumgarten, Dammann, Goecker, and others. Many members are descendent of these early settlers. As the congregation grew, a separate church and school building was erected in 1877. In 1885, a building for the church and school was built and a parsonage for the minister. In 1923, a separate Immanuel Lutheran School building was built and a teacherage home for the Principal of the school. In 1953, the current parsonage was built for the pastor. In 1960, the current church building structure was build and dedicated.
The German Lutherans have always valued education for academics and spiritual instruction, and Immanuel Church operated its own school until 1986. At that time, Immanuel and its two daughter congregations (St. John and St. Paul Lutheran churches of Clarinda) went together to form Clarinda Lutheran School which is located in the northwest area of the town of Clarinda.
Along with the Lutheran parochial school, Immanuel Lutheran Church has always had a Sunday School for the children and Adult Bible classes for spiritual education. Immanuel also has a Youth Fellowship group, a Ladies Aide-Lutheran Women’s Missionary League group, choir, and various other groups which support Christian missions and charity.
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Clarinda, Iowa continues its German Lutheran heritage of being a conservative Bible based church. It continues to value the Christian nurturing and education of the families of the congregation both adults and children. Immanuel Lutheran continues its mission to be a witness for Jesus through its love and care for others.