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Immanuel Lutheran Church, Preston, MD
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Preston, MD
  Maryland
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Immanuel Lutheran Church, Preston, MD
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Welcome To Our Church
Please feel welcome to visit Immanuel whenever you visit Maryland's Eastern Shore. Our church is currently being served by Pastor Thomas Becker who was installed on November 22, 2009. We hope you will become acquainted with our church activities through this website. Click on link on this page to enjoy the music while browsing the site. Return often for frequent updates.
Music - A Mighty Fortress

* Corrected Website address:
www.lutheransonline.com/lo/immanuelofpreston
email: immanuelofpreston@verizon.net

History of Immanuel
Around 1890 and later, German families began to arrive on the Shore settling in the Cordova, Vienna and Preston areas. Bringing their language, customs and Lutheran heritage with them, they formed a congregation in each of these areas and built houses of worship. Although most came from Germany, others came from Switzerland, Prussia, and the Volga region of Russia. Most did not come directly to the Shore but from various places like Kansas, North Carolina and Philadelphia. They were attracted to the Shore because of climate and cheap, good farm land as most were farmers.
First services here at Preston were conducted by visiting pastors from Baltimore and they were held in the homes of the early families. The congregation was formally organized in 1897 adopting a constitution and calling their first pastor.
The cornerstone for the first church building was laid in November, 1900 and the building dedicated in April of 1901. The lot for the building cost $65 and $800 was allotted for the cost of the structure. Twenty-four pews cost $91.20 and the chancel and alter, $61. This house of worship served the congregation for a half century.
Some of the customs of the early church which became passe after WWII were:
* Men and sons occupied pews on the right side of the church and women and small children, on the left.
* Everyone without exception attended services.
* Ladies were required to keep their heads covered while in church.
* Air conditioning was by way of hand-held fans provided by the local funeral director.
* None of the hymnbooks contained music. Members were expected to know the tunes.
* Intention to commune was communicated personally to the Pastor on the Friday prior to the service.
* Communing frequently meant twice a year - at Easter and on Reformation Sunday.
* Mission Festivals were held once during the summer months at an outdoor location like a beach or a farmer's woods.
Until WWI all services, including Sunday School were conducted in German. The war brought changes. As an example, some services were now conducted in English as was the Sunday School. By doing the will of the majority while still adjusting to the rights of the minority, a gradual change to all English was accomplished as the generation of the founding fathers passed into history.
By 1930 the congregation had grown to the point where late comers had difficulty in finding a seat. Consideration was given to building a new house of worship but the Great Depression intervened followed by WWII. By 1940 membership had increased to 355 and offerings amounted to $2,086.
Starting in 1941 the congregation began raising funds for a new building. It took nine more years to raise enough to get the project underway. Construction began in Oct. 1950 and was completed in March 1952 at a cost of $165,125. The old structure was sold for $305. By 1956 the congregation had raised sufficient funds to pay off all indebtedness.
A new parsonage was next built and completed in late 1956.
The next matter needing attention was the Sunday School where, by the end of 1962, 164 children were enrolled and divided into 17 classes. Space to conduct classes were at a premium. A new building was definitely needed and one was authorized a short time later. However, it wasn't until 1968 that one was completed and dedicated and named Geiger Hall in remembrance of our fifth pastor Louis Geiger and his many years of faithful service to Immanuel.
Some people say nothing changes in the church but this is not true. Surely the Word of God is changeless but other things do change. As examples we list:
* Women's right to become members of the Voters' Assembly.
* Use of individual cups at communion.
* New hymnals
* Examinations of catechumens
* Worship folders
* Tape Ministry
* Order of service
Immanuel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1997 with many special events. We are a strong congregation. We lose members but attract new ones which is our primary mission. Our motto is "Caring For Our Community Through Christ." We pray that God would help us do that.

(Our gratitude goes to Bill Schmick for submitting this history of the church.)

Immanuel 1900 and Immanuel 1952


Meet Immanuel's Pastor Thomas Becker

Pastor Thomas Becker
Pastor Thomas & Sandra Becker

Biography

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