Immanuel (First Immanuel)

Street Address: 
12th St. just west of Blue Island Ave
Chicago, IL

Organized: 1854
Closed / Merged:
Moved to this location: 1854
Moved from this location: 1864

Synod: Missouri Synod


Records available at the Newberry Library:

Call # Local History Ref Microfilm 867 (2nd floor open shelf in microfilm cabinet behind reference desk):

Baptisms (1863-1958)

Marriages (1854-1955)

Deaths (1857-1950).




1854 - 9999



This information was taken from several sources including "First Immanuel Lutheran Church of Chicago: 125 years 1854-1979" Newberry BX8076.C4 F57. First Immanuel was responsible for the beginning of seven congregations: Zion Trinity St. Matthew Holy Cross St. Mark Emmaus and Ebenezer. The congregation was established in March of 1854 and the church was located at 12th Street (Roosevelt Road) just west of Blue Island. In May 1854 the church joined the Lutheran Missouri Synod and they opened a one-room school for the children of the congregation in the fall of the same year. They used the first church building from 1854-1857 but they had to build a larger church to accommodate the growing congregation and this was used from 1857 to 1888. In 1860 they joined with First St. Paul in establishing Wunders Cemetery at Clark and Irving Park Avenues and they joined with six other congregations and formed the Concordia Cemetery Association in Forest Park in 1873. A serious problem developed in 1864 between the Lutherans and the Roman Catholics who lived nearby and the congregation decided to tow its church to Taylor and Brown (now Sangamon) Streets where the University of Illinois Circle campus is now located. From 1854 to 1888 the church remained distinctly German. The cornerstone for the present church building seating 1400 people was laid on April 8 1888 at 1124 South Ashland; and a 3-story school building was dedicated on March 3 1889. In 1909 a high school was begun and remained there until 1916. In 1917 the US went to war with Germany and Germans were suspect and it was decided to conduct their worship services in English. In 1919 the steeple had to be removed because of rotting timbers.

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