First Immanuel is a diverse gathering of Christians, centered and immersed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We call all to discipleship in the love of Christ, through baptism, teaching, worship, and service.
Originally organized by German immigrants as a daughter congregation of First St Paul Lutheran Church, First Immanuel is the second oldest Lutheran parish in the city. The many years are filled with wonderful moments like the members crowding in the towers to watch the Cubs win their last championship at the old West Side Field in 1909 a short distance away.
There is a long tradition of embracing the community which has enabled us to thrive through many changes. First Immanuel was one of the first churches in the city to officially vote to integrate in the '50s. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke here in 1966. When Chicago was torn by racial strife in the '60s people of all races worshipped together here and worked to better our community.
Today people are drawn here by the warmth of our fellowship, the beauty of our historic building and the music and joy in our worship services. Come join us! Encounter the living faith of our church in our living Savior!
Geneaology and Detailed Church Records
Are you looking for information regarding a loved one? Are you looking for detailed information regarding the church's background? Our detailed church records go back to our beginning in 1854. This information is archived at Chicago's Newberry Library and St Louis's Concordia Historical Institute. You may also contact us for more information.
First Immanuel Through the Years
Like many historic city congregations, First Immanuel has looked altogether different throughout history. Each decade has been carefully documented by our Pastor Emeritus. In viewing these PDFs, you gain access to glimpses of the past; these documents not only reflect congregational life but also give a feel for life in Chicago, one decade at a time.
- Dismantling Institutional Racism, Beverly Jones, LCFS 03/28/21
- Civil Rights Then and Now Panel Discussion 02/28/2021
- Pastor Becker's Summary - First Immanuel through the decades
- The day Martin Luther King Jr came to First Immanuel
- Replacing the Rose Window
- Stories from members who lived in the 1920s