Our History



The very first settlers in the Horseguard District came to live here in 1907. They began to trickle in one by one until 1911. Several families were of Norwegian descent with a Lutheran background namely: Gjefles, Lunds, Petersons and Olsons. They decided to start church services, so they contacted a pastor of the Norwegian Lutheran Church by the name of Rev J P Fostvedt who agreed to come out and hold services in one of the homes. We are not sure where this minister lived but we know it was far and the only means of travel was by horse and buggy or sleigh so the services were infrequent.

In 1912 the "Little Horseguard School" was built. A Lutheran pastor, Rev. Hjortass, living at Sylvan Lake, started holding services in the school on a more regular basis, although, services were sometimes four to six weeks apart. Services were in English and settlers from other nationalities attended.

Services continued for several years in this manner. By 1922 the group consisted of several nationalities and they decided it was time to get a pastor to serve more often. A question arose as to which branch of the Lutheran church they should join- the Norwegian or Missouri Synod. A vote was taken which favoured the Missouri Synod. Rev Theis of Wetaskiwin was contacted, he came and held the first service of the "Missouri Synod Lutheran Church" in the Horseguard School in 1922. We were now classified as a preaching station.

In 1923 the congregation called a pastor by the name of Rev J E Hermann. He served here until the summer of 1924.

In September 1924 Rev. August Fenske arrived. In September 1926 he married Olga Lund.

May 29, 1927 the congregation of "Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church" of Alhambra was officially organized and named. The charter members were: P.O. Peterson, Fred von Hollen, Herbert Lund, Magnus Oppel, Norman Olson, Oscar Peterson, Oliver Barret and Rev. August Fenske. Excerpts taken from the actual minutes of the voters' meetings:

Excerpts taken from the actual minutes of the voters' meetings: Oct. 21, 1927 - The congregation was accepted as a member of Missouri Synod .

Jan. 24, 1928 - A motion was made that we deduct one hundred dollars off the Pastor's salary and 
furnish him with that amount of firewood and horse feed during the year.

Feb. 16, 1928 - Rev. Fenske accepted a call to the Peace River District.

April 8, 1928 - The voters decided to ask the Mission Board to purchase a house for the pastor which the congregation would repay in three annual payments. The purchase price was $300. The house was in Alhambra.

April-Sept 1928 - Rev. Edward Schmidt served as vacancy pastor.

September 1928 - Rev. Paul Natzke arrived at Immanuel.

Jan. 11, 1929 - Voters decided to pledge $240.00 towards Pastor's salary plus $100.00 for feed and fuel and $115.00 for budget.

May 26, 1929 - The janitor at the church, Mrs Martin Lund, was paid $8.00 a year.

Jan. 6, 1931 - Horse feed and fuel would be furnished for the Pastor for the coming year. $15.00 was pledged for mileage for that year.

Feb. 6, 1931 - A motion was made to buy two acres of land, cut logs and saw it into lumber to build a church. P.O. Peterson, Magnus Oppel and Tim Kirby were elected as the building committee.

Nov. 8, 1931 - Rev. Paul Natzke accepted a call to Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Dec. 28, 1931 - Rev. A. Meitler was welcomed as pastor.

Jan. 19, 1932 - The Pastor's salary was set at $274.00 for the year.

May 3, 1932 - All communicant members were asked to pay five cents each towards delegate expenses to the convention in Milwaukee.

1932 - Craig and Alhambra voted to become one parish.

May 23, 1933 - A motion was passed to give Rev. Meitler permission to make a trip to the States for a holiday.

Jan. 3, 1936 - A motion was passed that Rev. Meitler's salary be $800.00 for 1936. Rev. Meitler accepted a call to South Dakota, U.S.A.

April 6, 1936 - Rev. A. F. Miller was welcomed as pastor. His salary was set at $600.00 per annum , plus $200.00 for mileage.

July 23, 1936 - Rev. A.F. Miller was holding services in Red Deer as well as Craig and Alhambra.

Oct. 29, 1936 - Magnus Oppel took a truck load of vegetables, which were gathered by the congregation, to Concordia College in Edmonton.

Jan. 27, 1938 - Immanuel Ladies Aid was organized with a membership of 19. Mrs. Gwendoline Frith was president and Mrs. Barbara Oppel was secretary. A few items from the 1938 Ladies Aid budget : crepe paper-15 cents per bolt, hymn books - 12 cents each and coffee 40 cents per pound.

Oct. 16, 1938 - Rev. Miller married Hilda von Hollen.

Nov. 16, 1942 - Rev. Miller accepted a call to Camrose, Alberta.

Dec. 1942 - Rev. L Gabert accepted a call to Immanuel.

July 23, 1945 - Rev. L Gabert accepted a call to Trail, B.C.

Sept. 1945 - Rev. Albert Reiner of Didsbury served as vacancy pastor, one year later the parish extended a call to him which he accepted. The parsonage in Alhambra was sold for $475.00 and the money was used as partial payment on a parsonage in Red Deer, Alberta. From here on the pastors lived in Red Deer and each Sunday served Red Deer, Craig and Alhambra congregations.

Dec. 20, 1947 - Pastor's salary was set at $1600.00.

June 1, 1949 - Dudley Frith, Herbert Lund and Gusty von Hollen were elected as a committee to investigate the possibility of obtaining property on Highway 11 for the purpose of building a church. Havelock Sloan very generously donated the land one half mile east of the Alhambra corner, and the church was completed and dedicated to the glory of God on July 8, 1951.

Sept. 1952 to July 1955 - Rev. Paul Guebert was pastor.

Nov. 1955 to 1957 - Rev. G. Derwig served as pastor.

Feb. 5, 1958 - A Motion was passed to install electricity in the church in Alhambra.

Feb. 18, 1959 - Tom Lund was elected secretary-treasurer replacing his brother Herb who had held the position for 32 years.

1958 to 1965 - Rev. Ed Lehman served as pastor.

Jan. 5, 1960 - The audited books showed a deficit of $16.05 for 1959.

Jan. 7, 1963 - Possible expansion in Rocky Mountain House was discussed.

Nov. 7, 1963 - Pastor Lehman outlined tentative plans for starting the Lord's work in Rocky Mountain House.

Aug. 27, 1964 - Sunday evening services were started in Rocky Mountain House in the W.I. Hall.

May 9, 1965 - Candidate William Kronen was assigned to the Rocky-Craig Parish.

July 15, 1965 - A joint meeting was held with Craig congregation to discuss the division of the parish as Rev. Lehman would now only serve Red Deer as that congregation had grown larger. The pastor would now live in Rocky Mountain House and serve Rocky and Craig congregations.

Sept. 13, 1965 - A committee was formed to look into the possibility of buying a church site in Rocky Mountain House. Worship services were held in the Seventh Day Adventist church in Rocky. Pastor Kronen started Bible studies on a regular basis, re-organized the Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and began ground work for evangelism.

Aug. 7, 1966 - A parsonage was purchased in Rocky.

May 9, 1967 - Property was purchased for a church building. Gusty von Hollen, Bill Jessop, Tyrone Lund and Marvin Peterson were appointed to the building committee.

May 23, 1968 - An architect was hired to design the new church building.

May 28, 1970 - The new church in Rocky Mountain House was dedicated to God with Rev. A.F. Miller of Calgary and Rev. George Rode of Edmonton as guest speakers.

July 1971 - A new Conn organ was purchased.

Sept. 1971 - Rev. William Kronen accepted a call to Monticello, Iowa, U.S.A.

Nov. 22, 1971 - The Alhambra property and church were sold.

Jan. 19, 1972 - Rev. Ken Rodeman was welcomed as pastor. Morning, afternoon and evening Bible chatters were started, as well as a renewed evangelism program.

Nov. 22, 1973 - The budget was set at $21,835.00.

June 22, 1975 - The fifth anniversary of the church was celebrated.

1975 - Communicant membership was 136 and baptized members numbered 196.

Aug. 1976 - The parsonage in Rocky was sold and Rev. Rodeman was preparing to build his own house.

Dec. 1978 - Rev. Rodeman accepted a call to Leduc.

1978 - Rev. Paul Langhor of Rimbey served as vacancy pastor and with the dedicated work of Lay Ministry the congregation continued to grow.

Oct. 1978 - Immanuel voted to become self supporting.

Nov. 15, 1978 - Craig - Rocky parish business ended. Each became an independent parish. There were nine call meetings held before a pastor accepted a call to Rocky.

March 27, 1980 - It was decided to purchase the Allen Organ for $17,000.00.

June 29, 1980 - Mortgage burning and tenth anniversary were celebrated.

Aug. 24, 1980 - Rev, Theo Reiner had accepted the call to Rocky and was installed.

1980 - The congregation supported a Vietnamese family.

Sept, 1980 - A part time secretary was hired to work 20 hours a week.

Nov. 9, 1981 - A motion was made that starting on Jan 1, 1982 two Sunday morning services be held each Sunday. A motion was also made to create a building committee that would be responsible to Planning Council.The building committee was to meet with the architect, work through all plans, oversee all phases of building , and negotiate contracts before submission to the voters assembly for approval. Several sites for relocation were selected and proved to be inappropriate or too expensive.

Sept. 12, 1982 - Installation of Youth Staffer, Donna Unterschultz. Donna remained for one year at immanuel.

1982 - Under the co-ordination of Diane Sande the Pageant of Christ's Birth was begun and is still continuing today. Theo Reiner was the inspiration behind the Pageant. That first year approximately 1200 people attended.

Jan. 1984 - The budget was set at $98,874.00 .

March 19, 1984 - It was voted to expand the existing facility on the present site. A building committee was selected consisting of: Shirley Garrett, Lorraine Shirley, Gusty von Hollen, Mike Beck, Cliff Friesen , Tom Machan, Dean Tomkins, and Doug Hansen .

May 14, 1984 - A motion was made that the voters approve a budget of $350,000.00 including construction and management fees. John Murray was selected as the architect.

May 28, 1985 - The constitution was revised to reflect changes to the operation of Immanuel.

Jan. 26, 1986 - The expanded Immanuel Lutheran Church was dedicated to the glory of God. Immanuel declared its intention to seek membership in the autonomous Lutheran Church, Canada.

May 26, 1986 - Due to health reasons Pastor Theo Reiner applied for medical leave and all ceremonies and services were looked after by other pastors.

Sept. 22, 1986 - Pastor Reiner submitted his resignation. Pastor Terry Lutz began serving as vacancy pastor. Marie Beck was appointed church secretary.

Nov. 24, 1986 - Pastor Schuelke , circuit counsellor presided at the first of several call meetings.

May 31, 1987 - Farewell potluck dinner for the Reiners was held following the Church service.

Jan. 4, 1988 - A call was sent to Pastor Timothy Richholt.

May 1-4,1988 - Pastor Richholt visited Rocky and talked to Lay Ministers and Council

May 21 - 23, 1988 - Immanuel became part of Lutheran Church Canada at the founding convention in Winnipeg. Else Siegle signed the constitution on behalf of Immanuel Congregation.

June 5, 1988 - Timothy Richholt was installed as Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church. He and his family were warmly welcomed to Rocky and Immanuel. A special dinner and fellowship activities followed the installation.

Jan. 1990 - Eighteen new pews were built for the new addition of the church.

April, 1991 - Cliff Friesen outlined plans for a debt reduction plan to help pay off Immanuel's mortgage. This program was to be known as "Lift High The Cross".

Feb. 1992 - Twenty-two old pews were recovered and repaired-thanks to Gusty and Gwen von Hollen.

November, 27, 1994 - Lift High The Cross was successful and Immanuel was able to burn the mortgage at a special service.

Jan. 1995 - The budget was set at $139,100.00
Immanuel developed a mission statement which was revised a couple of times.
The final mission statement is :
Immanuel Lutheran Church is a family of believers in Christ united in worship, fellowship and service committed to sharing the gospel with people so the Holy Spirit may bring them into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

August, 1995 - Communicant membership was 225 and the baptized membership was 450.