A CARING FAMILY SHARING GOD’S LOVE AND FORGIVENESS.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church is a caring family of baptized Christians bound together in the forgiveness that God has provided all people through His Son. Our family of faith exists to announce that gift of forgiveness to individuals of all nations, races, and cultures by preaching God's Word and sharing the Sacraments. Emmanuel follows and teaches the confessional standard of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Our members reach out through loving, forgiving relationships to connect and support all members of the family.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church was founded on July 26, 1867, as the first daughter congregation of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. For its entire 151-year history, Emmanuel has served as a beacon for the Gospel to the West Central Neighborhood of downtown Fort Wayne.
After moderate peaks and valleys during the first 80 years of the congregation’s existence, the 1950s and 1960s were periods of tremendous growth at Emmanuel. Led by visionary pastor, Walter Schoedel, and spurred on by the cultural influence of the post-World War II “baby boom,” Emmanuel experienced a rebirth. One of the defining actions the church took during this era was a commitment to remain at 917 West Jefferson. This was a time when many downtown churches were moving into the suburbs, and Emmanuel’s decision to remain at its original site was truly an act of faith.
This era also saw the birth of Emmanuel-St. Michael Lutheran School as both parishes combined their schools in 1962. Emmanuel-St. Michael has been a vital ministry of both congregations and a model for Christian education in Fort Wayne and throughout our region.
From its beginnings, Emmanuel has maintained a strong involvement with the surrounding neighborhood. Our relationships with Wellspring Interfaith Social Services, the West Central Neighborhood Association, and Washington Elementary School have been wonderful avenues for community engagement and outreach.
Over the last ten years, we have experienced a renewed vision for ministry at Emmanuel. An expanded staff and improvements to our campus, plus a complete restoration of our historic sanctuary, have brought new excitement and growth to the congregation. As the West Central Neighborhood undergoes change and redevelopment, our involvement with the community takes on added significance and brings new dimensions to our task of building faith in the city.