Our History

A Humble Beginning

Immanuel Lutheran Church began right as the Village of Butler in Waukesha County was growing because of railroad development. Rev. John C. Schmidt of Hope Lutheran Church in Milwaukee began a preaching station, in 1912. The first services, in German, were held in New Butler in the carpenter shop of Oscar Staats, a contractor and builder who built New Butler’s public school and bank. Attendance at the first services ranged from 9 to 15 persons. On July 22, 1912, three lots were obtained in New Butler on the northwest corner of Moeller and Birch Streets, today known as 127th Street at W. Peck Place. This land was donated by the John Schroeder Lumber Company of Milwaukee, which had a branch in New Butler. Immanuel’s first church was built on this land and completed in the fall of 1912.
The church was 40×28 feet in size, frame construction with cement foundation. A parochial school for the children of New Butler families and of farmers in the surrounding country was begun at the same time.

In January, 1915 Rev. L.J. Avé-Lallemant, the first called pastor of Immanuel, was installed. Under his leadership the school grew to 24 pupils and a residence was rented to serve as the schoolroom. In the spring of 1917 the church filed its constitution and incorporation papers in Waukesha and the congregation’s charter was granted by Waukesha County on April 28, 1917. The church building was moved to its longtime site on W. Derby Place, in the spring of 1917, a more favorable location.

Church services were conducted in German until 1927, and that year a special English service was started on Sunday nights. The congregation enjoyed a marked growth to over 200 Communicant members, and was still a mission congregation supported by the district.

Independence and Growth

In 1931 the congregation became self-supporting, grateful to the South Wisconsin District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for providing assistance to Immanuel from its beginning. In 1936, Immanuel Lutheran Church became a congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
The Christian day school closed around the beginning of World War II, as many schools struggled to find trained teachers. Edgar A. Koepke, the first called principal and teacher in Immanuel’s history, reopened the school in September, 1950.

Moving to Maturity

The small community of Butler and the Village of Brookfield expanded and developed into a suburban community. There was a marked increase in church attendance, Sunday School became crowded, and the Christian Day School was filled to capacity. The need for a larger church and school was evident. Land was purchased one-half mile directly west in Brookfield for the site of the new church and school and in 1952 plans for the new church were drawn. In February, 1955 the new church and parsonage were completed and dedicated, officially moving Immanuel from Butler to the City of Brookfield.

As a result of the rapid growth during these last few years, it became necessary to proceed with further building programs. The first wing of the School was dedicated on September 13, 1959. The new school had five classrooms plus a school office. In 1962 4 classrooms, a gym, and kitchen was added to the School.

A Half Century of Blessing- Making Room for More
As the suburbs of Brookfield and Menomonee Falls continued to grow, the congregation grew. The facilities were taxed to the limit with additional worship services and full classrooms. With the continuing maximum use of the facilities, deterioration of the 1955 church, and the need for more classroom and meeting space, a new church, fellowship hall, classrooms, and office areas were dedicated on February 13, 1983, 28 years to the day of the first move to the new church in Brookfield.

Expanding Locally, Serving Globally

In 1995, a before/after school Child Care, held in the Fellowship Hall, opened at the start of the school year. In 1996, summer child care began and commenced year-round child care for ages 3 and up. In August, 2007 infant and toddler care was added.

In 1999, the addition of a multi-purpose room, now named the Field House was built in order to assist in sports programs, dramatic presentations, and large-scale worship services.

In 2009, Immanuel once again expanded with an additional parking lot, a renewed and enlarged entryway, remodeled bathrooms, an ADA-compliant family bathroom, a remodeled fellowship hall/kitchen, a Conference room for Bible study, choirs and service groups, updated boilers, lighting, and roofing, and dedicated 10% of the cost of building to mission work.

In 2014, Immanuel expanded once again, replacing the old gym with a modern Child Care facility, a new kitchen and cafeteria, 4 classrooms and a large room for youth activities.

Since 2004, Immanuel has been able to build 5 churches in southwestern Uganda and support other outreach work in Congo, China and Uganda. In 2007, Immanuel began to support Kasongo Gui Kabeo, a French speaking Congolese immigrant, while he studied to become a pastor through the Ethnic Institute of Theology program of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Immanuel continues to support Le Sion Lutheran, a French speaking congregation in Milwaukee.
Mission teams have also built 10 houses through Casas Por Christo in Juarez and Acuna Mexico.
As Immanuel marked its one-hundredth anniversary at the end of October, 2012, we rejoiced in God’s blessings of our first century of ministry. We also rejoice as we look forward to see what God has in store for this mission outpost in the BrookFallsButlerTosaWaukee community that we serve!