History through March 2012.
In the early 1990s Pastor Robert Hill of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas perceived a need to form a mission church in the area of Allen, and Fairview, Texas. His desire to start this congregation became a reality on February 5, 1995, when a group of worshippers, mostly from the Allen and Fairview areas, began to meet and worship in the Allen Public Library. The group was led by assistant pastor Michael Frick of Faith. In June 1995 the group petitioned LCMS for membership as a congregation. This was approved and the charter service was held on October 1, 1995.
By this time the services had moved to the Lovejoy School, as the city of Allen would allow only 6 months in the library. At Lovejoy the worship services were held in the gym, with folks splitting up for Sunday School classes in parts of the gym, the cafeteria and in hallways. During this time the “church-in-a-box”, as some called it, was brought in a trailer to the school each Sunday morning. The trailer contained a collapsible altar, built by a member, and hymn books. The altar would be set up and hymn books were distributed. After the service it would all be broken down and packed back up in the trailer.
By 1996 the congregation was well enough established that it was decided to issue a call for a permanent pastor. A list of candidates was drawn up and as a result, Pastor Paul Neumann was called to be the pastor. He was installed in July 1996.
In 1998 a little white church on Country Club Road in Fairview, the former home of Friendship Baptist Church, went up for sale. The congregation decided to buy it and it became the next (and current) home of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
In late 2006 the congregation was dwindling. Some members had migrated back to Faith, some had left the area, and it turned out that Pastor Neumann would be leaving by May 2007. It was looking as though Immanuel would be no more. But the Lord had another plan. One Sunday early in 2007 a gentleman and his wife visited the church. They had just moved nearby and were searching for a new church home. Shortly after their visit the man was driving by the church and noticed a car parked there. He stopped, knocked on the door and was let in by a painter who was working there. The “painter” turned out to be a member of the congregation, who in the course of the conversation informed the visitor of the need for a pastor. The visitor revealed that he was a retired pastor and was promptly recruited for the vacancy. He offered his services to help out as interim pastor for one year. Thus Pastor Bob Vogel became Immanuel’s interim pastor.
The “one year” turned into two-plus years during which time the congregation began to grow again. In 2009 it had grown to the point where it was decided once again to issue a call for a permanent pastor. Vicar Tab Ottmers was called, and was installed in July 2009. After completing his vicarage year he was called to be pastor. Pastor Ottmers was ordained and installed as pastor on June 13, 2010. When Pastor Vogel turned the pastoral duties over to Pastor Ottmers, Immanuel was fortunate to have Pastor Vogel stay on as organist and choir director.
In early 2012 a project of remodeling was embarked upon in order to correct a number of safety and maintenance issues that needed to be addressed. While the major focus was on the necessary issues, a further benefit was a more attractive and slightly larger sanctuary in which to worship. Interestingly, the contractor in charge of the project, while no longer a member, was one of the original members of the Immanuel congregation.