The History of Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church was founded in Brandon in 1970 as a result of an ad placed in the local Brandon newspaper on Oct 1, 1969, by Nate and Eunice Kraxberger, who were seeking people interested in beginning a congregation.
- Our First Service – After initial organizational meetings, the name Immanuel Lutheran Church was chosen in March 1970, and Rev. James Peter, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Plant City, conducted the first worship service on April 5, 1970, with 91 people in attendance.
- Our Church Campus – Construction of our facilities on John Moore Road started in 1972 with the initial worship center, classrooms, and offices.
- Our School Begins – Principal Leo Raschke was called to begin Immanuel Lutheran School in September 1980, with 72 students in grades 1 through 7. Today, we have over 150 students enrolled in an education program that provides Christ-centered instruction in the Lutheran tradition for children from 3 year olds through 8th grade.
- Our Sanctuary and Family Life Center – In 1982 we built our current worship facility which has a seating capacity of 535. In 1989 we added the Pastor Roger Robinson Family Life Center which houses five classrooms, two locker rooms, a music room, a commercial kitchen, and a 140’ x 80’ gymnasium.
- Our Youth Room Addition – In September, 2007, Immanuel dedicated to the glory of God its new Youth Room, Nursery, a Resource Library, many sanctuary renovations, and an expanded breezeway with drive-thru/drop-off capability.
The Immanuel youth group chose to dedicate the Youth Room to former member Cody Dykes as a lasting memorial to him. Cody died in an automobile accident in 2005 while a student at Riverview High School. During the Dedication Service, Mr Lee Dykes, Cody’s father, spoke movingly to the congregation about his son’s relationship with God and his deep understanding and knowledge of his salvation through Jesus Christ. Henceforth, the room will be known as the Cody L. Dykes Memorial Youth Room. (Coincidentally, Cody’s grandfather, Bob Dykes, was the architect for the original buildings at Immanuel.)
- Today – the people of Immanuel look forward to further growth and the challenges, opportunities and blessings that come with it.
We invite you to become an active member of the family of Immanuel … to be a part of the next chapter of the history of how Almighty God has blessed us with His grace to His glory.