Church History

easter-sunday-morningHistory of Our Church

Immanuel United Church of Christ, founded in 1888, has a rich history of working men, mostly farmers, gathered together to plan for a new church and parochial school in the vicinity of Ferguson, MO. They were concerned for their children to have a religious education, which was lacking in the area. After several meetings it was decided to build a church and a school and name it "Evangelical Immanuel Congregation". The old frame church that was built that year housed our first organ.

 

The ground at the corner of Lewis and Church Streets was purchased from Mr. Ferguson for $350. A frame building was erected and dedicated on June 3, 1888. All of the church services were conducted in German until early 1941. In 1889 a school house consisted of grades 1-6. The school was in operation until 1918 when it was then discontinued.

 

Immanuel has the distinction of having two very historical symbols in Ferguson. First, is the church bell which was delivered to the church in a "hay wagon". The bell was rescued by one of our members from the Steamboat "St. Louis", which had been destroyed by fire. The second symbol is our weather vane rooster, which stood atop the early frame church as a common symbol of Protestant Congregations.

 

In 1895 the first frame parsonage was built. The parsonage and church yard had a white picket fence. The entrance to the church yard was from Church Street, and had hitching posts for the members to tie up their horses.

 

In February, 1929, the parsonage was destroyed by fire. A new parsonage was built and dedicated on October 13, 1929. On the same day a cornerstone was laid for the new church, which was erected during the fall and winter. It was dedicated on March 16, 1930.

 

The groundbreaking for our Educational Building was held in 1954 and dedicated on October 16, 1955. Once the Educational Building became debt free in May 1958, plans were underway to add a Fellowship Hall.  The Fellowship Hall was dedicated on August 30, 1959. This building is now known as the Paul Press Memorial Building, named for a former pastor of Immanuel United Church of Christ.

 

Immanuel continues to update the currect structures. Some of these improvements include: an elevator in the church, air conditioning in the Educational Building and Fellowship Hall. 

 

Immanuel United Church of Christ is a former Evangelical and Reformed Church in the United Church of Christ denomination.

 

Immanuel is a warm, friendly and family oriented congregation. We invite you to visit our church community and feel the past history, and experience the excitement of what our future will bring.

 

 

The Rooster                      Rooster

The Cockerel stood on top of the original Immanuel Evangelical Church, until it was removed about 1935. The congregation who had it put there did not intend it as a weathervane. This bird was to remind them of the New Testament narrative when Jesus was awaiting trial before Pilate, and he turned with true vision to Peter (who was protesting his loyalty to his Lord) with the words, "Ere the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice" (Mark 14:30). The narrative tells the sequence, "And Peter went out and wept bitterly" (Matthew 26:75). This bit of gospel story will not be forgotten by Immanuel's congregation. It will be a reminder throughout all the years. The cockerel is made of zinc, and is 24 inches high. It stood on it's perch for 47 years overlooking the community. During that time, it is believed to have been painted once; and shows some of the holes made by a BB gun's shots inflicted by the local boys, who used it for their target practice. The Ferguson community for many years dubbed us with the name "The Rooster Church". The "Rooster" has now found a permanent roost in our Archives Room located in the basement of the Church. 

 

Pipes

The Organ

The old frame church that was built in 1888 housed our first organ. This organ was operated by two people. One person played the organ while the other pumped the bellows located on the side.

 

A Reuters Pipe Organ was purchased by the Henry J. Bangert family in 1930 costing $8,900. The initial installation included 17 ranks. A harp rank was later added as a memorial.

In 1969 the forty seven year old pipe organ was completely overhauled at a cos tof $12,000. At this time, an additional 3 ranks were added. In 2002, Wicks Organ Company built a new console and added 12 digital stops. A midi system was also added which allows recording of the organ music. 

 



 

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