In mid 1947, the last Pastor and Mrs. John W. Lucas retired from Toronto, Ontario and returned to Alberta for health reasons. The burning in their hearts to serve the Lord continued unabated during those early months of retirement. In December, 1949 the historic Immanuel Lutheran Church facilities in the Riverside district became available. Through providential circumstances, the Lord graciously made available this property for adult worship and children’s ministry. Before the first service was announced, Mrs. Elizabeth Roh’s four daughters arrived on the doorstep to attend Sunday School. Grandma Lucas welcomed them and shared the Gospel. Each girl received Christ as Savior that afternoon. In late December, the first services were held with thirteen people in attendance. The children’s “Booster Band” was inaugurated on a weekday evening with attendance’s up to 200. The spiritual impact of this early ministry is still testified to by many who were children at that time. Through the years, Pastor John W. Lucas Jr. assisted his parents in their ministry at Immanuel until he became a dynamic Senior Pastor in 1965.
Due to inadequate facilities in the historical church, and severe parking problems, Church growth was hampered and a spirit of desperation became evident. In the summer of 1968, our present facilities were offered for sale. It appeared to be a seeming impossible opportunity for the congregation to consider, but through the providence of the Lord, finances were made available to purchase our present facilities. The move was made in July, 1969 with an increased congregational evangelistic thrust being experienced. Since that time several thousand have professed the Lord Jesus Christ in the waters of baptism. Thousands of “hippies” were saved and many missionaries were born.
In 1988, Pastor John W. Lucas III was ratified by the congregation to serve as the Assistant Pastor. This provided three generations of the same family ministering from the same pulpit for more than a 40 year time span. In July 1994, Pastor John W. Lucas III assumed the role of Senior Pastor and is giving leadership to our congregation. We thank God for His gracious goodness during Immanuel’s 62 year existence.
We are praying together that we will continue to be able to accomplish great things for the glory of God in the coming days.