Walker, MN

History of Immanuel Lutheran Church Walker, MN

Back around 1904-1911, a group of German Lutherans, led by Mr. Carl Rau Sr., started gathering for worship services in homes, in a room at the top of the old Court House, the old Congregational Church, and the Mengis building which was next to the Rau home (now the Walker Art Gallery). Pastors Brauer, Albrecht, Buenger and Priess from the Bemidji, Cass Lake and Pequot Lake parishes served this group. In 1915, this group was officially organized as Immanuel Lutheran Church a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.


Officially organized as Immanuel Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

July 29, 1917

Carl S. Munger installed as first pastor


Parsonage purchased in Walker, near the current Holiday Station


Decision to build first church

May 7, 1924

First meeting of the newly organized Ladies Aid Society

August 6, 1924

New church building was dedicated

February 1926

Last service by Pastor Mundinger before accepting a call to Hopkins, MN Pastor Mundinger later earned a Doctor’s Degree and was a professor at the seminary. Rev. E.H. Polster took over as interim pastor until May 1930

September 2, 1930 –April 12, 1936

Rev. Louis Morgal, who also had preaching stations at Brevik and Hackensack plus the tubercular patients at the State Sanatorium. (Ah-Gwah-Ching). During his time here a Walther League was organized for the Youth of the church.

Summer 1936-September 9, 1941

Rev. Fred Miller served the Walker-Hackensack-Guthrie parish living in the parsonage at Walker. Rev. Fred Miller served until September 9, 1941 when he was called to active duty in the Army.


Rev. Paul Walther accepted the call to the Walker field and served until he was called to serve in Ormsby, MN

November 14, 1948-1957

Rev. August Engelhard served as Pastor of the Walker-Akeley parish until he accepted a call to Randall, MN


Rev. T.G.Van der Bloemen served the Walker-Akeley parishes. During his stay here he also held an early morning service at the Hi-Y Drive-In Theatre during the summer months.

June 17, 1959

The Altar Guild was formed and held their first meeting.


The Walker-Akeley parishes were served by Rev. Roy Biberdorf. Late during this time a new parsonage was being built in Walker on 5th St.


Rev. Herman Mutterer accepted the call to the Walker-Akeley Parishes and served until his retirement in 1971 to a home in Nevis.

June 27,1965

Dedication of the new parsonage by Rev. Mutterer

Spring 1971-May 1977

St. Louis Seminary Student Rev. Carl Prostka served at Walker-Akeley Parishes until he was called to Farmington, New York. It was during his tenure that talk of a new church came up. The decision was reached to build a new church on the site of the old church on the corner of 5th street and Michigan Avenue.

August 21, 1977

Ground breaking for the new church building. During this time services were held at Hope Lutheran Church on Saturday nights.

July 1977-January 21, 1978

Rev. Herman Mutterer returned and served as vacancy pastor. On Sunday afternoon, January 22, Pastor Schaefer was installed by Pastor Mutterer, who performed his last duty on Earth. Our Lord called him to his heavenly home on January 27, 1978.

January 22, 1978- January 2, 1983

Pastor Henry Schaefer served as Pastor to the Walker-Akeley Parishes until he was called to Freistatt, MO.

August 6, 1978

Dedication service at the new church building.

July 3, 1983-April 1987

St. Louis Seminary student, Pastor Daniel Schumm served the dual parishes of Walker-Akeley until he was called to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

December 8, 1985

Mortgage burning ceremony for the new church building.

June 1987

The congregations of Immanuel at Walker and St. John’s at Akeley voted to disband as a dual parish.

August 2, 1987-March 1989

Seminary student Gregory Tyler served as Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church until he was called to Osseo, MN.

March 1989 – July 23, 1989

Pastor Orville Aho and Pastor Tom Palomaki served as interim pastors.

July 23, 1990

The 75th Anniversary was held for Immanuel Lutheran Church. The special speaker for the occasion was Dr. August Mennicke, 1st Vice President of the Lutheran Church –Missouri Synod.

July 23, 1989-December 11, 1994

Seminary student Ronald May served as Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church until he was called to serve in Indianapolis, IN.

December 1994- December 31, 1995

Pastor Orville Aho, Pastor Tom Palomaki (Chaplain at Ah-Gwah-Ching) and Pastor Leroy Philaya served as interim pastors at Immanuel.

January 1, 1996 – May 28, 2000

Pastor Donald Wagner served as Pastor at Immanuel until he was called to Elbow Lake, MN. During this time it was decided to build a new and larger church with an education wing to start a school.

May 4, 1997

Ground breaking for the new church at the present location ½ mile east of the Y-Junction of Hwy 371 & 200. A School Steering Committee was formed.

July 1, 1997

The church building in Walker at 5th & Michigan was sold for $185,000. Members were able to rent the basement to hold church service while the new church was being built.

August 3, 1997

The Rite of Disposition of a Church Building was held in the upstairs of church building in town.

December 14, 1997

First Worship Service was held at the new church.

March 17, 1998

Men of Immanuel held their first organizational meeting. The primary purpose of the group was to nurture Christian fellowship and to supply leadership, encouragement, and support to the church projects and activities.

July 18, 1998

With the paving done and some landscaping done an open house was held for the community to view the new church facility.

August 9, 1998

Service of Dedication of the new church was held with guest speaker, Pastor David Bode, President on MN North District.

November 1998

Immanuel Lutheran School doors opened with 14 students enrolled in our Minnesota State Licensor Preschool Program.

June 1999

The 2nd Annual ABC Sale was held at the church for the first time.

September 1999

Kindergarten was added to Immanuel Lutheran School with enrollment being 9 in Kindergarten and 24 in Preschool.

June-December 31, 2000

Rev. W. F. Neumann served as vacancy pastor.

September 2000

Grades 1-3 were added to Immanuel Lutheran School

January 14, 2001-June 30, 2002

Rev. George Krueger accepted the call to Immanuel Lutheran Church and served until his retirement.

September 2001

Grades 4-5 were added to Immanuel Lutheran School.

March 2002

A Call was placed and accepted by Janna Kietzman as new Principal/Teacher starting for the 2002-2003 School year.

July 21, 2002-May 15, 2008

Seminary student Daniel Burns accepted the call to Immanuel Lutheran church until he was called to Marion, WI.

September 2002

6th Grade was added to Immanuel Lutheran School.

June 2006

A call was placed and accepted by Holly Goetze to teach grades 4-8

September 2006

7th & 8th Grade were added to Immanuel Lutheran School.

June 22, 2008-February 2, 2013

Seminary student Micheal Bitz accepted the call to Immanuel Lutheran School. He took a leave of Absence due to health reasons on February 2, 2013.

December 31, 2013

Rev. Bitz officially resigned and relinquished his call to Immanuel because of ongoing health issues and an inability to fulfill it.

February 9, 2013-September 7, 2014

Rev. Ed Behling served as vacancy pastor.

January 2014

Call Committee was established

September 7, 2014

Rev. Matthew Vrudny was installed as Pastor for Immanuel Lutheran Church coming from a duel parish in Bruno and Finlayson, MN

October 4, 2015

Immanuel Lutheran Church held a Centennial Celebration with a Morning Divine Service at 10:00 am and a catered lunch following. MN North District President Fondow was joined by Pastor Matthew Vrudny, Rev. Greg Tyler, Rev. Michael Bitz and Rev. George Krueger in celebrating the Divine Worship service.