Immanuel Lutheran celebrates 125 years
By PAMELA GRANT
Known to some as the Church at the Mountain with a Cross, Immanuel Lutheran Church, celebrated their 125th anniversary this Sunday.
To celebrate 125 years, the church will be holding four 125th anniversary services in 2019. Sunday was the first with Pastor Delton Weiser serving as the guest preacher. The next one will be held July 7 with Reverend Dr. Scott R. Murray.
The church has a long and unique history that the pastors shared with the congregation.
“What makes this church special and unique is that it’s one of the first churches established in the Cove area,” said Pastor Tobin Scott.
Pastor Delton Weiser’s great-grandfather Otto Weiser and his wife were charter members of the church. During his sermon, Weiser talked about the difference between hoping in the Lord versus hoping for things. He talked about how when you can trust in the Lord then you will overflow with hope.
“In 1894, four families moved here and built a church,” said Weiser. “They were just a couple of farmers who had hope…and it overflowed.”
In 1891, the first pioneer Lutheran families settled in an area northwest of Copperas Cove. Early public worship services were conducted in homes or in schools, but by 1894, those families officially organized the Immanuel Lutheran Church. Their present house of worship was built in 1914. In 1939, the Walther League, a Lutheran youth group, constructed the large white rock cross on the hill behind the church.
“People say, ‘We saw the cross and that’s how we found the church.’” said vice president of the congregation, Henry Jost. Jost said that he was born and raised in the church. He said he remembers, as a kid during World War II, soldiers attending the church saying that for many, it was a home away from home.
Pastor Delton Weiser grew up in the church and has a strong connection with the church.
“In this church, even a person with no particular great talent, was valued, cherished, and encouraged to be everything God dreamed him to be,” said Weiser.
He said that members of the church planted the idea of becoming a pastor in him and nurtured that seed. Weiser said that the Immanuel Lutheran Church knows how to love and care about people saying that for many, it’s like having a second family.
“I’m excited about the possibilities of this little church. We have so many people with the Army base, moving to the area, for many [Immanuel Lutheran Church] is like a base or a home. In this tranquil setting, if there’s ever a place that could be a refuge for people and for families, for their hearts and for their souls, it can be this church because this church knows how to do that. It knows how to love people, care about people, and show the love of Jesus,” said Weiser. “And I believe there’s a world of people around that need that kind of a home for their spirit and for themselves…we all have baggage in our lives, but when it comes to coming in the church of Jesus, we get to check all our baggage and we just get to be loved for who we are. This church can do that. I see the possibilities of using this unique setting, this unique history, and story…Everybody is looking for something that stood the test of time. A church like this can be that for them.”
Elder David Pomeroy attributes the congregation’s love for Christ for the church’s success.
“We’re talking about the history, but we need to focus on the future,” said Pomeroy. “As we follow the footprints that were left in the sand for us, we leave our own footprints.