Immanuel Lutheran Church of Brandon will commemorate 50 years on Sunday, April 5. The church began celebrating in September with its annual ‘Back To Church Sunday’ and has had multiple events leading up to its anniversary.

Rev. Kenneth Farnsworth, who has been the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church for more than 20 years, talked about how the church will observe its anniversary, “There will be a focus on our half-century of God’s grace at Immanuel, as reflected in our mission statement of ‘Sharing the Love, Joy and Peace of Jesus.’”

The idea of Immanuel Lutheran Church was birthed in October of 1969 after a few local families read an ad in the Brandon newspaper soliciting for Lutherans to start a Brandon congregation. On April 5, 1970, Immanuel Lutheran Church held its first worship service with 91 people.

Founding members Don and Rita Fowler remember that day.

“We’ve come a long way. God has been so good to us,” said Rita.

Her husband, Don, added, “God has blessed us so much.”

The Fowlers were one of the five couples in the original group. The effort was led by Nate and Eunice Kraxburger, who placed the newspaper ad, seeking others interested in planting a Lutheran Missouri Synod congregation. Other families included Jack and Mary Lou Nash, Larry and Katie Unterfer and Dan and Willa Jackson.

Rita continued, “My grandfather, George Lambertus, had been a part of starting Redeemer Lutheran Church in Louisville, Kentucky in 1888. It was part of my family’s heritage to start a church.”

Situated next to the church is the Immanuel Lutheran School. In September, the school will celebrate 40 years. The church acknowledges the school’s vital role to the community as it reaches students and families with the gospel through its academics. Immanuel Lutheran School offers programs from preschool through eighth grade.

More information on the school can be found at For more information on the church and its 50-year celebration, visit or call 689-1787.

Sunday services are held at 9 a.m. for Sunday school/Bible study and worship services are held at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Immanuel Lutheran Church and School is located at 2913 John Moore Rd. in Brandon.

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Amanda Boston
Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.