The early history of  Immanuel Lutheran Church dates back to the years of 1869 and 1870 when a  number of families with German ancestry settled northwest of the town  of Spirit Lake.  This was just 12 years after the Spirit Lake massacre  when the area was opened once again to settlement.  In those days there  were circuit riding pastors who came to the area and held worship  services in log cabin homes.

It was not until 1878 that the  congregation really considers its date of origin, however, when it was  recorded in the proceedings of the First Convention of the Iowa District  of the Missouri Synod that Immanuel Lutheran Church had installed her  first resident pastor.  It had to be an incorporated congregation by  that time to have issued a call for the pastor.

In 1879 the  first building was built in Spirit Lake to house the worship and school  area on the second floor and the parsonage for the pastor’s family on  the main floor.  Since that first building was constructed there have  been four other building programs in the congregation, the most recent  being concluded in 2003 in conjunction with the congregation’s 125th  anniversary.

Since 1878 the congregation has grown from a mere  handful of people to a congregation of over 850 members.  In the early  days of history, it was felt that the lakes area of Iowa would never  draw residents.  Today the area is the fastest growing rural area in the  state of Iowa.  What began as a small congregation of farmers has grown  into a large congregation of people from all walks of life.  Each year  the congregation continues to find new and exciting ventures for  ministry in the lakes region.

Today the congregation also serves  as the host congregation for all of the Iowa District West Conventions  providing a large worship facility to adequately facilitate all those  attending the various conventions.  The congregation also serves to  facilitate many community needs as well and provides worship  opportunities not only within the facility but also through local  television and radio stations.