The first Lutheran services in Vienna, Virginia were held in Copp’s Garden Room on Maple Avenue (located upstairs at the now Marco Polo Restaurant) on November 27, 1955. About 45 people were in attendance. The services were under the direction of the Board of American Missions. Chaplain Edward Kroencke served as the temporary pastor. George Copp donated the meeting place and his daughter Bonny Copp served as pianist. The congregations of Holy Trinity, Faith, Good Shepherd, and Messiah agreed to mentor this Package Mission.
At a Congregational Meeting on April 8, 1956, the name Emmanuel (God With Us) was chosen and a Constitution adopted. The Emmanuel Lutheran Church organized officially May 27, 1956 with 48 members. The Copp family gave testimony of its faith in this undertaking by donating 2.5 acres of land on Maple Avenue for our church site. To save on costs, the members of Emmanuel cleared the lot themselves.
Emmanuel in the mid-1960s. The original sanctuary (left) now serves as the fellowship hall.
On June 17, 1956 the first council was installed and Pastor Frank Lampe was installed as Emmanuel’s pastor. On November 25, the congregation met at the church site for the Groundbreaking Service. The building was dedicated May 26, 1957. A new education unit and bell tower were dedicated on May 17, 1964, and on June 15, 1980, a new sanctuary, offices, classrooms and choir room were dedicated. In July of 1996, we broke ground for the extensive renovation of the existing building and the construction of a new section which includes the centrum and choir room. We dedicated the completed renovation/addition on June 14, 1998.
In our 50th Anniversary year of 2006, Emmanuel lifted praise to God for weaving together men, women, and children, empowering them to be Christ’s Body in this place, and entrusting them with the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20). Through the Word and Sacraments of worship, the continuing call to discipleship, the prayerful support of fellowship, the faithful response of stewardship, and the selfless outreach of love and service –whenever two or three gather in his name — the risen Lord Jesus was indeed present and known. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary, members had the opportunity to sign a Covenant and pledge anew their discipleship. A special Jubilee Fund was also established: “We’re turning 50 and giving away the gifts!” The goal of $50,000 swelled to nearly $70,000 as anniversary gifts were received. This money was divided globally (to provide an alternative energy source for the Lazarus Project school and ministry at Village of Hope in Haiti); nationally (to restore a home in East Biloxi, Mississippi that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina); and locally (to support a new mission congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Loudoun County, Virginia). With great jubilation and sure trust, Emmanuel boldly looks forward to its next 50 years!
Pastors of Emmanuel Lutheran Church:
Frank B.Lampe III (1956-1960)
Emil F. Ibele (1960-1969)
Benson M. Bartell (1970-1991)
Fredrick R. Doss (1974-1981)
Michael J. Magwire (1981-1989)
Jerry L. LiaBraaten (1990-2003)
Renée L. LiaBraaten (1990-2000)
P. Wayne Zschech (1993-1997)
Jeffery W. Lindsay (1999-2002)
Melissa M. Peterson (2000-2005)
Mark D. Edwards (2006-2016)
Beth S. Neubauer (2002-2017)
Tony Prinsen (2018-present)