a community of believers
beginning its second century in the heart of Wichita;
teaching, worshiping, & living in the tradition of the Lutheran Reformation,
still committed to Gospel witness, human service,
growth in knowledge, and the ministry of prayer,
in the sacramental unity of God’s love.
Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church
A Member of the Lutheran Church
- Missouri Synod
Kansas District, South Wichita Circuit
Our name, Immanuel, means "God with us." In the human flesh of Christ, God came to us.
He lived, died and rose for us and through the Holy Spirit, still swells in and among us. We offer you God's good news in Christ, the sacraments of His grace and salvation that comes by grace through faith alone.
Lutherans, Martin Luther, and “Evangelical”
Lutherans do not subscribe to everything Martin Luther wrote, but we believe that God used him at a critical point in history to steer the church away from certain errors and back onto a true course. At the heart of the Luther-controversy lay the issue of work-righteousness. Luther and others showed the church that the Christian religion at its heart is not about laws and regulations, about our placating God’s wrath or earning his favor. It is about placing our faith in the Lord’s promise of forgiveness and eternal life in Christ.
The Reformers’ concern and ours, in other words, has been about THE GOSPEL – the Good News of Jesus Christ. From the Greek word for Gospel, euaggelion, we were not called “Lutherans” in the beginning (a name put on us later by others) but simply “Evangelicals” – people of the Gospel.
Lutherans and the Whole Church
Luther and his colleagues neither planned nor desired to start a separate church. Neither was it to reform the church – a feat which they believed God alone could accomplish, inwardly with his Word and Spirit. Instead, they tried to awaken church authorities to hear anew God’s Word, and to rediscover the Gospel that had gotten buried beneath all kinds of superstitions and human requirements.
We believe, as our Creeds say, that in truth there is only one Christian church on earth. Jesus Christ has one flock on earth, consisting of all those sheep who know and follow his voice. We also believe it a sad thing, therefore, that clashes over what God’s Word teaches have resulted in divisions. But while divergent confessions of the faith make different denominations a sad necessity, we are committed to dialogue with other Christian churches, in order to rejoice in what we have in common and work toward a greater external unity. Read more:
The Book of Concord
During the Reformation Martin Luther and others wrote documents to publish their faith and identify issues needing to be addressed. When to these was added another document written after Luther’s death, the whole collection became known in 1580 as the Lutheran Confessions, otherwise known as The Book of Concord. It remains the standard by which a church is identified as Evangelical Lutheran.
In North America Lutheranism established itself through waves of European immigrants settling in the New World. These Lutherans came from different lands (chiefly Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Sweden) and during different eras (from early colonial to the mid-1800s). As they settled in different parts of the United States, they formed various “synods,” organizations whose member congregations and pastors communed together, preached in each others’ pulpits, sponsored missionary efforts, and trained pastors.
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
...began in 1847 as Die Evangelische-Lutherische Synod von Missouri, Ohio, und anderen Staaten (The Evangelical-Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States). As the reference to the state suggests, we started out in Missouri – specifically, south of St. Louis and close to the Mississippi River. Over the next century and a half the Missouri Synod grew and divided into districts, which in turn were divided into local or area circuits for visitation. When a mission to Wichita was first conceived, Kansas was included in the Synod’s Western District, but soon the growth of churches in Kansas led to the formation of a Kansas District – to which Immanuel still belongs.
History of Immanuel Lutheran Church
First Missouri Synod Lutheran church in Wichita
Organized October 7, 1909
Written by Rev. L.H. Deffner
At the turn of the century there was no Lutheran Church in Wichita, a city of 24,671 inhabitants. Missouri Synod mission activity had reached into various parts of Kansas for thirty nine years. When the Kansas District was organized in 1888 congregations had been founded at Canton 1878, Mulvane 1881, Winfield 1883, and Newton 1886. Pastor J. F. H. Hoyer of Canton, Pastor J. V. Kauffeld of Newton and Prof. A. W. Meyer of Winfield had preached in Wichita but no congregation was established until a resident pastor was stationed in this city. The District embraced Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico. Pastors from Oklahoma traveling to a District convention would change trains in Wichita and with time on their hands would look around only to find that there was no Lutheran Church here and would express their concerns at the convention.
By 1907 the city had doubled in population when the District established the office of Director of Missions and called Pastor C. Hafner to this position. He accepted the challenge and would have moved to Wichita but found a church home for his family in Newton. Soon however he explored the mission opportunities of Wichita and began preaching services in English and German in the basement of the Sedgwick County Court House on June 28, 1908. He did much calling by foot and street car and when visiting also in the country Mrs. Catherine Cramer told him: "If we do not get our own church and school here we will go back to Illinois." It was high time that a resident pastor be called. And so Pastor Paul Pennekamp (figure 1)was installed on August 1, 1909 and Immanuel Congregation was organized on October 7, 1909 in the parsonage at Ninth and Oliver(Ohio?). Later the District sold this house and purchased a hundred feet of ground in the middle of the third block on Ellis Avenue, saving a $100.00 in the transaction.
A frame church (figure 3) and parsonage (figure2) were dedicated on March 5, 1911, at a cost of #3,040.00 and here the congregation worshiped for fifteen years. Although this was the geographical center of the city at the time it was always felt that a more suitable location should have been chosen. Soon after I came to Wichita in 1922 I met a good layman from a rural congregation in Reno County who had served on a sub-committee of the District Board in 1910, who said: "Well, Reverend, I guess the church in Wichita is badly located but we thought if it went under there would not be much lost." That's the kind of precaution our fathers pursued. Mind you Wichita had a population of 52,450, in 1910.
In 1921 the congregation decided to conduct the regular Sunday morning service in English. The congregation also became self-sustaining in that year but two years later again requested subsidy from the District for the establishment and maintenance of a Christian Day School. This was done in 1924 and the congregation took on new life. The facilities became inadequate for the growing congregation. The new location at South Market and Indianapolis was purchased for $4,150.00. Immanuel was to become a central city church. The first unit or basement of a new church and a frame parsonage next to it were erected at a cost of $26,004.00 and dedicated on May 16, 1926, leaving a $19,000.00 indebtedness.
Mrs. Sam H. Brack said to me that evening of dedication day: "we sure have a nice church." It was after all only a basement and we were to learn what that meant. In winter the cement floor was cold and the Kansas sun burning down on the asphalt roof in summer made the place of worship uncomfortable. Those ten and a half years of worship and congregational activity in the first unit were a trial period for Immanuel and perhaps the most exacting in the Pastor's entire ministry. This included the hard years of the thirties when Immanuel did well to pay the interest on the loans. Nevertheless after a decade all but $5,000.00 had been paid off when the attractive superstructure of the stone church was dedicated on December 20, 1936 at a cost of $38,000.00 including the organ and furnishings. A chime of twelve bells in the tower were given by a member at Immanuel's thirtieth anniversary on October 7, 1939.
The Educational Building which now adjoins the church was dedicated on September 17, 1961. Wichita's population was 254,443 in 1963 and 262,766 in 1973 and metropolitan Wichita has 273,403. Meanwhile eight sister congregations of Immanuel have been established in Wichita and Derby.
Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Wichita was organized in the evening of October 7, 1909 in the parsonage a 1002 Ohio Avenue, where six men including the Pastor held a meeting for the purpose of organizing a Lutheran congregation of the unaltered Augsburg Confession. A constitution and by laws were adopted. The name Immanuel, meaning "God with us", was unanimously chosen. Officers were elected, subscriptions for the Pastor's salary were made, and the meeting closed with the Lord's prayer. The charter members of the congregation were: D. B. Meyer, A. H. Neas. F H Bock, Fred Bockelmann, and A. F. Beye. Mr. A. A. Cramer who later joined the congregation a1so attended the first meeting .
The New Immanuel Lutheran Church ... Wichita, Kansas
This information is from a document written by Dr. L. H. Deffner in 1936 when the second phase of the building was completed. The information was updated in 1956 and again in 2009.
Approaching the new Immanuel Lutheran Church on South Market Street, one is impressed by the massive tower on the northeast corner of the building. As the eye travels from the cornerstone at the base of the tower, past the bulletin board on the lawn, also incased in stone, it meets the large front steps with their landing and wide bannisters and travels upward to the very top of the east front gable where stands a majestic stone cross fifty feet above the ground. Next the eyes rest upon a life-sized picture of Christ, "Come Unto Me", in the large window which adorns the east end ab ov e the entrance. A triple doorway under a paneled carved stone arch and adorned on the sides by bronze bracket lanterns invites one to step across the threshold onto the tiled floor of the foyer. To the right of the foyer is the tower entrance with stairway leading to the balcony.
The worshiper enters the church through one of the three doors opening from the foyer into the nave which is sixty feet long and forty eight feet wide. The distance across the transepts is sixty-two feet. The floor which has a fifteen inch incline in the nave is of blocked oak. The walls are of sand finished plaster painted in ivory. The ceiling of nuwood is thirty-one feet above the floor of the center aisle. Suspended by chains from the wood beams on the ceiling are hexagonal lanterns of opalescent glass with fixtures in antique gold. Pews of dark oak with a Gothic design carved in the end panels provide seating space for four hundred worshipers in the nave and north transept, while the balcony provides space for one hundred more. Kneelers have been provided beneath the pews in the front part of the church. The choir finds its place in the south transept and the organ console is immediately in front of the choir. The organ chamber occupies the upper portion of the space to the left of the chancel and has a sound duct facing into the nave thru a grill of carved oak. A like grill serving only as a heat duct has been place in the corresponding place in the wall to the right of the chancel. Directly beneath the organ chamber is the choir robing room. The corresponding space to the right of the chancel is occupied by the sacristy.
The chancel, eighteen feet wide and sixteen feet deep, is at the west end of the nave, elevated three steps, and is entered thru a large Gothic arch twenty feet high. The pulpit is to the right and the lectern to the left of the arch while the baptismal font is on an elevation to the left of the lectern. A communion rail extending the full width of the chancel stands on the step which elevates the sanctuary above the chancel floor. Within the sanctuary are two clergy stalls. The altar is the focal point of attention in the church rising to a height of seventeen feet lifting the worshiping soul to the cross of Christ. On the front of the altar proper in two side panels are shown the symbols "Alpha" and "Omega", the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet, and representing Jesus Christ, as the First and Last, the eternal Son of God. In the center panel is shown the monogram "I. H. S." It is the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek or an abbreviation of the three Latin words meaning Jesus the Savior of the World. In keeping with ancient usage the five crosses representing the five holy wounds of the Savior are carved in the mensa or top of the altar which is seven and one half feet long and twenty-four inches wide and is decked with appropriate altar vestment. The front of the retable is inscribed withe the thrice Holy; and upon the retable stand the brass candlesticks withe their real candles which remind us of our Lord as the living light of the world. In the center panel of the altar stands a plain gold cross thirty-six inches high representing finished redemption. Rising above the retable is the chastely carved oak rerodos with it's three panels carried to the crest where it merges into a cross which crowns the graceful carvings of wood. In keeping with the architecture of the church, which is Gothic throughout, the altar and rerodos, communion rail, pulpit, lectern, font, organ grill, paneling in the pew-fronts, design in the lamps and windows are all in this design.
One of the outstanding features of this House of Worship are the stained glass windows set in Gothic arches and mullions of stone. In the large front window, facing the street., above the doorway is the full length picture of our Lord with arms outstretched typifying His merciful invitation "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give your rest", In the right transept window is "The Good Shepherd", while in the three nave windows on the north side are represented the means of grace, namely: 1. The Word, open Bible; 2. Holy Baptism, the font; 3. The Lord's Supper, the chalice. Since by reason of his call from the congregation the pastor dispenses the means of grace, the emblem of the Office of the Keys adorns the window in the sacristy. The meaning of the emblems in the windows on this side where the pulpit stands may then be condensed int the sentence: With the Word and Holy Sacraments the pastor shepherds his flock, always under the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.
In the left transept window is the picture of "Jesus Knocking at the Door". The three nave windows on this side represent Christianity. 1. The Holy Trinity symbolized by the triquetra. This mystical symbol is simple in form yet full of meaning. The three equal arcs of the circle express the equality of the three divine persons in the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The union of the arcs expresses the unity of the divine essence, their continuous form symbolizes eternity, and the fact that they are interwoven denotes their indivisibility.. In the center of the triquetra is an equilateral triangle, the most ancient of Trinity symbols, and each pair of arcs form a vesica, the symbol of glory. 2. The Church is symbolized by a ship with a cross-shaped mast, representing the Atonement. The ship of the Church sails thru the ages tossed by the stormy waves of persecution and heresy, threatened with destruction by rationalism, by indifference, by negative critics and by false teachers, but with the Captain of Salvation at the helm it sails safely to the haven of rest and peace. 3. The Vine and Branches have also been used as a symbol of the Christian Church, which is made up of true believers, who must abide in the true vine which is Jesus Christ. He is the vine and they are the branches. Thus, the vine conveys the idea of the union of the true Church with her Lord. Summing up the symbols in the windows on the south side of the church we have: Christianity, confessing the Trinity, preaching the Atonement, following Christ as its head, knocks at the door of men's hearts with the message of free salvation thru faith in the crucified Savior.
The harp in the window of the choir robing room represents hymnody and symbolizes the liturgical service of the Church. The emblems in the four smaller windows on the corners of the building represent significant steps in the life of the Savior: 1. Nativity, Christmas rose; 2. Suffering and Death, Passion flower; 3. Resurrection, Easter Lily; 4. Reigning in Glory, the crown.
Dr. Martin Luther was the servant of God who so clearly taught and preached the central doctrine of Holy Scripture that we are justified by grace for Christ's sake thru faith. The east tower window is therefore adored with Luther's coat of arms. And since the Reformer patterned his teaching after the greatest of all apostles, the west tower window bears the emblem of St. Paul, the shield of faith. This is a simple Latin cross place upon a shield. It is the symbol of Christian faith for which the believer is to contend earnestly.
The tower rising to a height of fifty-five feet suggests the Church Militant, victorious thru the ages. The large cross cut from the same stone as the rest of the building and standing at the pinnacle of the front gable testifies to the fact that the cross of Christ towers over the rocks of time.
The first unit or basement of the church was built at a cost of $20,000.00 and has served as a place of worship since its dedication on May 15, 1926. It will henceforth provide a place for the sessions of the Sunday School and the activities of the organizations of the congregation. The superstructure was erected at a cost of $25,000.00 and the interior furnishings, including the two manual Reuter pipe organ, cost an additional $12,000.00. The first church building of the congregation situated on Ellis Avenue now serves as the Christian Day School. The congregation was organized on October 7, 1909 and at present has a membership of 500 souls, 350 communicants and 60 voting members.
The new Immanuel Lutheran Church with its walls of Silverdale limestone, flanked by sturdy buttresses, its transept gables and corner tower, all adorned with stained glass windows, and its interior furnishings all of oak, is designed to express the faith of its members. But these genuine materials of which it is constructed suggest also the heartfelt gratitude of the donors toward a gracious God whose bountiful blessings to them made the erection of this edifice possible. And the fond hope and prayer of its grateful members is that for generations to come under God this building may continue to serve as an enduring House of Prayer in which men may worship the unchanging Christ in a changing world.
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
1936 - 1956
The description on the previous pages was written for December 20, 1936, when the church was dedicated. Since then several items have been added to the church furnishings and historic events have occurred in the life of Immanuel Congregation. When the church was dedicated there was an indebtedness of $19,000. On May 16, 1944, the congregation made the final payment to the District Church Extension Fund and became debt free.
When Immanuel celebrated the thirtieth anniversary on October 8, 1939, Mrs. A. C. Kreitzer presented a chime of twelve bells manufactured in England. The chimes mounted in the tower are played on a hand claver in the chimer's room. The panels on the walls of the chancel matching the altar and adorned with the symbols of the twelve apostles carven in wood and forty additional kneelers were installed in 1942. The new brass missal, candelabra and communion candlesticks were contributed in 1952. The congregation installed steel bannisters on the steps approaching the front and tower doors in 1955. A set of altar service books and the pulpit Bible were given in 1956.
The $451 offering at the thirty-fifth anniversary celebration in 1944 was given for the new school building fund. This fund grew and when the location for the new Christian Day School on East Kellogg was purchased in 1950, Immanuel contributed $12,000. Immanuel congregation conducted a Christian Day School from 1924 to 1944 and then in January 28, 1945, The Wichita Lutheran School Association was organized by the Missouri Synod congregations in the city which now operates the school at Kellogg and Edgemoor where two units of the eight room school were erected at a cost of $209,000. Within twelve years Immanuel has contributed $70,000 for the ground and school buildings.
The old property of Immanuel Congregation on Ellis Avenue was sold for $12,000 and these funds were loaned to the School Association. When the first unit of the new school was built in 1952 Immanuel Church was mortgaged to secure a $40,000 loan and this step was repeated in 1954 when the second unit of the school was dedicated. The growth of the Christian Day School has been phenomenal. From 23 pupils in one room in 1924 the enrollment has increased to approximately 375 in 1956 when it became necessary to add three class rooms at Ninth and Oliver.
With five daughter congregations in the city and another about to be established in southwest Wichita, Immanuel has made steady progress in missions and Christian education. The facilities of the congregation for Sunday School and Bible classes have long been overcrowded.
The congregation having purchased 920 S. Main, this residence has housed Sunday School classes since March 20, 1955. The congregation has also purchased 923 S. Market, the residence adjoining the church property on the south and has resolved to erect an educational building next to the church where the parsonage has stood since 1926.
Outstanding events in Immanuel's history have been the Christmas morning candlelight service since 1926 and the fact that the Polyhymnia Chorus of St. Johns College, Winfield, a 200 voice mixed choir, has given a program in this church each December for eleven consecutive years. Four sons of the congregation have entered the ministry and one is a Lutheran high school instructor. Immanuel Congregation has a membership of 600 communicants and 1,100 souls who praise God for His goodness and grace.
1956 - Present
On Sunday, October 4, 1959, Immanuel celebrated her 50th anniversary. At the 10:30 a.m. worship service Charter Members were honored. The 7:30 p.m. Vesper service honored former members, the sermon was by Rev. Paul Von Dielinger, Counselor of the Wichita Circuit. A reception in the undercroft was held at 8:30 p.m.
The following information is from the October 4, 1959 bulletin.
With praise and thanks to God for His gracious and bounteous blessings Immanuel Congregation is observing the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the congregation on October 7, 1909. The celebration will continue throughout the month. This morning the charter members will be honored during the service.
We have invited hundreds of former members to a "homecoming" service this evening. A reception in the undercroft after the service will honor them.
The Anniversary Projects
In gratitude to God for fifty years of blessing new lights have been installed in the sanctuary equipped with a dimming switch. With time clock control the balcony light illuminates the east window each evening.
The church and undercroft have been redecorated. A Carrier heating and air-conditioning system has been installed which is being used for the first time today. The new facilities will be consecrated with prayer today.
The congregation has published a 7,300 word history of Missouri Synod Lutheranism in Wichita. The booklet is illustrated with 18 pictures and is being sold for one dollar.
During the 50s the congregation purchased property adjoining the parsonage at 909 S. Market. The need for adequate facilities for educational and fellowship purposes continued to grow, and a professional survey answered the question: What shall we build? The parsonage was sold to a member (moved to 1157 N. Meridian), and a two story residence was razed.
A building committee was formed including Elmer H. Rodehorst, chairman; Roy W. Allen, secretary; F. K. Bockelman, treasurer; Ted Dankert, Erich Harmel, W. H. Harms, Kenneth Lungwitz, O.D. Mall, Walter H. Mueller, and Dr. L. H. Deffner. A loan from a local building and loan association was obtained to finance the new building.
On December 18, 1960, ground for the new educational and fellowship building was broken. The building was designed by Robert S. Mayberry, architect, Simpson and Son were the builders. The structure was dedicated September 17, 1961. Dr. L. H. Deffner preached the sermon. Rev. S. G. Widiger, institutional and hospital chaplain for Wichita, was the liturgist.
Gifts and memorials by members and the organizations and the Sunday school furnished the new equipment. A new ceiling and new lights were also installed in the undercroft of the church, which in now used for a nursery, a youth lounge, and Bible classes.
During the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, improvements, some major, have been made to Immanuel's facilities
Some time after the educational wing was built, probably in the mid to late 70s, several additions were made to the educational wing. A drive through canopy was added to the south end of the building so members could enter the building from their car without being exposed to rain and snow, etc. A small elevator was installed near the south entrance of the educational wing. This installation required some fairly extensive modifications to the building and provided access to all three levels of the church.
The Reuter organ which had been installed in 1936 was completely rebuilt and enlarged at a cost of approximately $150,000.00. The most prominent features of the rebuilt organ are the exposed pipes at the front of the sanctuary, and the larger console and keyboard. The work was done by the original builder, the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence Kansas.
A fire in a home on the comer of Main and Indianapolis streets provided the opportunity for the church to purchase the property to make way for additional parking space. The church owned property on Main street next to the burned-out home, and that lot had already been cleared, so this gave enough space for additional parking for about 35 cars. Woodwork from the burned home was cleaned-up and used to finish the Parlor in the undercroft. The undercroft was in the midst of a complete renovation including a new library and choir rehearsal room, plus some storage space.
Other significant improvements to the facilities have been:
Donation of the original Immanuel altar back to Immanuel from the Lutheran church in Durham Kansas. The altar was given to a Lutheran church in Kingman Kansas when Immanuel moved into the new sanctuary in 1936. From Kingman the altar went to a Lutheran church in Ada Oklahoma, then to the church in Durham, which closed in 1999. The altar was returned to Immanuel in time to be on display for the 90th anniversary.
- Cleaning and tuck-pointing of the buildings;
- Remodeling of the south entrance interior with wood paneling and carpet;
- Installation of a new heating and air conditioning system for the sanctuary and educational wing;
- Beautifying the courtyard and placement of landscape material around the parking lots and the church buildings;
- Installation of parish mail boxes;
- Installation of a sprinkler system for the lawns and flowerbeds made possible by memorial funds from members and family;
- Developing a "welcome area" near the juncture of the educational wing and the church building;
- Remodeling of the kitchen;
- The most recent addition is the installation of a new larger elevator which can now accommodate a person in a wheelchair and is large enough to transport a casket for funerals. The installation of the elevator required major structural modification of the building and the installation of a larger, higher capacity electrical service.
Immanuel celebrated her 75th anniversary on October 7, 1984, the 90th anniversary in 1999 and the 100th anniversary on October 11, 2009. The new elevator, redecoration of the fellowship hall and the hallways, repainting the exterior metal of the educational wing and a complete clean-up were all projects to make the church ready for the 100th anniversary. Unfortunately, the elevator was not quite operational for the celebration but was completed shortly thereafter.
Bells sending their sweet and vibrant sound from a tower. . . .what memories this calls forth! Bells the world over ring for all the changes that come to man from the cradle to the grave. For centuries bells have been the common messenger and reminder to men in all walks of life. Every age and every nation has had its bells.
Church bells as we know them today are the product of the Christian era. They date from the fourth century and it is believed that they were first used to summon worshipers to church. Bells came with Christianity to Great Britain in the seventh century and gifts of bells to churches were a common custom. During the century that followed a great many bells were made for churches in the European countries. The bells increased in size and were given special places in the worship and the life of Christians.
The making of a good bell, as well as the tuning of bells, is an art that is most efficiently pursued in the old world. A high degree of skill in the tuning of bells is found in England the land of bells. A peculiarity of bells is that they give off more than one sound when struck and what we hear is really a combination of five tones. The most assertive of these is the strike note. Subordinate to this, but plainly audible, are the hum-note, an octave below, and the nominal, an octave above. Then there is the minor third and the perfect fifth. These five tones at least must be present in a good bell, and must be in perfect accord. The metal used in the casting of bells is a mixture of the best copper and block tin in the proper proportion.
Immanuel Lutheran Church through the generosity of one of its members is the possessor of a chime of twelve bells which are mounted in the belfry in this stone House of Worship. The weight of the bells is 6,591 pounds. Together with the steel frame and equipment the combined weight of the chimes and mechanism is 12,600 pounds.
Beginning with G below middle C on the keyboard the bells are tuned to the following keys:
G, A, B, C, C Sharp, D, E, F, F Sharp, G, A, B.
Eleven bells are mounted in two tiers on a sturdy steel frame, the clappers being connected by cables to the keys on the hand clavier in the chimer's room directly beneath the belfry. The hand clavier is a steel keyboard mounted on a frame. The bells are struck when the chimer manipulates the aluminum keys of the hand clavier. Playing the chimes by hand rather than mechanically opens the way for proper shading and timing as the mood fits the hymn to be played. The large bell weighing 1,402 pounds is mounted on a separate frame for swinging and has two clappers, the one serving as the lower "G" of the chime, the other for striking the bell on both sides when swinging. These twelve bells give sufficient range for the playing of many hymns and melodies in a number of keys and for change ringing. The makers of these bells are Gillett & Johnston, Ltd. Who have been casting bells at Croydon, England since 1844 and their bells are found in many of the noteworthy towers of the world.
The chime of bells complete with all the mechanism was given to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wichita, Kansas, by Mrs. A. C. Kreitzer upon the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the congregation. The motive of the gift as well as the purpose which these bells are to serve is inscribed on the large bell: "To The Glory of God, October 8, 1939"
A new pulling rope with a red white and blue pulling sally, an exact reproduction of the original, was purchased from Gillett & Johnston for £160.00 in 1993.
The carillon is played each Sunday morning before and after the church service. At one time there was a tradition of tolling the large bell every Wednesday evening at 6:00 P.M. then the carillon was played. It was reported that the neighbors would set their clocks by this event. One neighbor even wrote a poem about the bells, it's possible this poem found on the cover of an old brochure is the one, but this is speculation.
I have heard sweet
Down the lanes of memory
heard them calling,
heard them singing
In the days that used to be.
But the sweetest, purest,
Bringing angel faces
Making life divinest,
Are the old church
Chimes to me.
The windows of Immanuel's sanctuary teach distinct messages. The three great portraits of Christ are based not on events of his life but on his teachings.
The north transept window echoes the words of our Lord to his disciples in John 10, "I am the Good Shepherd..."
On the north side of the nave, Ministry is to carry out this preaching and teaching (the open Scriptures) therefore, the smaller windows show how the Office of the Public Ministry is to carry out this shepherding of Christ.
Baptism depicted by the font.
Administering the Lord's Supper depicted by the chalice.
The south transept window depicts the words of Christ in Rev. 3:20 to the church of the Laodiceans, "I stand at the door and knock."
The smaller windows on the south side then represent the life of the church:
The Trinity symbol stands for the Church's confession of the true God.
The ship depicts the Church as God's vessel of salvation.
The grapevine and branches remind us that Christ is the vine, his disciples the branches, and that apart from him they can do nothing.
The third great window, located above the east entrance, represents the invitation of Christ in Matthew 11, "Come to me, all you who are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." The (Easter) lilies surrounding Christ remind us that the speaker of this invitation is the risen Lord.
The Parlor Window
This window was given to Immanuel by member Dan and Karen Bitner in 2002. The window was designed and built by Dan. Dan explains the meaning of the design as follows:
The six panes together represent the Triune God. The four outside pieces, when viewed as one, is a beam of light from the clouds representing God the Father and creation. The top center panel represents God the Son, his death and resurrection. The bottom pane represents God the Holy Ghost and baptism.