The story of Emmanuel United Church of Christ is almost as old as the county itself. The first European settlement in the area that is now Liverpool Township dates to 1810. Within twenty years the area had been settled by a large number of German families, Evangelical Lutherans many of them. In 1838, they founded a small congregation led by the minister Heinrich Sachse. They called themselves Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us”.
In the beginning, they met in the homes of various members (all the services were in German), but in 1842 the congregation purchased one acre on which to build a church of their own. On May 26, 1844 a small and primitive log church with a dirt floor was finished. It didn’t take long for the congregation to outgrow its first home, and a new site was purchased in 1868. Within a year, construction began on what would be the building that stands today.
A Sunday school was started in 1885, and the church hall was added in 1926. Emmanuel was originally part of the Evangelical Synod of North America, but a big change came in 1934 when the Evangelical Synod united with the Reformed Church to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. This wasn’t the last time that a merger like this would occur in Emmanuel’s history. In 1957 the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches combined to form the United Church of Christ.
All throughout this, Emmanuel kept moving forward, and today, after over 175 years, we’re still going strong.