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A Brief History of Christianity, Lutheranism
and Emmanuel Lutheran Church

  1. 4 - 6 B.C.  
    Jesus is brought forth into humanity
    Jesus first appeared as an ordinary human being born to a humble Jewish family in the Roman province of Palestine (modern Israel) about 2,000 years ago during the rule of the Roman Emperor Octavian (Caesar Augustus) and the Jewish king, Herod the Great. His birth is generally considered to have taken place somewhere between 6–4 b.c. because it is known that Herod the Great died in 4 b.c.
  2. 30 A.D.  
    Christianity Before Luther
    The original Lutherans were neither "original" nor "Lutheran." They were faithful Christians trying to bring reform to the Church. And so, the telling of the Lutheran story must begin, at a minimum, with the story of the Church. The Church is not a building. The Church is "people," those who cling to Jesus Christ. By "Church" we either mean "all Christians" everywhere (the entire Church) or else a "gathering of Christians" of which there can be many forms.
  3. 1483  
    Young Martin Luther
    The Martin Luther of Lutherans is not to be confused with Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in America. He was an African-American minister who was an outstanding leader in the civil rights movements in the 1960s. Martin Luther, on the other hand, was a Roman Catholic monk/priest/professor who lived 500 years ago in Germany. Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany in 1483. He was 9 years old when Christopher Columbus sailed into the Americas. He was aware of that discovery.
  4. 1517  
    Luther Openly Debates Reform in the Church
    Martin Luther was troubled by the age-old question, “How do I know when I have done enough good things in my life for God to save me?” His religious actions as a monk (saying prayers, going to Communion, going on pilgrimages, doing penance and making confession of all the sins he could think of) did not bring him any peace of mind.
  5. 1522  
    The Reformation Grows
    During his exile at Wartburg Castle, things with the emperor cooled down a bit. The emperor had bigger problems to attend to (such as the Muslims invading Europe) and consequently, he could not have his troops go looking for Luther and his supporters right away.Luther returned to Wittenberg and implemented a number of reforms. These reforms were not easy. There was much conflict even among Luther's followers. Some wanted to go to a radical extreme and throw away everything associated with the Roman Catholic Church including vestments, statues, and songs. Luther felt much of this could be retained and he worked hard and long to restrain them. He felt the reforms should be implemented slowly and with the persuasion of the Gospel, not by arms or force.
  6. 1530  
    What is The Augsburg Confession?
    Before there were Lutherans, the churches of the reformation referred to themselves as "Evangelical" -- those who brought good news. The Evangelical princes were summoned to appear before the Emperor at the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530 to settle religious controversy. Ruled an outlaw at the diet of Worms in 1521, Martin Luther was was banned from making an appearance at the Diet (assembly). Phillip Melanchthon, a fellow professor at the University of Wittenberg and close personal friend of Luther, authored the Confession presented by the Evangelical Princes to the Emperor at the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530. This "Augsburg Confession," as it has come to be known, is a foundational document for Lutherans across the globe. Note: The Augsburg Confession is part of the larger body of Lutheran confessions known as the Lutheran Book of Concord. (Reference;http://www.lutherans.com/guide/augsburg_confession.php)
  7. 1530  
    What changes did The Augsburg Confession bring?
    Before there were Lutherans, the churches of the reformation referred to themselves as "Evangelical" -- those who brought good news. The Evangelical princes were summoned to appear before the Emperor at the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530 to settle religious controversy. Ruled an outlaw at the diet of Worms in 1521, Martin Luther was was banned from making an appearance at the Diet (assembly). Phillip Melanchthon, a fellow professor at the University of Wittenberg and close personal friend of Luther, authored the Confession presented by the Evangelical Princes to the Emperor at the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530. This "Augsburg Confession," as it has come to be known, is a foundational document for Lutherans across the globe. Note: The Augsburg Confession is part of the larger body of Lutheran confessions known as the Lutheran Book of Concord. (Reference;http://www.lutherans.com/guide/augsburg_confession.php)
  8. 1546  
    Luther's Last Days and The Augsburg Peace
    Much to his surprise, Luther lived a long and productive life. He joked about starting out a skinny monk and ending up a “fat doctor.” Family life agreed with him, and despite all the turbulence of the times, he had many days of happiness, too. He died of natural causes in the company of his friends while mediating a property dispute in his birth town of Eisleben at the ripe, old age of 63. As God would have it, he died in the same town in which he was born.
  9. ca. 1630  
    Lutherans in America
    Lutherans immigrated from Europe to North America as Spain, England and France were establishing colonies in what would become the United States of America. Among the first to come were Swedish Lutherans who settled in “New Sweden” along the Delaware River (in what is today the state of Delaware) during the 1630s. Another small group of Lutherans settled about the same time in "New Amsterdam" in what would become New York city.
  10. 1929  
    The ELCA in Elyria
    Emmanuel began from the desire of the Ohio Synod of the United Lutheran Church of America (ULCA) to establish a presence in Elyria. The first service of worship was held on September 9, 1928 at the Elyria Women's Club. The Synod's Missionary Superintendent, Dr. J. S. Herold delivered the sermon and First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lorain provided music. The preliminary development was done by Harold A. Sayles, who was still a seminary student at Hamma Divinity School in Springfield, Ohio. During the winter months, he commuted each Sunday to conduct worship services in Elyria. As a name was being considered at a congregational meeting in February 1929, Mrs. Charles Garford, first president of the Ladies Aid, suggested the name Emmanuel because it meant “God With Us.” Twenty-eight charter members formally established the congregation on Easter Sunday March 19, 1929.