Deutsche Gemeinde? Kommt, schnell!
The question arose, who would support this proposal. 98 members responded by standing up. This was the actual hour of the birth of a new church. An organizing committee was elected that same evening. On January 29th, 1956, the founding assembly met at Bethany. The number of members who signed up had by now increased to 202. The name “Immanuel” was chosen, a building committee was elected and a building fund set up. )HEUuDUy 19WK, 1956, WKH fiUVW ZRUVKLS VHUYLFH RI WKH ,PPDQuHO %DSWLVW &KuUFK ZDV KHOG LQ WKH “%HWKHO &KULVWLDQ 5HIRUPHG Church” and Immanuel met there until the construction or their present church building was completed. Three houses, side by side, could be bought for only $13,800. The men did not bulldoze these, but disassembled them by hand and sold what they could and burned the rest to save money. Every dollar saved helped the building fund. Many trained and skilled workers from almost every trade were part of the membership and so most of the construction work was carried out by their own members. May 7th, 1957, ,%& PRYHG LQWR LWV QHZ EuLOGLQJ 7KH EuLOGLQJ SURMHFW ZDV DQ RYHUZKHOPLQJ fiQDQFLDO uQGHUWDNLQJ IRU QHZ LPPLJUDQWV trying to build their future and a church. Due to the many hours of free labour the approximate cost of the building was only $90,000. The membership increased steadily. Their main purpose was to minister to German immigrants, but that gradually changed over the years. Now they have three Sunday services: German at 9:30 am; English at 11:00 am and Korean at 1:30 pm. They need more people to attend the German Service, or they may be shutting the doors to German forever! Immanuel Baptist Church is located approx one km from Oakridge Mall. In 2006 they celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a huge party on July 1st. Here is a short historical snapshot: During a church business meeting that was called December 28th, 1955 to discuss Bethany Baptist Church’s growing problem of not having enough room for the steadily increasing number of German immigrants wanting to become members, Rev. Gerhard P. Gebauer, who served Bethany at that time, declared that he and his wife would make themselves available to start a new church in the same neighbourhood.