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About Emanuel Lutheran Church

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We are a Christian congregation that is affiliated with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and have been in Milbank since 1889. Jesus Christ is at the center of all that we do. Our focus is on Him and His Word that teaches us to:


Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:19-20)


How we go about fulfilling this task that Christ has given us is outlined on our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. God’s blessings to you!

Our Mission

Emanuel Lutheran shares the love of God the Father, by proclaiming the Gospel of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit, showing love for all people, lending a helping hand to those in need, and equipping God’s people for ministry.

Confessional Commitment

As an Evangelical Lutheran Church, we are grounded in the three principles of Reformation :


  1. We are saved by “Grace alone.” God, the Father, gave his undeserved love to us in the gift of His Son, Jesus. This is the only way to salvation.

  2. We receive this, undeserved love by “Faith alone.” The Holy Spirit creates a trust in our hearts that rests secure on nothing else but Jesus the Christ, and what He has done for our salvation.

  3. We base our knowledge and understanding of God’s grace on “Scripture alone.” The Bible is our infallible guide for faith and life, and the source of our teaching.


We accept without reservation the three historic Christian Creeds, the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed; and the Lutheran Confessions, contained in the Book of Concord, as the proper understanding and expression of God’s word in Scripture.



More Information :  Find out more about the Beliefs and Practice of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Our History

1870's :  First Lutheran missionary of record, Pastor F. Pfotenhauer, traveled to Northeast South Dakota.
1889 :  German Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession in Milbank, South Dakota organized in the Milbank Library Hall under the direction of Pastor E. Th. Claus. A constitution was adopted on June 2nd.
1902 :  Rev. George H. Kase, a graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, arrived to serve Emanuel and Zion Lutheran in Geneseo Township (9 miles north of Milbank).
1904 :  Parsonage built for Pastor George H. Kase at 522 South Dakota Avenue for the price of $2,000
1907 :  The congregation built its own church and a small barn for horses beside the parsonage on South Dakota Avenue.
1917 :  Emanuel called Pastor Fred Wessler, after Bethlehem Lutheran issued a call to Pastor Israel who was previously serving both Emanuel and Bethlehem.
1957 :  A new church built at 706 South First Street under Pastor Curtis J. Schleicher
1968 :  New parsonage built near the new church, also under Pastor Schleicher.
1971 :  A new large pipe organ installed by Schwantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio.
1979 :  Preschool established in the "little yellow house" on South Second Street.
1990 :  Building project groundbreaking for fellowship hall, preschool, elevator, offices and restrooms.
2012 :  Sanctuary ceiling and pipe organ refurbished.

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