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Arts & Artifacts at Immanuel

Immanuel has been blessed by the generosity of time and talents of many artisans throughout the years. This page shares the many stories behind the art and artifacts visible throughout Immanuel Lutheran Church.


We are thankful for all of the artisans that have generously shared their talents to enhance our ministry at Immanuel. Each of the artisans have a story to tell, and this is a hope to capture these stories for future generations.   Nancy Marks    


Table of Contents

Ecclesiastical Arts Committee

After the Hemgren Room was built, Pastor Paul Seastrand put together the Ecclesiastical Arts Committee to plan how it could be an extension of the sanctuary with a liturgical decor as well as a multi-purpose room. When leaving or entering the church you would be able to connect the room liturgically to the sanctuary, use for overflow, family gathering place before funerals, meetings, coffee hours, etc. Even with the doors closed, with the etched glass windows you can still see the light coming in from the stained-glass windows. It made it a true extension of the sanctuary.

Church on Alder

candleabra. altar cloth

From the Church on Alder.  The candelabra and the altar cloth were part of the altar when Immanuel Lutheran Church was on Alder Street.

1938 alder st sanctuary



On Sunday, May 29, 1955, the cornerstone was tapped into place as the “new church” was being built. Enclosed in a copper box within the stone are the constitution of the congregation, a history of the congregation, a list of the present membership, the Building Fund booklet, the names of the present Board of Administration and Building Committee, then names of President Dwight Eisenhower, Gov. J. Hugo Aronson and Mayor James A. Hart and copies of the ground-breaking program, the cornerstone laying program, the Lutheran Companion and The Daily Missoulian.

blessing cornerstone

Luther Wall

The Luther Wall was originally a part of Immanuel called the Luther Chapel. It was located in the fellowship hall which was originally under the balcony (the Hemgren Room was built in 1984 and at that time the Luther Chapel became a part of the sanctuary). The chapel was used after the service for fellowship and also for meetings. There was also an altar in front of the wall and the room could be used for small weddings or services as well. 


The wall itself was a thesis project built by Maxine Blackmer in the 1960s. The content was Luther’s “Here I Stand,” which depicted a lonely monk before men of power: the emperor, German princes and the papal representatives from the Vatican. 


The chapel was dedicated on Reformation Sunday October, 1960. A complete history of the project with photos from start to finish is in the Immanuel History scrapbook. If you are interested in learning more, contact the church office to help you access the information. 


Watch the video below to learn more about the  Luther Wall

Communion Rail

The Altar Rail was designed and built in 1986 by Ken Swanson and his son Matt.   Listen to the video below to hear Ken tell the story of how it was built and the symbolism of each of the panels. 

Ken and Matt Swanson also built the credance table that sits behind the altar.

credance table

Altar Artisans- 1980's


March Sohlberg created the design and Lenus Eckstand needlepointed the Luther seal and the cross on the two red chairs behind the altar.

altar chairs


Otis Bendickson built the cross that stands on the alter. He also built the stand at the bottom of the baptismal font. (He also sang in the choir and played the fiddle! )

The Cross

worship 2023

Listen to this video as Swede Gustafson tells the story about how the cross at Immanuel  was crafted and erected in the sanctuary in 1990.

cross 2014

Communion Bread

Immanuel’s communion bread recipe was developed in the 1980’s by Connie Lindborg.  She wanted a bread that was similar to the bread served at the Lord’s Supper.  


Only a couple of people have made the bread over the years.   Ron Marks has been making it since 2006.  Periodically he teaches the youth how to make the bread during one of the Faith Family Gatherings.  


CLICK HERE to read his reflection on making bread and see the original recipe. 


CLICK HERE to view the recipe for 300-500 servings.   


In 2020, Ron adapted the recipe to make the communion bread at home during COVID.  CLICK HERE to download that recipe. 

Baptismal Font

The Lundquist family donated the original baptismal font in the 1950’s.  The cross shaped base was built by Ken Swanson and the eight-sided baptismal was built by Ken Swanson.  The baptismal bowl and pitcher were donated in 2017.   

baptismal font

Heritage Cabinet

 In 1998, Immanuel celebrated their 100th
Anniversary.  This cabinet was built by
Otis Bendickson and given on the
occasion of Immanuel’s 100th
Anniversary and in loving memory of
Claude Peterson and Les R. Solum by
their families and this congregation.

It is found on the 5th floor loft and is the place where Immanuel’s history can be found.

Heritage cabinet

Etched Windows

Etched windows

In 1987, the etched windows were designed by Bob Jacobson. These windows bear a message about the seasons of the Church Year. 

Moving from the west wall (Luther Wall) to the east, each of the windows features a historic cross depicting, respectively, the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. The seventh cross represents Saints’ Days, and the eighth and final window bears the cross of Martin Luther’s seal. Over the doorway is an etched “trefoil.” This symbol is integral to all the stained glass and etched windows, since it represents the eternal and sovereign God who is Three-in-One.

Learn more about each of the crosses. 

Stained Glass Windows

In 1988, Jan Bendickson Croisetiere worked with this committee to design the six stained glass windows in the Hemgren Room to portray the six seasons of the church year.



Watch the video below as she tells the story of how they were designed, created and installed at Immanuel.

Immanuel's Little Free Library

In 2014 Judy Wellert had the idea of creating a Little Free Library in the front yard of Immanuel.   Listen to hear her story about how it was built!    

We always need books to replenish the Little Library– books can be put in the tub in the closet in the Hemgren Room.    

In May of 2021,  Swede and Betty Ann Gustafson gave a Luther Oak Tree seedling for us to plant on our front lawn. Watch to the video of the dedication of the Luther Oak as a symbol of hope in promise of resurrection after a long year of pandemic and isolation. At 2 feet tall it has great potential. Oaks of this species (Quercus robur)  have often live for 300 years (a number of them are assumed to be 1000 to 1500 years old) and grow to 60 feet high and 60 feet wide.

children touching oak tree
Bethany & Freddie Marks touching the top of the oak