In 1986 a group of members from the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Greenville, began to hold regular Bible studies in the homes of the various members. Out of these meetings came discussions regarding the potential for establishing a Lutheran mission congregation in the Mauldin/Simpsonville area. On November 23, 1986 the name of Immanuel Lutheran Church was chosen for the new mission. In early 1987, a retired pastor living in the Hendersonville, NC area, Rev. Howard Schoenfeldt agreed to serve as a regular visiting pastor and part-time pastor mission developer for the group.

With the help of the Southeastern District of the Missouri Synod five acres of land were purchased on Woodruff Road as a potential worship site. In addition, through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Shelton Rimer, another seven acres of adjoining property and a two-story house that served as the first church were deeded to the church.

On June 7, 1987 Immanuel Lutheran Church, Simpsonville held its first worship service formed as a daughter church by 29 members transferring from Good Shepherd, Greenville. Immanuel was received officially into the membership of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on April 29, 1988.

In June 1989 Immanuel called Rev. Paul Sizemore to serve as its first full time pastor. At the time of his installation on September 10, 1989, the baptized membership of the congregation was 68 members.  In 1991 the present facility was completed including, sanctuary offices, classroom, and kitchen facilities.  Rev. Sizemore served Immanuel Lutheran Church until December, 1997.

On December 20, 1998, Rev Jeffrey VanOsdol became Immanuel’s third pastor. He moved from Cupertino, California where he served as Assistant Pastor of The Lutheran Church of Our Savior.  His first service was Christmas Eve.  Rev. VanOsdol served Immanuel Lutheran Church until May 31, 2008.


On July 28, 2002, we gave God glory as He began for us a new and exciting chapter in our life, with the installation of our very first Director of Christian Education, Timothy C. Roggow.  Tim served Immanuel Lutheran Church and School until July 31, 2009 and then moved to the St. Louis to prepare to attend Concordia Seminary.

On September 29, 2002, Immanuel dedicated her newest facility—the Education addition.  It has 5 classrooms, office and storage space and a new playground.



For the 2007-08 School Year, Immanuel Lutheran Church & School started their first Kindergarten class with 10 students and also had over 115 preschool students.  The School today has grown to offer Mother's Morning Out, Preschool for 2,3, and 4 year olds, and Kindergarten for approximately 140 students.

On May 17, 2009 Rev. Gilbert Eliason became Immanuel’s fourth pastor.  He moved from Grovetown, GA where he finished serving as a Chaplain in the US Army. He retired from the ministry on June 30, 2013. 

From August 2013 to May 2015 Rev. Jeffrey VanOsdol served Immanuel as Interim Pastor.  He was called to again serve Immanuel and was installed on May 3, 2015. He lives in Simpsonville with his wife, Jennifer.  Their son, Phillip, attends The College of Charleston.

View the Immanuel 25th Anniversary picture video.

View the 1991building video