Emmanuel United Church of Christ at 1480 Eastwood Ave. in Goodyear Heights. Akron. will celebrate its 75th anniversary as a congregation May 7 during the 10:30 a.m. service of worship.
The congregation was founded as Emmanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church May 5, 1942, when the East Market Street Evangelical and Reformed Church, now East Market Street United Church of Christ, organized a Sunday School for children and adults in East Akron. The congregation first met in an old farmhouse on the corner of Plum Street and Eastland Avenue, which was renovated for use by the congregation. Classes were taught by Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Robenstein of the East Market Street Church. The Rev. Dietrich Hagelskamp, retired pastor of one of the other E & R Churches in Akron, agreed to serve as a temporary supply pastor. After he permanently retired in 1946, the congregation called the Rev. Ralph Rosenthal Boyer, an Ohio native and recent graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School to become pastor. The pace of the church’s life increased dramatically, and soon the old farmhouse was bulging at the seams with children and worshiping families. When Rev. Boyer accepted a new position, the congregation called the Rev. Paul E. Deppen to become pastor, who remained for eleven years, from 1957 to 1968.
Soon the need for more and better space became paramount, and land was purchased at Six Corners in Goodyear Heights, the intersection of Eastland and Eastwood Avenues with Brittain Road. The sanctuary and Fellowship Hall unit was constructed in 1950, and 10 years later, an addition with two levels of church school rooms, offices and meeting rooms was added. In 1977, the Rev. Rich Carse was called to Emmanuel from Alliance. Now a resident of New Braunfels, Texas, Carse will return to Akron for the 75th anniversary celebration to preach the anniversary message on May 7. Both current and former members and friends of the congregation are encouraged to participate in the anniversary service and welcome Rev. and Mrs. Carse. The current pastor, the Rev. Steven J. Lashbrook, who began his ministry with Emmanuel in January 2013, will lead the service of celebration.
Members of the committee planning the celebration include Mrs. Robert Spicer of Cuyahoga Falls; Mike and Bonnie Maravich of North Canton; Melanie Nolte and Brian and Sue Gump, all of Tallmadge; Rhonda Black, Steve and Laurie Lashbrook and Roger McKissick, all of Akron.