Immanuel Lutheran College
Concord and Greensboro, North Carolina
Immanuel Lutheran College still has an active alumni association with a web presence. Genealogy Bank contains a very good article on the school published in the Greensboro Record on November 16, 1940. A number of school catalogs have been digitized on Internet Archive. Era of Progress and Promise has a sketch of the college as it stood in 1910.
Immanuel Lutheran College was founded at Concord, NC in 1903 by the Evangelical Synodical Lutheran Conference, moving to Greensboro in 1905. Operated by Germans, the school was created to meet “increased demand for God-fearing negro teachers and ministers.” The school believed that “mental training without the Word of God to be of small value.”
Era of Progress and Promise notes that in addition to a strong liberal arts course of study emphasizing English, German, Latin and Greek, Immanuel put a strong emphasis on music education and performance. Vocal music was obligatory, and students were required to sight read music. They were encouraged to master both the cabinet and reed organs. Not surprisingly, Immanuel offered music and dramatics as activities for students.
The Greensboro Record article noted that the college had four divisions—the academic division was a four-year high school; the theological division led to a Bachelor of Divinity degree. There was a regular junior college, and a one-year normal school.
At the time of closure, Immanuel Luther College averaged 110-115 students—50% of whom were from outside of North Carolina. The final graduating classes numbered nine from the college and 13 from the high school. Following the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, enrollment fell to the point that the synod determined the school did not have a valid function. It closed in 1961.
Bricks and Mortar
The Main Building of Immanuel Lutheran College was begun in 1905. It was on the north side of East Market Street in Greensboro at the intersection with Luther, in a thirteen-acre campus. By 1940, the campus contained four large granite buildings—two dormitories and a seminary building in addition to the main building. Apparently the main building was modified. Early photos show a building with towers and turrets resembling a French Chateau. 1940 photos show the same building—now also serving as a men’s dormitory—with the towers and turrets removed.
After the college closed, the campus became a part of North Carolina A&M College. The main building was razed. One of the last buildings—a dormitory gymnasium—was used by A&T until 2005 when it, too, was razed. A state monument marks the location of the former college.
(Above) Early postcard view of Main Building (http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/nc_post/id/1185)
Colors: Red and White
Team name: Red Warriors and Red Lassies
School advertisements emphasize the importance of sports for personal development at the intramural level. However, a 1938 ad notes that “the faculty are enthusiastic for athletics and coach the students especially in basketball and baseball. Immanuel Lutheran fielded intercollegiate teams in basketball for both men and women from the 1930’s until the close of the college.
Immanuel began football in 1940. The teams in both 1940 and 1941 played six-game schedules. The 1940 team compiled a 3-3 record with wins over Clinton JC and teams from Thomasville and Graham. They lost to Friendship College and teams from Reidsville and Laurinburg. The 1941 team played and lost to Winston-Salem Teachers College. Among the last football games were ones against Voorhees JC and Harbison JC.
Catalog photo of the 1925-26 basketball team (<archive.org/stream/catalogueofimman19271928imma#page/14/mode/1up>) accessed 1-25-2017
Main building of Immanuel Lutheran College between 1905 and 1915, North Carolina Postcards (http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/nc_post/id/1185) accessed 1-25-2017