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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



ELCA South Carolina Synod


Emmanuel Lutheran Church

As children of God and marked with the cross of Christ forever, we, the members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, will proclaim the good news and spread the word of our Lord and His loving kindness by ministering together to our church family and to our community and to the Church at large.


Church Concerns

 Worship 10:30 a.m.

This Sunday, November 15, we will return to the sanctuary for the 10:30 a.m. service. The Drive-In Sevice at 9:00 a.m. will continue for those who yet prefer not to gather with crowds. Please continue to observe these practices for the health and wellbeing of all. 

  • Ushers will be on hand to show you to the appropriate entrance for the number of people in your family group and will seat all worshippers.

  • Masks are required.

  • Your temperature will be taken as you enter the sanctuary.

  • Social distancing is required.

  • Hand sanitizers will be available at each entrance.

  • One set of restrooms will be open. Please only one person at a time in the restroom.

  • Bring bottled water with you, if needed.

  • Hymn tunes will be played and text printed in the bulletin. Hum along or reflect upon the words. 

  • The Peace will be a verbal exchange only.

  • Offering plates will be available at the doors.

  • There will be no nursery. Children remain with their families. 

Story Time with Lil'


Check out our new page on

this website for a special 

story just for you. 

Christmas Giving


Wondering how to make a positive impact in the world right now? With ELCA Good Gifts, you can choose from 50 charitable gifts to give in honor of friends and loved ones. Each one of these gifts makes a real impact in the world, sharing the love of Christ — one goat, water well or school uniform at a time. Start your holiday shopping now and order free, customized cards for each gift you give. Please give by Dec. 10, 2020, to ensure that your cards arrive in time for Christmas.


Officers Elected

At our Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, November 22, the following members were elected to serve on the Church Council: Pete Banco, Rick Kingry, Geniene Ciuca, and Eva Williams. Marie Tidwell was elected as the youth representative to the council. 

The Emmanuel Angel Tree located in the Narthex contains needs and/or gift ideas for our Food Pantry families. The Angel Tree will also be available OUTSIDE as you exit the parking lot after Drive-In worship. We have 107 individuals this year! The main purpose is to spread holiday cheer by providing a Christmas to those families less fortunate. We encourage you to remove an “Angel” from the tree and purchase one or more of the gifts listed on the tag. We would ask that you limit your gifts to $30.00- $40.00 per individual so we can serve more people and keep gifts somewhat equal within a family. If you are able to contribute more than that amount, please take additional tags from the Angel Tree. If your family would like to “adopt” an entire family, please contact Geniene Ciuca (call or text at 803-727-0388) by Sunday, November 22. Gifts should be wrapped, bundled together in a bag, box or tied together with ribbon with the “Angel tag” taped to the front of the gift. Please place the wrapped gifts under the tree in the Narthex or give them to the “parking lot assistants” after Drive-In church. ALL gifts need to be returned by Sunday, December 13th. The gifts will be distributed to the families during the regular Food Pantry on December 15th. If you are unable to provide for an individual entirely by yourself or are uncomfortable shopping during the current pandemic, we welcome any contributions that will help provide gifts for our Food Pantry families. Contributions can be donated by placing money in the basket located near the offering plate or you can contribute through your Offering Envelope by designating Outreach under the “Special For” section

Food Pantry

We served 24 families at the November Food Pantry this week. Please consider donating the gift of food to the Food Pantry during the Holiday season. You can put food donations in the Food Pantry box in the Narthex, give it to the parking lot assistants after Drive-In worship, or drop it by the Church office. Any food items are appreciated but particular needs are peanut butter, jelly, rice, spaghetti (noodles & sauce), canned meat, vegetables, cereal, grits, macaroni & cheese and canned fruit.

Christmas Giving Tree

Emmanuel Lutheran Church.jpg

Corporate Worship

Gathering in Faith

  During the current Covid-19 pandemic many of the congregation's activities have been curtailed. Worship is NOT one of them. Each Sunday we gather at 9:00 a.m. for worship via "drive-in" church. Park in the church parking lot or the ball field, tune your radio to FM 98.1 and participate in the service using the bulletin available from the container at the entrance to the church offices. Members of the congregation who choose also receive the bulletin by email. 

   The video of the service for the day is ordinarily available later on Sunday or by Monday on the church website, www.emmanuelwelcomesyou.com on the Sermons and Services page, or directly from the church YouTube Channel: Emmanuel Lutheran Church, West Columbia, SC. 


Church-Wide Activities

Growing in love

The congregation gathers for dinner and programs during Advent and Lent, as well as occasional other meals such as the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, the Christmas Banquet, and more. We gather not simply for the food, but equally as important for strengthening the bonds of love that bind us together as a community.


Christian Fellowship

Building upon longterm relationships and creating new relationships, the people of Emmanuel come together on a regular basis to enjoy food, fun, conversation, and the gift of life. Visitors are always welcome 

Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church

WELCA offers four circles (small groups) for women who meet monthly for mutual encouragement, study, prayer, and refreshments or a meal. In addition there are occasional gatherings for all the women of the church. The Altar Committee is a part of the WELCA ministry, as well as the Bereavement Committee which provides meals to families following Funerals or Memorial Services.

Lutheran Men in Mission

The men of Emmanuel gather on the first Wednesday of each month for a meal, program, and fellowship. It is a time to build new relationships and to enrich old ones.  All men of the church and friends, too, are welcome to participate.


ESP (Senior Adult Fellowship)

Enjoying the Gift of Vital Living

ESP (Emmanuel's Special People) gather on the third Thursday of the month for a variety of activities - apple picking trips, visiting local historic sites, special programs and, of course, lunch.

                Whenever you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.




Emmanuel is involved in reaching out into the community in a number of tangible ways:

The Food Bank is made possible through the gifts of Emmanuel's members and provides bags of food for those in need in our community. It is open the last Tuesday of each month. 

Monthly Community Meal is provided once a month for members of the community and also members of Emmanuel who join in food and fellowship.

Boy and Girl Scout Troops are available for children and youth in our community.

Meals on Wheels - members of Emmanuel participate in this community-wide ministry. Additional volunteers are always needed.

Blood Drives - offers two Red Cross Blood Drives annually.

Health and Wellness Fair brings together a wide variety of organizations within the community who provided displays and interact with all participants, community members and church members. 

A Fuller Life honors the memory of  Barbara Jane Corley Fuller, a life-long memory of Emmanuel and a woman who touched the lives of many childen in our community. A Fuller Life hosts events and fundraisers thoughout the year to gather monies to help provide students have a more positive school experience. Money raised assists with school debts, as well as the purchase of yearbooks, dance tickets, sporting event tickets, and more for those who cannot afford them. This year one high school senior was able to receive his diploma because A Fuller Life paid a school debt he could not afford to pay. The committee hosts quarterly Socials immediately following worship. A variety of desserts are served and donations accepted. Other fundraising events have included a silent art auction.  

Christian Education and Formation
Is for all ages

Learning more about who we are as the disciples of Jesus Christ is a lifelong endeavor. Emmanuel offers educational opportunities for children, youth, and adults through weekly Sunday School classes at 9:15 a.m. and special groups for the younger among us.

Children's Ministries

Children's Ministries are a vital part of our church life. Programs include:
Sunday School for children of all ages
Children's choir
'Lil Lutherans 
Nursery Care for our youngest

Youth Ministry

Our sixth through twelfth graders meet each Sunday evening for supper, recreation, study, and fellowship. In addition the young people enjoy retreats and other special activities. There is also an annual Confirmation Class for youth.

Pastoral and Music Staff


Pastor Karen Hawkins

Interim Pastor

Pastor Karen Hawkins is a 1980 graduate of the College of Charleston and a 1994 graduate of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. She has served congregations in Columbia, Charleston, and Mt. Pleasant. Prior to seminary Pastor Hawkins taught school in Dorchester County School District Two in the area of special education at the middle and elementary grade levels. She is married to Dr. Robert Hawkins.

Mary Whiteley

Organist and Choir Director

Mary, a graduate of Newberry College, has served as the organist and choir director for several churches. She has been with Emmanuel for  more than a decade as our organist/choir director. She also serves accompanist for the Children's Choirs.


Program and Support Staff

Rindy Abdelnour.jpg

Rindy Abdelnour

Church Office Administrator


Katie Donaldson

Youth Ministry


Elyse Kinard

Children's Ministry

Contact Emmanuel Lutheran Church

2491 Emanuel Church Rd, West Columbia, SC 29170, USA

(803) 755-9857



(803) 755-9857

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