The history of Immanuel First's Vietnamese Church and its development can be described in three words:
WATERING - GROWING
1 Corinthians 3:6-7
Planting With a missionary spirit and love toward the lost souls, on October 5, 2000 Immanuel First Lutheran Church began to plant a new Vietnamese Mission. Pastor An Binh Thai, at the time a third-year student at Concordia University Irvine, was installed by the Pacific Southwest District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as a vicar for the mission.
Watering With prayers, Pastor Thai began collecting the Vietnamese addresses from the Yellow Pages phone book - over 250 in total - in West Covina and its surroundings. Pastor Thai and his wife Rose drove to each of these addresses to visit and distribute tracts, and to present the new mission to the Vietnamese people. Within the first six months of 2001, the second round of visitation was accomplished, and a small group of two to five individuals, including the pastor and his wife, formed the first Bible studies and prayer meetings in the Youth Room.
On July 2001, the first worship service began. In January 2002 the regular service was moved to the sanctuary. After graduating with an M.A. in Theology on December 1, 2002, Vicar Thai was called by Immanuel First; ordained by the PSWD, to be an assistant pastor assigned for the Vietnamese mission.
Growing The mission, now known as Immanuel First Vietnamese Lutheran Church, has grown to a list of 47 people now, with 25-30 congregants worshiping on Sunday afternoon. A Sunday School class for the adults was started by Pastor Thai. Another Sunday School class for children and teenagers was also started, taught by the two daughters of Pastor and Mrs. Thai, Mimosa Nguyen and Bao-Anh Duong. A weekly home Bible study and prayer is held at a member's house in Rosemead, CA every Wednesday.
With Pastor An Thai's retirement, we are proud to welcome our new pastor, Rev. Daniel Xuan-Vu Nguyen. Building on the works of Pastor An Thai, Pastor Nguyen expects to continue expanding the Vietnamese community, especially in the area of outreach to the grater community.
Thanks and glories be to our Lord God Almighty who "made it grow" (1 Corinthians 3:7).