Emmanuel Press is dedicated to making treasures of Christian literature from the past and present, especially from within the Evangelical Lutheran Church, available to the world.
A Brief History: Emmanuel Press was born with the printing of The Brotherhood Prayer Book in 2004. However, the creation of the BPB began several years earlier, when Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes was studying abroad at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany. It was here that he discovered a book entitled Brevarium Lipsiensae: Tagzeitengebete, published by the Evangelical Lutheran Prayer Brotherhood, a group at that time under the leadership of Bishop Emeritus Jobst Schoene of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) of Germany. Dr. Mayes subsequently attended a retreat in Germany organized by this Brotherhood (Bruedershaft).
Upon returning to the United States, Dr. Mayes began to pray and chant the liturgy from this Brevarium with Michael Frese, a fellow student at Concordia Theological Seminary – Fort Wayne and also a former student of the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel. It was at Rev. Frese’s instigation that a new project was undertaken: the creation of a Lutheran, liturgical resource in English on par with the German Brevarium. For the next two years, Dr. Mayes and Rev. Frese worked to develop The Brotherhood Prayer Book, using the Brevarium as well as other sources. Rev. Frese focused on publicity and the conversion of propers from German to English while Dr. Mayes served as general editor and musician. After an outstanding response to the first edition of the BPB, the second edition of the BPB was printed in 2007, augmented with more music, new liturgical artwork, and seven marking ribbons.
In 2006, Emmanuel Press expanded its offerings by reprinting Starck’s Prayer Book and An Explanation of the Common Service, two books which had been out of print for decades but whose devotional and theological contents remain invaluable to modern Christians. In 2011, we published a reprint of Loehe’s Seed-Grains of Prayer as well as a stand-alone volume of Starck’s Motherhood Prayers, originally included in Starck’s Prayer Book. Also in 2011, we began to offer ecclesiastical greeting cards, featuring artwork we encountered while living in Germany as well as original art by Edward Riojas. With new projects planned for the near future, we continue to produce works essential to confessional Lutheran theology and worship either by reprinting formerly lost, out-of-print books, or by offering new, original works.
Emmanuel Press is owned and operated by Rev. Michael and Janet Frese. Rev. Frese is a pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as well as a chaplain for the Air National Guard. He received an M.Div from Concordia Theological Seminary in 2002 and an STM (emphasis: Systematic Theology) in 2004. The Freses have lived in Germany for five years total: one year when Rev. Frese was an exchange student at the SELK seminary in Oberursel, and four years as an active duty Army chaplain in Mannheim. Click here for contact information.
About our Artist: Edward Riojas is a Lutheran artist living in western Michigan. His sacred work can be found in sanctuaries and private collections throughout the U.S. and Canada. His work also has appeared in numerous Lutheran publications and is featured in Ecclesiastical Art, a large body of work that supplements one-year and three-year lectionaries.
About the Emmanuel Press Logo: The Latin phrase, “Labia sacerdotis custodient scientiam” means “The lips of a priest should guard knowledge.” This passage from Malachi 2:7 expresses our conviction that the Church requires a clergy and laity educated in theology. The shield emblem features a thurible with wafts of incense floating upwards, calling to mind Psalm 141:2, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense.” Indeed, knowledge of divine things should lead Christians to prayer and contemplation of God the Holy Trinity. Finally, the EP emblem, located within the shield, has the P functioning also as a stylized cross and “chi-rho,” the first two letters of the Greek word for “Christ.” Thus, Emmanuel Press publishes materials which increase the theological knowledge of the Church, which aid the Church in prayer, worship, and liturgy, and which are focused on Christ Jesus, the Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary.