From Chicago to Silver Creek: Immanuel Lutheran Gets a New Pastor in Norman Hanan

Pastor Norman Hanan is the new spiritual leader at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Silver Creek. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

By Brenda Erdahl. The congregation at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Silver Creek has welcomed a new pastor into their midst. Pastor Norman Hanan started late last fall as the parish’s new spiritual leader. He comes with 16 years of experience ministering at a church in Fairhaven.

Before that, he served at multiple churches in Chicago, Il. In 2003 he retired, but “couldn’t stay retired,” so spent the last 14 years filling in for pastors all over the state. “My wife didn’t like all the Sunday morning drives,” said Hanan who would sometimes travel two hours or more from his Lake Sylvia home to get to the parish where he was lending a hand. “She asked me to please prayerfully consider this position in Silver Creek. Now she’s happy and I’m happy.” Hanan and his wife Mary were both born and raised in Chicago’s “concrete jungle.”

When Hanan was 22 years old, the pastor of his church asked if he had ever thought of enrolling at the Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Il. to become a pastor or teacher. Taking his pastor’s advice, he did just that, but he didn’t find his path to the seminary right away. “I had intended to go to college then to seminary in Springfield, but I had such a wonderful student teaching experience in the inner city,” he said.

Instead of going on to pursue his pastoral career, he spent the next several years teaching and coaching athletics at Lutheran High Schools throughout Chicago and its suburbs. Things began to change though in the teaching world, so in 1980 he decided to revisit that calling he had to the seminary. He enrolled in Seminary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During the week he lived on campus, leaving his wife and their five young boys at home.

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