A Brief History of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran CFirst Churchhurch
 
 

Trinity English Lutheran congregation was organized on November 18, 1918, with 17 communicants, representing 35 souls. Requesting their release from the mother congregation, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hammond, they established a daughter congregation, whose ministry would be to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and administer the Sacraments according to the confessional standards of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, entirely in the English language.

The first public worship service was held on March 2, 1919, at the K of P hall, Hohman Avenue and Ogden Street. Rev. Henry Mackensen was called as Trinity’s first pastor. In August, 1919, the congregation purchased land for a church site at Park Place and Waltham Street. A brick chapel was erected and dedicated on April 24, 1921.

Pastor Mackensen resigned due to ill health, and the Rev. Henry Nuoffer was installed as Trinity’s second pastor in 1923. A parsonage was purchased at 9 Elizabeth Street in 1926. In 1929 the continuing growth of the congregation led to the adoption of a resolution to erect a new and larger house of worship on the lot which the congregation owned at Park Place and Waltham. But a severe economic depression in the early thirties caused the congregation to abandon this ambitious project and instead to construct an addition to the existing building. In 1941, Pastor Nuoffer accepted a call to organize a mission in Los Angeles.

After a six month vacancy, the Rev. J.W. Acker was installed as Trinity’s third pastor on November 9, 1941. Pastor Acker was to serve Trinity for 32 years.

Church Front 2 IMG_2395On the occasion of its 25th Anniversary, Trinity renovated the interior of the church, dedicating a new altar, pulpit, and communion rail. More land was also acquired on Waltham Street for parking. However, in 1950, 6.8 acres of land was purchased at 172nd Street and Hohman Avenue. To handle the needs of an increased membership, Trinity built a new church building on the acquired site, and the dedication took place on the occasion of Trinity’s 35th Anniversary, November 15, 1953. Land for a parsonage at the northeast corner of 173rd Street and Hohman Avenue was obtained, and a new home for the pastor’s family was dedicated on February 7, 1960.

In the interim between 1960 and 1985, Trinity obtained the assistance of additional called workers to carry out its ministry–two assistant pastors, three deaconesses, and three Directors of Christian Education.

On August 4, 1968, Trinity dedicated its Parish Center, built to match the church building.

This addition to the facilities added church offices and classrooms, including a lower parish hall and a gymnasium/auditorium above. With the new Parish Center available, Trinity Lutheran Pre-School was established that same year.

In June, 1973, Pastor Acker retired, after 32 years of service. Rev. Robert Hoeft had joined Trinity as assistant pastor in 1972, and accepted the call to be senior pastor upon Pastor Acker’s retirement. Pastor Hoeft, Trinity’s fourth pastor, served for three years, resigning from his call in August, 1976. A vacancy of nearly a year followed. During Pastor Hoeft’s ministry, a used 12-rank Reuter pipe organ was purchased and installed in the balcony to replace the electronic organ that had been placed in the north transept. Also, Trinity began a radio broadcast of its church service. This continued for about ten years.

In June, 1977, Rev. Julius Dahms accepted the call to be Trinity’s pastor, and was installed, becoming Trinity’s fifth pastor. Pastor Dahms served until January, 1979, when he submitted his resignation from his call.

After a vacancy of over a year, Rev. Karl Davies accepted Trinity’s call, and was installed as Trinity’s sixth pastor on April 20, 1980. Pastor Davies served Trinity as pastor until he retired in June of 2011.

In 1987, a church bell was donated and installed in the bell tower, and two additional bells were donated and installed in 1990. In December, 1992, the church sanctuary was remodeled, moving the communion rail to the floor level, and the construction of a new, free-standing altar of oak, and the creation of a baptistery area in the north transept where the choir used to be. Dedication took place on Easter Sunday, April 11, 1993, as part of the 75th anniversary celebration.

Trinity was vacant for only three months. Trinity decided to use the Intentional Interim Ministry Program.   Rev. Karl A. Frincke from Fort Wayne, Indiana was called to serve Trinity as our Interim Pastor. Pastor Frincke served Trinity until December 30, 2012. During Pastor Frincke time with Trinity we took some time to asses ourselves, our situation and to learn about ourselves in preparation for calling Trinity’s next pastor.

Rev. Kevin R. Olson accepted the call to Trinity in May of 2013 and was installed as the Pastor of Trinity on June 2, 2013.

 

History of Trinity’s Pastors

1919-1923          Rev. Henry Mackensen

1923-1941          Rev. H.A. Nuoffer

1929-1935          Dr. D.F. Kroencke, Pastoral Associate from Valparaiso University

1936-                 Dr. H.H. Kumnick, Pastoral Associate from Valparaiso University

1941-1973          Rev. J.W. Acker

1967-1970          Rev. David Vidler, Assistant Pastor

1973-1976          Rev. Robert Hoeft

1976-1977          Vacancy

1977-1979          Rev. Julius Dahms

1979-1980          Vacancy

1980-2011          Rev. Karl Cleven Davies

2011-2011          Vacancy 3 Months

2011-2013          Rev. Karl A. Frincke, Interim Pastor

2013-2013          Vacancy 5 Months

2013-Present     Rev. Kevin R. Olson