Trinity Lutheran Church
St. Louis, MO
Established in 1839 as Dreieinigkeitskirche, English name adopted in 1917.
External links - http://www.surf-gate.com/historictrinitylutheran/
Original Location: First services held on ships by Saxons immigrants in 1838.
Next Location: services held in Christ Church Cathedral
Next Location: Broadway and Walnut
First building the congregation erected was at Lombard St., between 2nd and 3rd (1842)
Present Location: 812 Soulard (corner of 8th) (1864)
Trinity Lutheral is the oldest Lutheran church west of the Mississippi River. It was soon the "mother church" for the later congregations of Holy Cross, Immanuel and Zion. At first all the services were in German; now one service a month is in German, the remainder in English. From the beginning an elementary school was in operation; it currently still operates for pre-school through fifth grade. It is the oldest elementary school in St. Louis in continuous service. President Roosevelt sent a letter of congradulations on the 100th anniversary in 1939 and President Bush sent one on the 150th anniversary.
The building at 8th and Lafayette (later named Soulard) sat 900 on the ground floor and 150 in each of two balconies. On 27 May 1896 a tornado struck the church and damaged much of it, inc. stained glass, the tower clock and spire. The 1864 pulpit and font were salvaged, and the church was rebuilt, but the tower now lacks a clock, and is 25 feet shorter. Part of the pipe organ was also salvaged and reinstalled in the rebuild. When the damaged church was rebuilt, electric lighting was installed but gas-jets were retained in the sconces--just in case.
Artifacts include a chalice from the late 1700's, brought by Saxons in 1839; altar from 1896; German Bible from 1681, acquired in 1839; pulpit and baptismal font dating to 1864; Pfeffer pipe organ (parts extant). The organ's tracker action was changed to electro-pneumatic in 1928.
The church underwent a restoration in the 1980's.
Dr. C. F. W. Walther was Trinity's second pastor, serving from 1841 until 1887. He was also the first president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Actually Trinity Church was established before the Missouri Synod. For a while Walther was even the president of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
Relatives who were members or had a ceremony performed at this church
Otto Thoma (-2G) - wedding in 1889 Mary Elizabeth M. Juengel (-2G) - wedding in 1889
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