50th Anniversary
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Amsterdam, NY

Part 1

 

Source: (Booklet) "1868-1918; Fiftieth Anniversary, Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church; November the 17th to November the 21st 1918, Amsterdam, N.Y.; This Tribut hold thankfully in Rememberance of the Word, the struggles and the sacrifices of the Members of the Trinity Church.," Compiled and published by Pastor E. von Hahmann, Ph. D., 46 pages.

The original booklet has 2 pages of additions (pgs 44 & 46) as well as a paper cover with corrections and more additions. Rather than putting this information at these locations, I decided to add it where they belong as was the original intent.

 

FOREWORD

With earnest care and faithful work I have compiled and prepared the History of your Church.

Dear Reader, going over the pages of this History, remember the sturdy ancestors from which you sprung, remember the strugglers who consecrated their lives to the love of God, live in him and gain a happy and a prosperous life. Remember those people to whom you owe your spiritual intellect, remember their faith, their sacrifices and follow them in every good way.

Be thou faithful unto death, surely you will gain the Crown of life.

Amsterdam, N.Y. in the year of the fiftieth Anniversary of the congregation and in the time of the great World War, anno Domini, 1918.

ERNST VON HAHMANN, Pastor.

 

Exterior of Church
(Click on Image for Larger View)

1918

2000

2000

 

In Memoriam
Henry Frederick Schotte,
born September the 28th, 1894
died in France 1918.

Frederik H. Watermann,
born August the 22nd, 1897
died in France 1918

 

THE HISTORY OF TRINITY EVANGELICAL

LUTHERAN CHURCH

Compiled by the Pastor, Dr. Ernst von Hahmann

Amsterdam, N. Y., November A. D., 1918

The History of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Amsterdam, N. Y., leads back to the year 1863. At that time German Lutherans had settled in Amsterdam and vicinity. We gladly mention the names of Carl Spalt, Carl Krueger, Conrad Dersch and Behm, Gentz and Hirschfield. These ten or twelve German families who lived in Amsterdam, felt the need of divine worship — this need, they brought with them from the old Fatherland. But it was very difficult to satisfy their earnest need, because the next Lutheran Church was more than thirty-three miles away. Once in a while, there came from Gloversville and Johnstown some good Christian man to Amsterdam, to bring the Gospel message to the few German settlers in their own tongue. The first marriage occurred on the third day of April in 1864, between Elisabeth Bergel and Conrad Dersch. The marriage ceremony was performed by Rev. Hauch and Mr. and Mrs. C. Spalt were the witnesses. A little later a minister from Little Falls was visiting the few German families in Amsterdam: his name was Lahmeier. For a short time he rented a room over Bartlett’s shoe store, on East Main street and organized a church; his operations began in February, 1865, and lasted to October, 1886. The offering and dues between that time amounted to $60.82 and the expenses to $32.09. The service of the minister from Little Falls lasted not very long. He was not a Lutheran minister and his preaching therefore could not satisfy a good German Lutheran soul.

For a long period the German settler had to be without any spiritual guidance and divine worship. It happened then, that a family by the name of J. Schneider, who lived in Herkimer, N. Y., moved over to Amsterdam. Mr. Schneider very soon figured prominently in the midst of these German settlers. He conceived the necessity for a Lutheran pastor. He at once brought before his German friends the proposition to extend a call to the Lutheran pastor near Herkimer, to come over and look over the field for the planting of a Mission. The pastor’s name was Peterson or Peters. Mr. Schneider’s proposition was carried out immediately. The attention of Pastor Peterson or Peters was directed to the field who after giving the matter careful thought, agreed to accept the call tendered to him and begin the work at once. After some weeks he went carefully over the field, he then announced that the first service shall be held in the "Old Stone School House" on Division street. Pastor Peterson organized the first German Sunday School in Amsterdam. He was a successful Missionary and in a very short time increased the membership of the little congregation. These are the names which were added to the membership roll in 1868: Mr. and Mrs. E. Kurlbaum, the families of J. and F. Krueger, Freese, C. Hayden, F. Schmidt, L. Kalk and others. It was a rich and promising beginning. The development of the new congregation made it absolutely necessary to meet in a larger place for divine worship and Sunday School work. The pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of this city was very much concerned about the needs of the little German Lutheran Mission. No doubt, the pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church was a very friendly and conscientious man. Through his influence, the Second Presbyterian Church opened her doors to the lecture room for the Lutheran Mission, that they could hold their divine services in an orderly way. Pastor Peterson was very ambitious and rendered a faithful work to the Lutheran congregation. At the first congregational meeting, the cry came from the majority of the congregation: Let us rise and get a church and a parsonage. Negotiations were at once begun with Mr. F. Schroeder for the purchase of his lot on Grove street, which resulted in the purchase for the sum of $600 and the deed was prepared under the names of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Spalt and Mr. and Mrs. Carl Krueger. The lot was sixty feet wide and one hundred and ten feet deep. Undoubtedly, this purchase was the Genesis for the future development and wealth of the Trinity Lutheran Church. But the prosperous beginning and the great enthusiasm of the members of the Lutheran Mission did not last very long. Very soon the question was raised: Is it possible for us few families, if we go into the expenses and build a church and a parsonage the same time, that we are able to make up the necessary funds, to pay the pastor's salary and what is needed for the maintenance and the upkeep of the congregation? Some said yes; some were doubtful, and some did not care. It was, the members remained undecided and had not the courage and spirit to go forward with the work, that Pastor Peterson was dissatisfied and resigned and left the little flock after two years' hard and faithful work. This was a hard blow to the little Lutheran Mission; no pastor, no hopes for prospect and no chance for a brighter future. But as it always had been in every Christian congregation, there are some stronger characters which never lose faith and hope and courage in the work. From reverses there comes often a new spirit, chastened and disciplined. The next pastor was Rev. Mattchatt. He resumed his work in 1869. Under his pastorate a parsonage and the first German Lutheran Church on Grove street was built. It was, before the church was finished, the contractors asked for their money. The treasury was empty, and no further funds could be secured. And now what to do? A German proverb saith: "Da war guter Rat teuer." It was a hard and trying time for the few faithful workers. For a long time it looked as if they never would succeed in their efforts. In many ways, there was always something against them. But even in this hard pressed hour, the Mission kept on struggling. When the parsonage was ready for the pastor to move in, the Mission was obliged to offer the parsonage for sale, to get the money which was needed, to pay the almost too heavy debts. And when the parsonage was almost sold, another difficulty arose against the congregation. It appeared when the survey was taken, that the parsonage was built one and a half feet over into the lot of the neighbor. Indeed, this difficulty was settled very harmoniously. The owner of the next lot, Mr. F. Schroeder, turned the one and a half feet of ground over to the benefit of the Mission, and the hard and earnest dispute was settled. Under the most auspicious expectations the new church was nearly to be finished, certainly, a bright and joyful moment for the struggling congregation. The builder was Mr. H. Grieme. The church nearly ready for service, the congregation looking brightly into the future, there came, almost like a bitter crime, another reproach, pain and harmful. A dissatisfaction arose between the members of the Mission against the minister and his way of living. After one year's work, Pastor Mattchet resigned and left the congregation immediately. Again the little flock was without a Shepherd! Over night almost, the joyfulness went into bitterness. Who can judge, the loss of money, of work and sacrifices the starters of Trinity Church had to lament? The Sunday School, so properly organized went down to nothing; some members of the Mission went away cold and lukewarm; some left the Mission entirely. The treasury empty, no further prospects before them and all their efforts in vain, no wonder that in their struggles and battles they felt downhearted and ill in distress.

Two times the struggling congregation went to work toiled in self-denial, and when everything seemed bright and in a flourishing condition, some unexpected misfortune and other cutting things turned up and made all their bard work and sacrices a failure. Aber, was "lange waehrt, wird endlich," und alle "gute Dinge sind Drei!" The little Mission started the onward march the third time. In their sacred conflict and struggle they went to the minister of the Second Presbyterian church and kindly asked him for his guidance and advice. And again the good hearted pastor, who was always, as it appeared, in loving sympathy with the hard toiling German Lutherans, rendered them a most generous act in the advice he gave them. He said: You as Lutherans, you must go to a Lutheran Synod, they will surely help you and your little Mission in any possible way. Through this kindly ministry the few faithful strugglers were now led to the real source from where they could expect the right instrumentality for their future development. The pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in 1869 was surely a wise and conscientious man. Today, when Trinity Church is celebrating her Golden Jubilee, the children and co-laborers of the few faithful strugglers in 1869, will thank the good pastor for his wise and generous advice. Many pastors in our days would not act so as the wise Presbyterian minister did. In our days, they would say, "Makes do difference what color your faith has, come over to us and make your church-home with us, it's all the same!"

The men of the Lutheran Mission followed the advice and went to Albany to meet the president of the Lutheran Synod of New York and New Jersey, Dr. Pohlman. With great pleasure the gentleman responded to the request of the people of the Lutheran Mission in Amsterdam. Dr. Pohlman rendered to the Mission every possible assistance. In the fall of 1869 the newly erected church was dedicated. The president of the Lutheran Synod of New York and New Jersey, Dr. Pohlman, under the assistance of Dr. Severinghause of the Lutheran Church in Oswego, N. Y., dedicated with impressive service the church of the German Lutherans in September, 1869. Crowds of representative Lutherans of the various nearby churches completely filled the building, many being unable to gain entrance. This festival brought a great rejoicing to the Lutherans in Amsterdam and answered their long existing need and struggle. Immediately after the dedication a student of theology from Hartwick Seminary, Mr. Klarg, was commissioned to serve the congregation during the interim. In 1870, when the membership numbered but twenty the name of Pastor P. Krechting was placed before the congregation and Pastor P. Krechting was unanimously elected pastor. The call extended to Pastor Krechting was expected to take effect March 12th, 1870. When he began his work, he found the field with unsettled Lutheran material. The following names figured prominently in the early history of Trinity Church: Carl Spalt, Carl Krueger, Wilhelm Brinkman, Friedrich Josk, Heinrich Gerling, Conrad Dersch, Ernst Kurlbaum, John Schneider, Sigmund Graff, Christian Wolfort, Carl Menge, `Carl Gentz, Christian F. Schmidt, Louis Conrad, Heinrich Schopmeier, Carl Schmidt, Grimsbein, John Foss, Katharina Behm, Margarethe Kinkel.

Pastor J. P. Krechting
March 12, 1870 to March 30, 1879

Pastor Krechting served as pastor of Trinity Church for a period of about nine years. While here, he did a very excellent work in building up the congregation and through his spiritual fervor and admirable traits of tactful methods in the work for the Master won a wide circle of admiring friends. Under his ministry the membership of this church was increased to about 400. Aber kein Prophet ist in seinem Lande angenehm (No prophet is respected in his own land). This was true with Pastor Krechting. There are always some good people who never can and who never will be satisfied, even if an angel from heaven would come and would do under them an angel's work More or less, every Christian congregation count such dissatisfied people under their fold. Trinity church was not free of them. Pastor Krechting did a good work always for the best of his people and the church, and still there was a dissatisfied feeling growing amongst the few of the congregation. It was this, that made pastor Krechting resign from his post and to accept a call which was offered to him by the English Lutheran Church, New Germantown, N. J. February, 1879. About Pastor Krechting's later life, it is said, that he lived a long and useful life. He was deeply interested in the work of the Master. July 12th, 1918, he was called from his labors on earth to his reward in the presence of his King. He died at Washington, D. C., but the funeral was held at the home of Mr. L. Pepper, Amsterdam, N. Y. Members of the Board of Trinity Lutheran Church acted as pall-bearers and in thankful memory laid a beautiful wreath on his grave in the name of the Trinity congregation whom Dr. Krechting had served so faithfully.

Pastor G. L. Rietz, M. D.
March 31, 1879 until his death August 29, 1887

Dr. Krechting was succeeded by Pastor G. L. Rietz, M. D. The call tendered to Pastor Rietz was accepted and went into effect on March 30th, 1879. The time, when Pastor Rietz entered the field, was a most favorable one in the history of Trinity Church. With great vigor he began his work and with earnestness continued to direct the activities of his promising congregation until they could reach some accomplishments, which were more than a mere demonstration. Within a short time, the old debts, which rested on the church property had been paid. It was also agreed by the congregation to purchase the house on the other side of Grove street, where the old church was located. Time house was put in proper shape and was used as the parsonage. The membership of the church increased each year, especially in the year 1880 to 18S3, so many Lutheran people came from the old "Heimatland" and settled in Amsterdam. It was actually a splendid progress and inaugurated the thought by Pastor Rietz to build a new church. In 18S5 he urged his people to build a larger and more comfortable church and the congregation met the proposition with great readiness. A general building fund was inaugurated. All the members of the congregation, Ladies' Aid Society and the Young People's Society worked harmoniously together for the great aim to build a more larger church. In the same year (1885) the congregation was fortunate enough to buy a lot on Spring street (1918 it was changed to Guy Park avenue) being considered admirably adapted for a new church. The lot was 144 feet wide and 130 feet deep and was purchased for the sum of $4,500. June 5th, 1887, was a day of great rejoicing for the people of Trinity church, and not less for Pastor Rietz, who so faithfully with the co-operation of his flock was contributing his whole energies and activities to the one purpose, to build a greater house to the honor of the Lord where the incrasing congregation could accept the Gospel in the fullness of the Lord. It was a joyful event and a great demonstration when Pastor Rietz and the president of the Lutheran Synod of New York and New Jersey, Dr. Luckenbach, under the assistance of Pastor 0. Kraft from Buffalo, N. Y., could lay the cornerstone to the present church in honor to the Holy Trinity. The plan for the present church was furnished by the architect, Mr. Hoffman from Albany, N. Y., for the cost of $250; and the cost for the entire church building was approximately a little over $28,000. The contract was carried out by Mr. B. Machold of the City of Amsterdam, the carpenters' work was done under the supervision of Mr. M. Nicle, the decorating and the church furniture, pews, pulpit, pulpit platform, the altar and the altar railing was delivered by Mr. C. Spalt, Sr. J. Schuyler and Jr.

Rich and promising as the hour was for the development of the Trinity congregation, there appeared another dark cloud which was significant enough to take the sunshine away which filled the hearts and souls of the members of Trinity. Unfortunately a group of men and women were desirous to change the doctrinal basis of Trinity Lutheran Church, and when they could not succeed in their efforts, they were disrupting the whole congregation. At the end, a good number had to withdraw, and as it is well known, they organized another congregation and built a church on Division street, under the name: "German Methodist Episcopal Church."

Long the day has past, but Trinity church substantially and morally did not lose anything by this separation. On the contrary, she gained in her aspiration and in her consecrated purpose. Trinity church is a genuine Lutheran organization, she rests on the confessional foundation of Lutheranism. There she must remain, because she has in her possession the pure doctrine of the plan of salvation. If only ones she will loosen the cord, she will have struggled in a fruitless way and consequently will deepen her conflict, her life, her burdens will grow heavier, and weary, faint and sad, she will disappear. That Trinity church did not allow herself to mingle with other denominations, she vitalized the Holy Sprit, saved for her children and the coming generation the sound Word, a pure Liturgie, and the arts of Lutheran faith and worship.

Such stormy times and troublesome years undermine the greatest physical strength, limitate the capacity of any power, even the strongest. Pastor Rietz was deeply devoted to his people, was faithful in the welfare of his congregation, in the development and the progress of his church but his physical power, the beating strength for work and sacrifice, was stricken with a fleeing, passing life. August 29th, 1887, in the midst of his struggle with difficulty and hardships, he was called to the throne of his Lord and Master. His early grave, strewn with flowers of a bereft congregation was the expression of love, tender and true, for the departed Shepherd.

The funeral service was held in the Presbyterian church, and no better testimony of the esteem and love could be given as the large crowd assembled, and the tears and sympathy of a mourning congregation. Pastor Rietz's ministry was a successful one, the new church of which he was the fundamental factor, was raised only to its half proportjon when his death occurred, but the church was finished and it stands now as a lasting monument to his memory, as a beautiful structure on Spring street or Guy Park avenue.

The death of Dr. Rietz was another dark cloud in the efforts of the faithful strugglers. It was another hard lesson for them. It was given, that they should grow into the strength of character. Because, through great misfortunes and going through the deep we will find the rock of solid ground for the power of endurance in the faithful profession. The noble qualities will be tested under crushing burdens.

And this was a test for the members of Trinity Lutheran Church. But they stood the test fairly good. All the burdens of the management about the completion of the church rested now upon the shoulders of the trustees, the building committee, the Kirchenrat and the members of the congregation. Going over the sparly record of these early days, the writer of this history found, that they fulfilled their task in a most faithful, conscientious way. For the good people the hour was hard, but they all stood nobly together. The Ladies' Aid Society furnished the lights, the carpets and some other necessary goods; the Young People's Society bought the organ from the firm of C. Barkhoff of Salem, Ohio; the confirmanden the clergy chairs; the windows were secured as memorials; and together with other liberal contributions of the members and friends, it was made possible to dedicate the church in April, 1888.

Between the time of the interime, the pulpit was occupied by the candidate of theologie, Mr. Weltner. The Nestor of the Lutheran pastors in the city of Baltimore, Dr. F. P. Hennighausen, always a good and faithful friend of the Trinity congregation, was largely responsible that the congregation could secure another pastor in the person of Rev. 0. Konrad. On April 29th, 1888, the new church was dedicated under most auspicious services, to the worship of the Almighty God. The dedication sermon was preached by the president of the Synod of New York and New Jersey, who also had charge of the dedication act. Pastor Rudolph Gerlach assisted the president of the Synod and on the same Sunday installed the newly elected pastor, 0. Konrad, who had entered the field on January 1st, 1888. Dr. P. Krechting and candidate of theologie, Mr. Weltner, preached in English. The day was bright and joyful for the congregation.

Trinity church was confronted with a mortgaged indebtedness, but this indebtedness was reduced from time to time so that a few years later it was made possible for the congregation to cancel all indebtedness. To the honor of the congregation it shall be mentioned that in all her struggles she did not receive any aid from the board of church extension. The members of the congregation made themselves responsible, in favorable and unfavorable seasons they labored faithfully and their magnificent success was bearing fruit.

Pastor O. C. Conrad
January 1, 1888 to July, 1902

Pastor 0. Konrad was also a good pastor; in his work, he was successful in every way, faithful and efficient from the beginning of his pastorate. To lower this recognition, would be unjust and unfair; the written pages of the history of Trinity church give ample proof of his work, his hardships, his disappointments. The congregation was heavily indebted, the old parsonage was sold to Mrs. Rietz, and a new, most beautiful one was built on the side of the church for the sum of $4,342. Under his leadership a Christian Young Men's Club was organized, who was greatly instrumental in the reduction of the church debt. And in a social way, this Christian Young Men's Club was a great help and a wonderful inspiration for the young people in the congregation.

In 1881, another Lutheran congregation was organized in Amsterdam under the name of "English Lutheran St. Luke's Church." Mostly all the members of said church are sons and daughters of the mother "Trinity." The growing tendency for service in the English language brought this opposition in existence. At first, it was a discouragement for the, pioneer of Lutheranism in Amsterdam; but soon, they were convinced that the mother church would remain, even more stronger and powerful than before.

A church does not need a large number of leaders and standard-bearers. The nature of things does not require it. But a church needs a large number of faithful supporters. Those, who remained faithful to Trinity, the congregation could count upon them in every good work and in every righteous move.

But there comes another blow, more dominant, deeper and painful than ever before. The congregation was in a splendid condition, all its members were on the heights of sacred activities, the field ripe for more beautiful service for the Lord and His church at large; there, the Genesis of dreary disappointment made his entrance, culminating in the discontented and dissatisfaction of some members us the congregation against the pastor. Why? The writer does not know. Here he wishes to pass in silence. But this is true, society has no service which the discontented can render, no machinery which they can run, no speeches they can make, no battles they can fight, no magnificent enterprises they can employ and never can bless those who are with them and around them.

Pastor 0. Konrad resigned in the year 1902, after fourteen years labor. His resignation was followed by a dissension of a serious character, which was disrupting Trinity Lutheran congregation. A large number of its members had withdrawn and organized another congregation, the "Evangelical Zion's Church" on Grove street.

Pastor G. W. Fritsch
August, 1902 to August, 1915

What a solemn lesson was this! Filled with bitter reproaches for the remaining congregation! But the anxious fears, the uneasiness and bitter anxiety could not take away from the remaining one, the glorious prospects. Trinity was looking into the future with joyful hopes. In August, 1902, Pastor G. W. Fritsch was unanimously elected pastor to succeed Rev. 0. Conrad. Pastor Fritsch accepted the call and entered upon his duties in August, 1902. During his pastorate the entire indebtedness of the congregation was canceled, but some other necessary improvements made it necessary to go into new debts. A steam heating plant was installed, the church was refrescoed and repainted, electric light was inducted and a new great pipe organ for the entire cost of over $8,000.00, to which the organist, Mr. W. Nadler, was also instrumental.

As pastor, he was peculiarly qualified and did much for the spiritual development of the congregation. His modesty, his cheerfulness, his tender solidity for those in distress, his charity, his patience, his love, faith and Christian fortitude combined, made him a faithful instrument in the great work of the Master.

It was not always sunshine in his work and life. Bitter re-reproaches will assail even the righteous. Many a time, sorrow filled his heart and gloom and despair went through his soul in the midst of disappointed hopes and the heavy blows which always come from those souls who never can be satisfied. July 11th, 1912, the faithful, self-sacrificing pastor was burdened with great sorrow when the sad news was made known to him, that his beloved daughter, Miriam, the refreshing sunshine in his work and labor, was dead. The power of language to tell the suffering of a grief-stricken heart becomes a shadow in the mysterious cloud. The congregation did not forget their pastor in that dark and lonely hour. Tears, the silent token of love have spoken louder than words. His health was evidently sinking; but he was still able to serve his congregation faithfully and conscientiously. But his health declined more and more and in August, 1915, he gave his office back into the hands of the congregation. It was accepted with much regret, because Pastor Fritsch had ever been held in the highest esteem by the congregation. When the Golden Jubilee of the congregation will he celebrated, Pastor Fritsch is the only pastor who can share the joyful event with the congregation. All the others went home to the Master, they sing now the songÄThe song of Jesus, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. Above the fears and the doubts, above the tumults and the strifings of this wicked world, they are still serving in the company of all the angels and saints in heaven and offer glory and honor, and thanksgiving to Jesus the Lord who so graciously was with them, with their work while here on earth, and the congregation, and His church they have served.

One great thing we recognize, going over the pages of the history of the Trinity Lutheran Church,and it is, the congregation has been blessed with a line of good, strong, faithful and self-sacrificing pastors.

It is also worthy of note to record that one of the sons of the congregation has entered the gospel ministry during her history, C. Moritz Rietz.

Should the consecrated life of this young man not be an inspiration to many more of the bright and consecrated young men of our church? Who will be the next from our church? Might not the call be to you my young brother who reads this history?

Coming to the end of the history of our church, one word more I have to add to the pages:

If the Trinity Lutheran Church shall stand and remain as a factor in the community, a help in the church at large, three things are necessary for her:

First -- deeper consecration of all its members.
Second -- hearty co-operation and union of all its members.
Third -- Love your pastor and help him in his work in any possible way.

This will be the successful note of the congregation and we hope and pray, this shall ever be the life and work of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Pastor E. von Hahmann
September 9, 1915

Last, but not least, we shall note that on June, 1915, the congregation was pleased to call Pastor Ernst von Hahmann, Ph. D. of Baltimore, Md., to the field. No doubt, this was due to the influence of the old friend of Trinity, Dr. F. P. Hennighausen of Baltimore, Md., and the determined work of Mr. W. H. Kaufman of this city, who was the instrumental factor for the purpose, to get a man, who might be acceptable to the congregation with the ability to do a successful work in the field. A good act, shall have its recognition; to pass over it in silence, would be unjust.

Pastor von Hahmann accepted, after much thought and prayer, to become the successor of Pastor G. W. Fritsch on September 9th, 1915.

It is the writer's earnest wish, to pass over here in silence. There is a German proverb which saith: "Eigenlob richt," or better es -------? Others are more earnest in their judgement, therefore we leave it to them.

Since 1915 more improvements to the church property have been made. A steam heating plant was installed in the parsonage, a garage for the use of the pastor was built and the property of the congregation was put in a good condition at the expense of about $3,000.00 which was paid in cash. In May, 1916, a Bazar was held in the school room of the church for the benefit of the Red Cross and war sufferers by which the sum of a little over $3,500.00 were gained, largely through the efforts of the members of the congregation and the members of the Zion's church on Grove street.

In January at the yearly congregational meeting the pastor urged his people to remodel and beautify the church in a way that it may meet the Lutheran style in the established usage. The congregation responded and authorized the pastor to appoint a committee which shall consist of ten members of the congregation, the members of the church board, and the officers of the diffierent organizations, the Ladies Aid Society, the Luther League, the Lutheran Brotherhood, the Sunday School, and the Womens' Missionary Society. In a later meeting of the congregation it was agreed to move the organ to its proper place and change the front to a sanctuary where the altar shall find its place.

During the summer of the year 1918, the church was beautifully frescoed and repainted, the pews were generally remodeled, the great organ put up to the gallery and a swell front put in; a new Gothic altar and pulpit was secured as memorials. New pulpit furniture, wainscoting, altar railing, a beautiful angel lecturn, two heavy clergy chairs, a solid brass cross, brass altar reading desk, two vases for the altar, two electric candalabers, five new altar hangings and last but not least, a set of twenty-eight chimes. Not to forget, that all the memorial windows were put under repair and all the names have been renewed.

Interior of Sanctuary (front)
(Click on Image for Larger View)

Before 1918
(with organ)

2000
(without organ)

Interior of Sanctuary (Organ)
The organ was moved in 1918 to the
gallery in the rear of the sanctuary
(Click on Image for Larger View)

1918

2000

The following pages give ample proof of the liberal contribution of the members which made it possible to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the congregation and rededicate the church with cash money in hand to pay all bills in honor to the fiftieth anniversary and in remembrance of the coming peace after a five years conflagration of the great World War.

During all these years 3,052 children received the Holy Baptism; 1,014 persons were united in Holy matrimony; 1,888 pilgrims were attended to the last resting place on earth; 1,689 young and older persons have received Confirmation; and the Holy Communion was administered to 48,785 persons

Trinity Lutheran Church paid for all benevolences during the fifty years, $19,316.20. For current objects, including the cost of the building of two churches and two parsonages, the magnificent sum of $145,226.22; making a grand total of $164,542.42. The estimated value of her church property is more than $70,000.

There are 649 contributing members, 984 Confirmed and 1,196 baptized souls.

She has a Sunday school divided in two departments, the English of which Mrs. Martha Niles is the superintendent, the German department, of which Mr. Ernest Hovemyer is the superintendent.

 

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