If you suspect that your ancestors belonged to Trinity Lutheran, i.e. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Society, German Evangelical Church or German Lutheran Church, you can contact them at the following address. I have been notified that their archives are maintained at the church and have been inputted into their computer. I do not know what fees they charge for research or copies.

Trinity Lutheran Church
1517 - 10th Street
Port Huron, Michigan 48060
(810) 984-2993

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

1871 - 1996

The following is extracted from a booklet compiled for the 125th Anniversary of Trinity Lutheran Church in 1996.

Many pictures were left out because they did not scan well. Most were too dark.

"The information and photographs in this booklet were compiled by the Trinity Church Historian and Archivist, Janice Moncher, with funding provided by the Mary-Martha Ladies' Guild.

Thank you to all who contributed historical records and pictures for this project.

The 125th Anniversary Committee

Doris Dierks

Judi Kuschel

Lynda Rathje

Geri Hill

Janice Moncher

Barb Schommer

Sandi Hustek

Pator Robert Mann

Marge Schultz

Fred Krestik

Otto Pfotenhauer, Jr.

Joe VanSach

 

Steve Rathje

 

An Overview

Trinity Church Pastors

 

Trinity School Principals

John Ruff 1871-1875   Christian Schmalzreid 1871-1875

Move to 10th & Griswold (1874)

     
J.R. Lauritzen 1875-1883   Frederick Gempel 1892-1894
Charles Lohrman 1883-1886   Martin Keul 1894-1895
F.F. Schroeder 1886-1900   Hugo Kaeselitz 1897-1902

3rd Church Dedicated (1899)

 

Old Church Becomes 1st School (1899)

George Bornemann 1900-1905   George Nern 1902-1904
Fred Mueller 1905-1916   Gustav Dryer 1904-1911
Otto Pfotenhauer 1916-1958   Arthur Kurth 1911-1920
      John Jaechel 1921-1924
      Louis Heidemann 1924-1928

Present Church Dedicated (1942)

  William Schulenborg 1928-1946
Robert Bannon 1958-1962   Henry Prahl 1946-1947
Theodore Klein 1963-1986   Wilbert Wehmueller 1948-1957
      Quyntin Andrews 1958
Mark Steiner 1984   Henry Bergman 1959-1962
- Asst. Pastor    

Present School Dedicated (1963)

Donald Krueger 1986-1987   Ray Richert 1964-1973
Robert Mann 1987-Present   *Floyd Helmreich 1973-1974
      Delton Nack 1974-1979
Terry Rosenau 1988-Present   *Steve Rathje 1980
- first Lay Minister     Glen Zobel 1981-1982
      Herbert Mock 1982-1988

Expansion Project (1994) Church & School

  John Aurich 1989-Present
         
      * Acting Principals  
    **John Dobring was a teacher at Trinity for 30 years (1917-47)

The Beginnings

(Johann) Frederick Ruff was born Feb. 7, 1830 in Badaleben, Germany, not too far from Magdeburg, the son of Johann H. and Maria (Miehe) Ruff. He was educated at the University of Berlin and came to America in 1852 to study for the Lutheran ministry in Perry County, Missouri. He met his future wife, Charlotte Posner, and her parents, brothers, and sister on the ship. Although she was still in her early teens, he was very much attracted to her and, not realizing how young she was, asked permission of her father to court her. Her father, August Posner, was startled and told him that Charlotte was just a child and much too young to even think of marriage. However, if he would care to correspond with her while he was studying for the ministry, a marriage might be possible at a later date, if she were agreeable. On December 15, 1857, they did marry in Waldenburg, Michigan.

Charlotte was born November 9, 1838, in Waldenburg, Germany. It was a romantic story of "true love", out of which eleven children were born, eight reaching adulthood. In chronological order they were: Frederick, Martin, John, Henry, Mary, Johanna, Theodore, Emma, Magalena, Carl and Edward.

Rev. John Ruff was the first pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Illinois, serving there from 1858 to 1860. Suffering a severe throat ailment and hoping the less humid climate would help his problem, he accepted a call to Mequon, Wisconsin, where he served for about six years. Finding no relief there, he accepted a call to Immanuel Church, Waldenburg, Michigan, where his in-laws lived. At this time the Synod asked him to go to Germany to seek out and recruit more students for the ministry, thinking the sea voyage would prove helpful. Feeling better upon his return, he was called to St. Peter's Lutheran Church, St. Clair, Michigan, in 1869. Shortly after, he started a mission station in Pt Huron.

On April 2, 1881, he died from cancer of the stomach. A great granddaughter, relates her mother's strong memories of a kindly and patient man toward his wife and children, never harsh is his judgments of parishioners and trying always to show Christ's love in all of his pastoral relationships. He was a tireless worker and a true disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ all of his life.

The original name of this congregation was the German Evangelical Lutheran Society of Port Huron, Michigan. Beginning in a rented building near Broad and Erie, this fledgling group was soon able to purchase a chapel downtown on the corner of Erie and Ontario (now McMorran) at what is presently the center of the college campus.

Rev. Ruff's first confirmation class on July 14, 1872, consisted of three girls all named Emma: Emma Pleger, Emma Richter, and Emma Kindel. There was only one boy in 1873 who was then confirmed with the class in St. Clair. Rev. Ruff confirmed a total of seventeen Port Huron children.

Christian Schmalzreid was our first called teacher serving from 1871 to 1875. Christian education was a high priority right from the start with classes being offered from the fall of 1871 and continuing uninterrupted ever since.

The first congregational meeting of which we have a record was held May 11, 1873. Five new members signed the constitution at that time, with Mr. Schmalzreid serving on the church board as secretary/treasurer.

The First Church Building on 10th Street (1879)

On March 8, 1874, the Ontario Street property was sold and two lots purchased from Nathanael White on the northwest corner of Tenth and Griswold. A large German settlement known as "Deutschtown" was on the south side of the city and this relocation was to make the church more accessible to them. Port Huron businessmen donated $200 for a building, and on November 15, 1874, the first house of worship on this corner was dedicated to the glory of the Triune God.

The church is the spired building on the left which served also as the school. The framed dwelling to the right, an existing building at the time of purchase, became the parsonage. It is believed that the first resident pastor and his wife, Rev. and Mrs. J.R. Lauritzen, are the figures standing on the front porch in this picture taken at a later date.

Seven members were present when the call was extended to Rev. J.R. Lauritzen of New London, Wisconsin, on May 31, 1875. At the same meeting it was decided that the church could not support both a teacher and a pastor, so they released Mr. Schmalzreid to accept a call from a sister congregation in Detroit.

Rev. Lauritzen was called to teach school in addition to his pastoral duties. During his tenure from 1875-1883, he confirmed 43 students. The first confirmation in the English language was for a Swedish girl named Emma Ward in 1880. Some differences with the congregation led a small group to leave Trinity and form the "German Evangelical Lutheran Emanuel Congregation of Fort Gratiot" in 1879. They located on Elmwood and Stone, established a Lutheran school which struggled for a few years. The congregation disbanded in 1905.

Rev. Lauritzen resigned his position in 1883 and Rev. Charles (Carl) Lohrmann of Lenox, Michigan, looked after the spiritual needs of Trinity congregation during this lengthy vacancy. There are no official records on file, but Mrs. Bertha Gast stated that she and three other students were confirmed in 1885 by Rev. Lohrmann.

It wasn't until 1886 that the congregation was ready to extend a call to Rev. F.F. Schroeder of Dashbrook, Ontario. He was a faithful servant and able to guide Trinity's members toward spiritual growth. Pastor Schroeder confirmed 94 during his pastorate. he also taught the parochial school for six years before asking the Synod for assistance in securing a teacher for the increasingly heavy work load.

Teacher Frederich Gempel served from 1892 to 1894 when he accepted a call to St. Louis, Missouri. Martin Keul, a student teacher, was his successor for one year. In 1897 Mr. Hugo Kaeselitz took charge of the school and taught until 1902. Enrollment increased from forty students in 1892 to sixty in 1896, and the congregation membership stood at sixty five families in 1897.

The 1898 Confirmation Class

Rev. F. Schroeder

Bertha Hentschel

Anna Mischnick

 

Gustav Kowitz

Marie Rebeschke

Clara Fenner

Paul Krestik

Karl Schmude

Edward Fenner

Francis Lemeke

Emma Schroeder

August Gruenberg

Anna Melms

Herman Schroeder

The White Wood Frame Church (1899)

In the summer of 1898 the congregation decided to build its fourth house of worship, having outgrown the small chapel on Griswold Street. Building cost was estimated at $4,000, and on September 11, 1898, the cornerstone of the new church was laid. Most members were very poor and it was difficult to raise even $1800, considering there was still a $650 debt on the old church. But by the grace of God and through an appeal to the Michigan District convention, letters were sent to all the congregations of the district explaining the desperate situation in Port Huron. By the dedication time, the indebtedness was reduced to less than $1000.

On February 5, 1899, the new facility, facing 10th Street, was dedicated. With a seating capacity of 270, it measured 36 by 70 feet, and included a 100 foot tower and an interior gallery on the east end, costing $3,600 to complete. W.L. Zells was the contractor and the plans were furnished by D. & G. Griese of Cleveland. A forced air furnace in the basement provided heat; the altar and pulpit were beautifully crafted. Many of the drapings were furnished by G.C. Meisel. The former church then became the Trinity School building.

When [the white church] was sold in 1942, the steeple was removed and the entire building moved west on Griswold to its present location on the corner of Nern and Martin Luther King Blvd. It received a brick facade and is now home for the Metropolitan Baptist Church.

In 1900, having labored faithfully for fourteen years at Trinity, Rev. Schroeder accepted a call to Immanuel, Waldenburg, Michigan, the church Rev. Ruff had served in 1867.

In the same year Rev. G. Bornemann arrived from Wadsworth, Michigan. He administered the rite of confirmation to 49 students during his five years of ministry here.

On June 13, 1903, Rev. Bornemann joined Otto Hering and Marie Misch in holy matrimony.

After Rev. Bornemann left in 1905 the congregation called Rev. Frederick Mueller of Hemlock, Michigan. He was here until the spring of 1916 and was then forced to resign because of ill health that took this servant to his eternal rest in the fall of this same year. He had confirmed 155 students and was remembered as a very stern and overpowering man. His father, Rev. John Mueller filled the vacancy until the new arrival and confirmed the 1916 class on April 16.

John F. Ruff, son of our founding pastor, married Anna Otter and ran a creamery in Port Huron. Their children were Lydia, Albert, Walter and Oscar. Albert was confirmed in 1912 and ordained in 1923. He later served as pastor of Trinity's daughter congregation, Our Savior Lutheran Church, established in 1920.

The Confirmation Class of May 27, 1906

Rev. F. Mueller Bertha Misch Otto Sass
Helen Hentschel* Elsie Misch Anna Schmudt
Bill Hochleitner George Mueller Harry Schneider
Mary Kowitz Augusta Reich Paul Seils
*Helen Hentschel later became Mrs. John Dobring. Her confirmation verse was John 5:24.

Confirmation is defined as a "pastoral and educational ministry of the church that is designated to help baptized children identify with the life and mission of the adult Christian community and that is celebrated in a public rite." It expresses the loving concern of parents, sponsors, and all agencies of the church for the welfare of the child. It nourishes in the confirmand those particular gifts to know and confess one's own Christian faith and life and grow as a child and servant of God. And it is a special opportunity for the church to recognize publicly the transition of these children, members by baptism but now taking on new responsibilities as adult communicant members in the life of the church.


In the early 1900s Trinity congregation had a sizable orchestra directed by Professor Basney. The orchestra continued to provide musical enjoyment for a number of years. Mr. Paul Schroeder was instrumental in organizing another church orchestra in the 1930s.

Members of the Trinity Orchestra

Professor Basney Hattie Miller Walter Ruff
Alma ? Hulda Miller Eliz Scharweber
Dick Henschel Edie Misch Anna Schmude
Helen Hentschel Mary Misch Fred Schmude
Bertha Hoffman Dana Reich Paul Schroeder
Mary Kowitz Gustie Reich Emma Schultz
Alfred Miller Lydia Ruff Edith Zielke
George Miller Oscar Ruff  

In 1902 George Nern became the teacher of Trinity School and served for just two years. He was succeeded by Gustav Dryer in 1904, who served until 1911 when he accepted a cal to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mr. Arthur Kurth from Reed City, Michigan, accepted the call to head the school. Mrs. Martha (Winter) Richert remembers a well taught lesson from Mr. Kurth. One day when she was drawing a barn with a silo, Mr. Kurth observed that the silo was leaning on such an angle that he mentioned it to Martha. Upset by Mr. Kurth's comment, she turned to him and said "who cares". Needless to say, the class was lectured for the next two weeks on the topic of "who cares".

Rev. Otto Pfotenhauer was called to Trinity and installed by Rev. F. Mueller on August 13, 1916. His parents were Rev. Adolph and Elizabeth (Harnisch) Pfotenhauer. He was born in Palatine, Illinois, on March 7, 1893. Rev. Pfotenhauer's preparatory training for the holy ministry was received at Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He was ordained on August 1, 1915, in St. Paul Lutheran Church in Addison, Illinois, his father performing the rite, assisted by his brother Rev. Herman Pfotenhauer.

Pastor Pfotenhauer joined an unbroken family line of pastors which dated back to 1580, shortly after the Lutheran Reformation in Germany. His first call was to Vibank, Saskatchewan, Canada. He married Minnie Jacobs of Greenboro, North Carolina, on April 25, 1917, and they were blessed with two children, Otto H. Pfotenhauer and Mary Jo Hysong, both living in Port Huron.

Due to a large increase in school enrollment the fall of 1916, Pastor Pfotenhauer volunteered to teach the four lower grades. At the January, 1917, annual meeting, the congregation took steps to call a second teacher and extended the call to John M. Dobring, of Pembroke, Ontario. He was to teach the four lower grades, while Arthur Kurth was in charge of the four upper grades of our school. A year after Mr. Dobring arrived he was drafted into the armed forces of our country, and student teacher, Martin June, filled in until his return a year later. Mr. Dobring was our longest tenured teacher serving for thirty years. He was also the head organist and choir director. He married Helen Hentschel on June 21, 1921, and they were blessed with a son, Martin, and a daughter, Dorothy Renaker, both still living in Port Huron. Mr. Dobring was a graduate of Lutheran Normal Teacher's College, Addison, Illinois, now known as Concordia University, River Forest. When he retired from teaching, he worked as a plant protection officer at the Electric Auto-Lite plant from 1948 until his retirement in 1957.

Pastor Pfotenhauer served the church at large in various official positions. He was Counselor of the Port Hope Circuit for twelve years (1936-1948) and a member of the Michigan District Council during the same period. He also served as chairman of the District Board of Support and Pensions for twenty-eight years.

Mr. Arthur Kurth resigned from his teaching position in 1920 and was succeeded by John C. Jaechel (1921-1924) and Louis C. Heidemann (1924-1928).

A double wedding ceremony of two sisters was performed here at Trinity, making it a double blessed event. Gus Hering and Minnie Urie, Ed Sass and Iva Urie were united in marriage on June 27, 1917.

Trinity's 50th Anniversary

On Sunday, July 10, 1921, Trinity celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. The morning service was conducted in the German language and our guest speaker was Rev. C. Lohrmann, then of Meta, Missouri. The church choir was under the direction of John Dobring with two special selections. Another service at 3:00 p.m. was conducted in the German language by Rev. E.A. Mayer of Frankenmuth, President of the Michigan District. The church choir of Lenox, Michigan, under the direction of Mr. J. Hahn, furnished special selections. The evening service at 7:30 p.m. was conducted in the English language with guest speaker Rev. F. Kolch of Detroit. In this service the choir of our sister congregation at St. Clair rendered a special selection. Professor M. Lochner, of our Normal School at River Forest, Ill, served as organist in all three services and brought the celebration to a close with an organ recital on Monday evening. At the time of our golden year, records showed a total of 812 baptisms, 454 confirmations, 232 marriages and 257 burials. There were 670 baptized and 360 communicant members. 75 children were attending the parish school and 130 in Sunday School. The Ladies Aid numbered 65 members, the senior youth 50, the junior youth 20, and the church choir 25 members.

Realizing the growing desire for English language usage, it was introduced into more frequent worship services, Sunday school, and confirmation classes. During World War I, the German language was phased out in the school. There was reluctance on the part of some members, which resulted in a peaceful release of a number of families to establish Our Savior Lutheran Church, which offered English services. It is noted from the record that Trinity continued German services for many years and Voters' assembly minutes were provided in both languages for a brief time.

John Doring's Class of 1922

Emma Damaschke Albert Jahn Anita Schmude George Tosch
Dorothy Ehlert Walter Klaas Eva Schmude Louise Tosch
Dorothy Falkham Eleanor Misch Fred Schmude Paul Tosch
Marie Falkham Edgar Nelson Laura Schneider Herb Warsinski
Theresa Herber Fred Nuske Frank Schroeder Max Warsinski
Ernestine Hering Herman Papenfuss Stanford Schultz William Warsinski
Louise Hering Fred Radatz Florence Smith Carl Wehrwein
Lillian Jaechel Walter Radatz George Smith John Wehrwein

Mr. William Schulenborg served as teacher of the upper grades from 1928 to 1946, after eighteen years he accepted a call to Immanuel Lutheran School in Detroit.

The Present Brick Church (1942)

Once again the congregation realized a need for more adequate facilities for its rapidly growing membership. A building fund was initiated on the congregation's 60th anniversary. Two years later the Ladies Aid and the Young People's Society, having used a room within the school for meetings, purchased a house on an adjoining lot on Griswold Street. It was remodeled and converted into an assembly room for the various church organizations. Having added on to the church three times to take care of the increasing congregation and expanding activities, a building project became increasingly necessary. The fund initiated in 1931 had grown very slowly during the depression and stock market crash which plagued the country. A gift by the Ladies Aid society in 1940 in the amount of $4,500 rallied the Building Fund, which soon grew to over $24,000. After ten long years of saving, Trinity was able to engage an architect to draw up plans and submit an estimated cost of a new church building.

On February 8, 1942, the new brick church, which stands today, was completed "for the proclamation of His mercy and truth revealed in the everlasting Gospel, and for the salvation of immortal souls is this beautiful new church of Trinity Lutheran Congregation dedicated, to be a house of worship where all those who enter shall see no one, save Jesus only!" - Pastor Pfotenhauer

A Scripture text on that day was Matthew 17:1-8.

Building Committee

Finance Committee

Ernest J. Misch, Chairman

John Bethman, Chairman

John M. Dobring

Archie Henry

Henry Estland, Treasurer

Hugo Geick

Dan L. Meyer

Wm. A. Schleyer, Secretary

Ernest F. Misch

Rev. Otto H. Pfotenhauer

W. Roy Alexander

Otto A. Schmekel

Carl H. Schmude

   

In the spring of 1946 a resolution was passed to call a Director of Christian Education who was to have charge of all the educational agencies of the church. The call was extended to and accepted by Henry W. Prahl, principal of Redeemer Lutheran School in Saginaw. A home was provided for Mr. Prahl and his family west of the church on Griswold. He was installed on August 18 with responsibility for all educational endeavors, including the day school, teaching the four upper grades, superintendent of the Sunday School, as well as counselor and leader of the young people. When he left the following year, he was succeeded by Wilbert Wehmueller, who served the next ten years.

Mr. Wehmueller was born in 1915 in St. Louis, Missouri. A graduate of Concordia High School and College, Seward, Nebraska, he went on to receive his Masters degree from St. Louis University. He came to Trinity from Zion Lutheran in St. Louis in 1948 and served until his return to St. Louis as Assistant Principal at Lutheran High School. While at Trinity he started a kindergarten and introduced the spring musical presentations. Music was a special interest as he directed the Junior Choir and sang in the community Schubert Club under Robert Dierks, Director.

Junior Choir Members, 1946 or 1947

Joanne Burrows Lila Mae Hensler Elaine Klusendorf Rosemary Thrum
Margarite Frizzle Marjorie Jackson Sharon Nuske Jan Tosch
Rosalie Frizzle Emilie Klaas Carol Ann S.? Marilyn Tosch
Mary Geick Esther Klaas Barbara Schlicht Judy Volkert
Eleanor Hall Myma Klaas Carol Smith Alice Warsinski

Ushers for Worship, 1946 or 1947

Bill Alexander Stan Gustke Al Nuske Max Tosch
John Emerick Werner Krause Art Rebeske Al Wahl
Paul Gurgel Al Kuschel Lowell Schiller  


The New Pipe Organ (1948)

(Quoted from the dedication folder)

On June 20, 1948, a new organ was dedicated, built by M.P. Moller, Inc., of Hagerstown, Maryland. The factory in which it was built was the largest in the world at the time, devoted exclusively to the production of pipe organs. Over 7,500 organs had been built there, many of which ranked among the world's largest and most noted.

The musical specifications of the instrument were made by a representative of the builder after a visit to Trinity and study of all conditions. The tonal resources combine power, wide musical variety and the rich dignity so essential to the church service.

The organ action is electro-pneumatic after the latest design developed in the Moller factory and is noted for its simplicity and ruggedness. Its ease of operation and its prompt response are due to the refinement in engineering designs which are incorporated in it. The electrical system of the organ makes use of pure silver contacts and a new type of electric magnet.

The pipes and mechanism of the organ are placed in a special chamber with no connections between the organ and the console except electrical wires and wind conductor. With such an arrangement, the organ is under the easy and immediate control of the organist and the speech of the pipes is instantaneous throughout the entire dynamic range of the instrument.

The organ consists of 1,275 pipes, which are controlled by 32 draw stops. Twenty pistons make it possible for the organist to create adjustable combinations. The organ also has a set of Deagan chimes, composed of 21 tubes. These chimes were presented by Mrs. Mary Alexander and children in loving memory of their husband and father, William Roy Alexander.

Grateful acknowledgment was made in the dedication program to service men who made contributions to the Organ Fund as an expression of gratitude for their safe return home.

Mr. John Dobring had played the organ for a number of years as well as Ms. Lydia Ruff, daughter of John F. and Anna Ruff. The wonderful talents of these musicians have brought many joys of the hearts of our members.


On September 18, 1956, 63 communicant members were released for the purpose of organizing a new congregation in the north end of town. Unlike the unrest of 1879, this separation was a joyful one in its intention to serve the increasing numbers moving to that area. Thus, on September 27, 1956, a daughter congregation was born and named Faith Lutheran Church. They worshipped for many years in the Garfield School. The first resident pastor, Rev. John Buchheimer, was installed on February 3, 1957 and on October 12, 1958, their first church was dedicated.

The Carillon Bells (1956)

(Quoted from the dedication folder)

Dedication of the Memorial Carillonic Bells was Sunday October 7, 1956. These are known as "Coronation" Carillons and are an exclusive development of Schulmerich Carillons, Inc. of Sellerville, Pennsylvania. The instrument consists of 25 miniature bell tone generators of bronze bell metal which are struck by metal hammers, producing exact true bell tones almost inaudible to the human ear. These bell vibrations are then amplified over 100,000 times by means of specially designed electronic equipment, producing true bell music with all the depth and richness of traditional cast bells of massive proportions.

The instrument provides the tonal equivalent of 79,462 pounds of cast bells tuned to the finest English standards. The range in G below middle C to G two octaves above and it is interesting to note that the low G bell in equal in tone to a cast bell weighing 13,250 pounds. The "Carillonic Bells" are played from a special keyboard located at the organ console. Selector switches permit the bells to be heard within the church alone, from the tower alone, or both together. Automatic programs on the "Coronation" carillon are provided by means of the Schulmerich Automatic Roll Player. This instrument, which is neither a phonograph nor a wire recording device, actually plays the bells through the use of perforated plastic rolls. These rolls actuate the circuits which strike the "Carillon Bells" tone generators, duplicating the performance of an artist at the keyboard. Made of a durable plastic material, the rolls are formed as an endless belt and the Roll Player can be set to play a single desired selection or an extended program.

Automatic operation of the Roll Player is controlled by a calendared clock which can be set to play the carillon at any time of the day. Selections were played regularly on the bells to bring the great hymns of the church into the daily lives of the people in the community. What a joyful sound!

In 1956 Trinity numbered more than 900 communicant members; 103 children were enrolled in the Christian day school and 350 in the Sunday School.


Upon the retirement of Rev. Pfotenhauer, after 43 years of ministry, a call was extended to Rev. Robert O. Bannon from Pilgrim Lutheran, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was installed on December 7, 1958. Previous to his pastorate at Pilgrim, Rev. Bannon taught at Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He began his ministry in Harrisburg, Illinois, in the fall of 1944. The following year the Mission Board of the Michigan District called him to Redeemer Lutheran Church, Dearborn, a newly organized mission at that time. Under his able leadership and the blessing of God, the mission had a phenomenal growth.

Rev. Bannon was born in Elyria, Ohio, May 2, 1919. He received his preparatory training at Concordia College, Fort Wayne, and his ministerial training at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. He also studied at Wayne University, Detroit, and Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He married Madeline Werner of Detroit and they had three daughters, Linda (who was confirmed at Trinity in 1961), Joan and Amy. Discussion was initiated for the building of a separate school facility, the enrollment being about 100 students in kindergarten to 8th grade. Rev. Bannon accepted a call to Leesburg, Florida, in 1963.

Quyntin Andrews filled in as principal in 1958, succeeded by Henry Bergman, who was installed on July 19, 1959. He was called to be Director of Christian Education, to serve as principal of our four-room Christian Day School, teach grades 6-8, and supervise our Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.

Mr. Bergman was born in Pigeon, Michigan, on April 10, 1922. He served in the army for three years during World War II, spending some time in the Asiatic theater. In 1947 he decided to become a parochial school teacher and entered Concordia Teachers' College, River Forest, graduating in 1951 with the Bachelor of Science degree in Education. His first assignment was to a one room school at Our Redeemer Congregation, North Platte, Nebraska. On June 16, 1958 Henry Bergman married Delia Lakeman of Baldwin, Illinois, also a Lutheran teacher. He served as principal and teacher of grades 6-8 from 1959-63. A hot lunch program was started in 1960 and Christmas pageants with full costume were produced each year.

Rev. Theodore J. Klein was installed on January 13, 1963. He was born on August 17, 1927, the son of Rev. and Mrs. George R. Klein of Chicago, Illinois. His elementary school education was received in Chatham, Illinois. In September of 1942 Pastor Klein in Concordia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he received his pre-theological training, going on to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and graduating in 1953. On June 7, 1953 he was united in marriage with Georgia Ann Evans in Kansas City, Missouri. This marriage was blessed with four children, John, Kathleen, Lisa and Mark. He served two summer vicarages in Rocky River, Ohio and St. Joseph, Missouri. He has served two previous pastorates in Potter, Nebraska (1953-1956), where he was ordained, and Nokomis, Illinois (1956 to 1963).

The Building of the School (1964)

Pastor Klein strongly encouraged the school building project and on September 24, 1963 the Voters Assembly decided to begin construction on a new educational building. In April of 1964 ground was broken, cornerstone ceremonies were held in June, and dedication services took place on November 29, 1964. The new educational building included six classrooms, a general purpose classroom, for science, art and audio-visual aids, a library and gymnasium, a kitchen, school offices, and a ladies lounge, a total of 15,312 square feet of floor space.

In January of 1964 Ray Richert assumed the position of Director of Christian Education, principal and teacher of grades 5-8, as plans got under way for the new educational building. Mr. Richert also directed the Jr. Choir and served as substitute organist. During his 9 1/2 year tenure, he built the enrollment from 107 and four teachers to 220 students and 7 teachers. Two vans were used to provide bus service for the school. Trinity joined the Lutheran athletic league of north Detroit, providing basketball, flag football and track, holding the league track championship several years in a row. Girls' cheerleading was also introduced. A "weekday" program was started for children not attending the day school. Sunday School enrollment rose to over 400 during this period.

During the 1964-65 school year 174 children were enrolled with five full-time teachers and an additional half-time teacher beginning January 1, 1965. The school staff as of this time were Ray Richert, Marilyn Marquardt, grades 4 and 5, Carol Schumacher, grades 2 and 3, Eunice Schartow, grades 1 and 2, and Eleanor Engel, Kindergarten. Loretta Anderson was the Hot Lunch Program Cook, Doris Lewis was the school bus driver and Albert Schmidt, the school janitor.

On September 12, 1965, Hope Lutheran Church in Goodells, was organized and served under Pastor Klein's pastorate. During his 23 years of service to Trinity, Pastor Klein was also Circuit Counselor from 1968 to 1976.

A vicarage program was begun at Trinity in 1953. Robert Kavasch was our first vicar intern that year, followed by Ray Malotky in 1954. Others who served Trinity for a one year vicarage included Don Brenner (1964-65), Ron Goodsman (1969-70), Gary Behm (1970-71), Gary Lodholz (1971-72), and Theodore Voll (1973-74).

Delton Nack served as our principal from 1974 to 1979. Born and raised in rural Minnesota, he attended Concordia, St. Paul, and graduated with a teaching degree from Concordia College, Seward, Nebraska. In 1974 he earned his Masters degree from Mankato State in Minnesota. After his five years of ministry at Trinity, he went on to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and was ordained in 1982. During his principalship at Trinity School a pre-school was begun with the understanding that it would continue only if it could be self-supporting. The program has thrived and continues to serve as a feeder for our kindergarten classes. During the 1978-79 school year it was decided to introduce a tuition for member families. As a result there was a significant enrollment decrease which affected the next few years in particular.

Mr. Glen Zobel filled the principal's chair for one year before moving to Florida. During his tenure a band was started under the leadership of his wife. Other interim principals during the '70s and '80s were Floyd Helmreich, Steve Rathje, Pastor Klein, and Pastor Mann.

Several Trinity members have gone on the serve as full-time professional church workers: Thomas Green, son of Mollie and Horace Green, was ordained into the pastoral ministry in 1955, Larry A. Warsinski, son of Raymond and Lorretta Warsinski, was ordained in 1978. Former teachers who became pastors are Delton Nack (ordained in 1982) and Gary Berlinski (ordained in 1995). Members who became Lutheran day school teachers include: Joanne (Lohr) Wagner graduated in 1983, Paula (Heddle) Myers graduated in 1987, Ruth (Warsinske) Kruse graduated in 1986 and Kathy Rosentreter graduated in 1990.

Herbert Mock was called to the principalship in 1982. Coming to us from Texas, he served Trinity until 1986. During this time, the decision was made to expand the preschool program to establish a wider base for enrollment and mission outreach. Two 4-year-old classes and one 3-year-old class were begun. As a result, other class sizes increased until all were single-grade classes except 7th and 8th grade. Early attempts were made to re-organize the band program; a few computers were purchased with some instruction being provided for the students. Funds were raised for the carpeting of all the classrooms. Due to travel time and other difficulties, we joined the basketball league of the Roman Catholic schools, while continuing our ties with the Lutheran league through volleyball and basketball tournaments and track meets.

Mark G. Steiner was installed as Associate Pastor in 1984 and served for less than a year before accepting a call to serve in the U.S. Navy Chaplaincy.


Mrs. Pauline Herber celebrated her 100th birthday May 28, 1984. She lived in Port Huron for seventy years. Family members came from all over the United States, but were then saddened by her death just two days later. She was born in Baskakofka, Russia, and married Alexander Herber Sr. in October, 1903, in Kinde, Russia. he died on April 29, 1961. Many of her family members are still members at Trinity.

Mrs. Doris Dierks started out as organist thinking she was going to play for only a couple of years. After 40 years she retired in June of 1985. She also served as junior and senior choir director. "She is a very accomplished musician who has raised the consciousness of people toward music in the church," said Pastor Klein. "She has provided joy at weddings and hope at funerals. She loves the church and she loves her Lord."

After Pastor Klein's resignation, Rev. Donald Krueger, associate pastor from St. Peter Lutheran in Richmond, filled the vacancy during 1986 and was called to continue as part-time assistant pastor during 1987. He did hospital and shut-in-calls and some preaching and teaching.

On February 15, 1987, Rev. Robert H. Mann was installed as pastor. Born on July 25, 1942, in Regina, Saskatchewa, Canada, the son of Rev. and Mrs. Joseph Mann, he grew up in Washington and Oregon. He began his ministerial studies at Concordia High School and College in Portland, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1964 and a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, in 1968.

Pastor Mann served his vicarage at Immanual Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, where he met his future wife, Joan Pohanka, whom he married in June of 1968. He was ordained in July at his home church, Trinity Lutheran in Mt. Angel, Oregon, by his father and uncle. His first call was to St. John Lutheran, Moore, Oklahoma (1968-1975). From there he went to Peace Lutheran, Sidney, B.C., Canada (1975-1979), then into full-time campus ministry at Prince of Peace Chapel, Ferris State College. He also served on the staff of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Big Rapids, Michigan. They have two children, Ruth and David, both attending Valparaiso University. Pastor Mann served the Michigan District in various capacities, including a member of the mission board for six years, the campus ministry committee, and the school funding committee of parish education. He also serves as a adjunct professor for the Concordia College, Ann Arbor, extension program at St. Clair County Community College. Mrs. Mann has been church organist and choir director since 1988 and a teacher at Trinity School.

In August of 1988 Trinity welcomed Terry M. Rosenau as our Lay Minister. He graduated from Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1974 and became a licensed lay minister. He served until 1978 as minister of youth and evangelism at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kitchener, Ontario. He then served churches in Idaho until 1986, when he returned to school to complete a bachelor in theology and lay ministry degree. While taking classes in three Wisconsin colleges he also did volunteer ministry work at First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Mr. Rosenau's duties include some preaching, visitation, organizing Bible studies, assisting in worship services and directing the evangelism and youth ministries. He has written a devotional book on the Psalms and the book of Job and has also written for the journal "vital Sermons of the Day". He and his wife, Debbie, have three sons, Jeremy, Joshua and Adam.

In June of 1990, Trinity welcomed Mr. John Aurich to assume the job of school principal. He arrived from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, with his wife Carol and daughters Andrea and Kristine. He too is very much concerned for the Christian education of our students. Under his leadership, Trinity has achieved accreditation from both the National Lutheran School Association and the Michigan Association of Non-public Schools. Enrollment reached a recent high of 217 during the 1994-95 school year and remains in the 150+ range today. Due to the increased enrollment a new teacher was added in 1992. Joan Mann joined the faculty to teach grade 4. Trinity today has only one combined grade, 7 and 8.

Beginning in the fall of 1990, Trinity teachers began writing and have now completed a specific curriculum for Trinity School. This curriculum not only encompasses all areas of instruction but does no with Christ our Lord as its focus. Trinity students score consistently high in the Michigan Educational Assessment Program. We are grateful for the dedicated teaching staff here at Trinity School. With foreign languages offered, an expanded music department, a growing computer lab there is continued expansion in our school curriculum.

The Expansion Project (1994)

Our most recent building project began in 1992 in response to a dream that originated many years earlier. The connection of the church and school buildings, referred to as the "Expansion Plan", include ramps for handicap access and a fellowship hall for gatherings. Lee Stevens was hired as the architect and Dick Phillips the General Contractor. Groundbreaking took place on Palm Sunday, 1993, and construction continued until the dedication of these facilities on March 20, 1994. At a total cost of about $460,000 the church was able to add or renovate more than 6,000 square feet of space, including consolidated offices and work room, handicap restrooms on the sanctuary level, a new altar guild room, a library/meeting room, and a doubling of the gymnasium size for a full basketball court and adequate space for larger gatherings of school and church. Behind the cornerstone is a time capsule with artifacts in sealed containers to be open at Trinity's 200th anniversary.

The Building and Finance Committee

Robert Kuschel, Chairman

John Aurich

Dr. Steve Ledtke, Finance

Fred Chapdelaine

Tom Malone

Robert Dietzel

William Hering

Rev. Robert Mann

Community visibility and involvement have been emphasized and increased in recent years. Our youth groups are involved in community service projects; Social Concerns and the Evangelism Board have initiated efforts to reach out and provide help. Office space is provided in our building for the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Project. This agency coordinates church and community efforts in ministering to the needs of the elderly to continue living in their own homes. Trinity has spearheaded this new inter-denominational agency.

The history of a church is often marked and measured primarily by its building projects and other tangible evidence of growth and change. There has been much of that during the course of our 125 years as a church and school. Many individual people have contributed to this ongoing story. But most important is the faithfulness of God and the commitment of his people to the daily mission and ministry of the Gospel which can't be measured as easily. In the classroom, in the pulpit, in the board room, in the fellowship of an organization, a Bible Study, or social gathering, we have the same God of the Scriptures who has called and continues to call us by his name.

We are "Trinity"
We give all honor and glory to God,
the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit."