Chicago Lutheran History: Trinity Lutheran Church- 1895

James Huenink
2 min readApr 22, 2021

In 1896, the German Lutheran churches of Chicago published Geschichte der Gründung und Ausbreitung der zur Synode von Missouri, Ohio und Andern Staaten gehörenden Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinden U. A. C. zu Chicago, Illinois, a history of their growth in the city beginning with First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, now located on LaSalle and Goethe streets in Chicago. As far as I know, there is no English translation of this document, so I offer this translation to share this history with you. Follow me to get updates about the rest of this work.

The original church building.

Because Trinity was founded only a year before this book was published, most of what I know about the congregation comes from other sources. The Lutheran Trail says that the original building was on Major Ave near Belden. In 1941, the congregation moved to the corner of Wrightwood and Mead, where the building still stands. Trinity had a great deal of pastoral turnover. Between the founding and 1934, the congregation had 7 pastors, a new one every 5.5 years. Most Chicago churches have at least one pastor who stayed for more than one decade, and many have several.

Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation (Hanson Park)

In the northwest corner of Chicago, in the area of Post Station “G” at the Milwaukee and St. Paul R. R. lies “Hanson Park.” It was only a few years ago that people began to grow this neighborhood. Germans also settled here. Pastor Adam Detzer, Sr. consulted them in 1894. His consultation resulted in the following, that a number of families wanted to hear preaching from him. On the 25th of October, 1894, the first Lutheran divine service was held in a hall. In accordance with the wishes of the hearers, this took place every second Sunday. On the 13th of January, 1895, the congregation organized itself, adopting a short constitution, which was signed by 8 members. The congregation immediately bought property, and they decided to build a church. The cornerstone was laid on April 21st, and the church was dedicated on August 18th, 1895, by Pastor Paul Lücke. On the same Sunday, the called pastor, Candidate G. Moldenhauer, was ordained and installed into his office by Pastor E. Werfelmann with the assistance of the pastor A. Detzer and E. Pfund. Pastor Moldenhaur also provided teaching services.

This church, the youngest of the German Lutheran congregations in Chicago, numbers only 15 voting members and 22 school children, but it also has good prospects for a blessed growth.