Our Church History

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church has been a vibrant and welcoming community of worshipers since the 1940’s.    Here you’ll find such events as Organization Day, Sanctuary remodelings, Pastor Installations and much more.

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Organization Sunday. January 11, 1947

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, a member church of the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), was organized in Jan. 1947 with 80 charter members, by Rev. Theodore Foreid, as part of the United Lutheran Church in America. The first service was held on July 20, 1947 in the North Mercer Island Community Clubhouse. Sunday School began in August 1947, with 22 children and 4 teachers. In July 1948, the membership approved building our church, the present day chapel, for $33,000. This first building, which included the parish hall, was completed in Dec. 1948, and our first service was held on Dec. 5, 1948.

 

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The Chapel Under Construction, 1948

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Holy Trinity 1948

In 1948, the women of the church formed the first of many service organizations, KVB, named after Martin Luther’s wife, Katherine Von Bora. A new parsonage on 86th St. was purchased in 1952 for $20,000.

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Sanctuary Construction, 1959

Rev. Foreid served as pastor until Nov. 1953, and in Feb. 1954 Rev. Charles Dion (Pastor Chuck) began a long term of service, having been called from Minnesota. He served until June 1969.
During this time Holy Trinity experienced rapid growth: our annual budget increased from less than $10,000 to over $100,000 per year; assets increased from $100,000 to $450,000; and membership grew to approximately 800 communing members.

Rev. Dion presided over the groundbreaking for the new sanctuary on Oct. 22, 1958, and the laying of the cornerstone took place in April 1959. The dedication of the new sanctuary was Nov. 22, 1959. The new facility, including furnishings, cost $210,000 and held pew space for 440 persons, with overflow seating for 150.
Construction of the Education wing began with groundbreaking held (in the rain) on Jan. 19, 1964, and the first Sunday School class was held in the new wing in Sept. 1964. This education wing completed the long-range building plan that was created in 1948.
The growth of the congregation required additional full-time staff, and in August 1968 Rev. Richard Christensen became Associate Pastor. At this time the total baptized membership was over 1300.
In 1969 Rev. Dion accepted a call from Trinity Lutheran in Longview, and the Church Council issued a call to Rev. Ross Hidy of San Francisco. He was installed as senior pastor on Oct. 26, 1969.

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Holy Trinity Confirmation, 1962

In the 1960′s and 1970′s Holy Trinity became very involved with a number of outreach projects, some of which are continued today. Among them were:

  • FISH (a program to help people in need of emergency assistance)
  • Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle
  • Compass Center in Seattle
  • Primm Tabernacle (an African Methodist Episcopal congregation on Beacon Hill), one of several churches in the Puget Sound area that Holy Trinity sponsored
  • Puget Sound blood bank
  • Bush Busa local clothing bank
  • Mercer Island Youth & Family Services
  • World Hunger
  • Columbia Lutheran Home
  • Mexico mission trips
  • Habitat for Humanity

Other Historical Highlights

1977 – An organ committee was formed to choose a replacement for our 20 year old chancel organ; they decided on a custom designed pipe organ, for a total cost of $90,000.
1977 – Pastor Eugene Kindschuh called as pastor
1979 – Holy Trinity began using the new Lutheran Book of Worship.
1983 – Pastor Charles Bomgren called as pastor
1984 – Original mortgage was burned in a special ceremony.
1985 – Restoration of the original chapel, using the old steeple cross. The cost was covered by donations, and church members did much of the work.
1987 – We began the annual Holy Trinity Distinguished Service Award, now called the Volunteer Recognition Award.
1988 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed by the merger of the Lutheran Church in America and the American Lutheran Church.
1989 – Pastor Paul Fauske called to Holy Trinity from San Luis Obispo, California.
1990 – Pastor Elwood Carlson called to be Associate Pastor; formerly pastor of NE Seattle Lutheran Youth Association
1992 – Total renovation of church facilities
1994 – Montessori school rents property next to the church; ETC rents Education wing for use during the week
1995 – Susan Wanwig ordained and installed as chaplain at the Women’s Compass Center in Seattle
1997 – Groundbreaking for the new Atrium
1998 – Dedication of the Atrium; 50th anniversary of Holy Trinity is celebrated
2001 – Pastor Karen Ward called as Interim Pastor
2002 – Pastor Constance Miller called as Associate Pastor
2002 – Holy Trinity’s first web site created
2007 – Pastor Kathleen Anderson appointed as Interim Pastor
2009 – Pastor Sue Wanwig appointed as Associate Pastor
2009 – Pastor Deanna Wildermuth called as Senior Pastor
2010 – Holy Trinity began using the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship