Trinity Downtown Lutheran Church and School

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About Us » Our History

Our History

Our History

Celebrating over a 135-Year legacy of Serving God and the People of Downtown Houston,Trinity Lutheran Church has a history almost as old as Houston itself.

On November 9, 1879, a group of 24 men met in the home of F. Schnaucke and founded a congregation they named Deutsche Evangelisch – Lutherische Dreineinigkeits Gemeinde of Houston (German Evangelical – Lutheran Trinity Church of Houston). At the same time, the forefathers saw a need to nurture the spiritual, educational and social needs of their children, so a school was founded at the same time.

Initial worship services were conducted in a rented room of a residence on Texas Avenue, with classes held in the same room.

Much has changed since these first days of Trinity Downtown, not the least of which has been the location. Here’s an abbreviated list of the many changes and accomplishments of the church that have helped Houston to grow.

Moments in Trinity’s history:
  • January 11, 1880 – The Rev. Timotheus Stiemke installed as first pastor
  • November 28, 1880 – First sanctuary dedicated in the 400 block of Louisiana, current location of the Lyric Theatre
  • January 1, 1881 – Trinity Lutheran’s first school building dedicated, directly behind the sanctuary.
  • February 5, 1893 – Young Men and Young Women’s Society (Junglings und Jungfrauenverein) organized
  • September 6, 1903 – Trinity Lutheran School, initially known as German Lutheran School, dedicated its second building located on Young Street, renamed Riesner Street
  • December 10, 1905 – Congregation dedicated its second sanctuary at 12 Riesner Street at Washington Avenue
  • February 14-20, 1906 - Trinity Downtown Church became the first congregation of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Houston
  • November 11, 1918 – Forty-six members of the Trinity congregation served overseas in World War I – all returned safely
  • January 15, 1928 – Original German name changed to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (U.A.C.)
  • 1940 – Use of German language discontinued in worship services. Those members that disagreed with the decision left to form Bethlehem Lutheran Church of the Heights
  • April 4, 1954 – The cornerstone for the current sanctuary at 800 Houston Ave. was placed.
  • November 21, 1954 – The current sanctuary was dedicated, celebrating the 75th “Diamond” Anniversary of the Trinity Lutheran congregation
  • June 26, 1958 – The corporate name of the church was changed to Trinity Lutheran Church, its current name
  • September - November 1979 – Trinity celebrated its 100th Anniversary
  • January - November 2004 – Trinity celebrated 125th Anniversary
  • March 6, 2011 - Trinity Education Center for infants through 4th grade is dedicated.
  • November 9, 2014 - Trinity celebrated our 135th anniversary with hymn festival following the Sunday worship service.
  • Present - Trinity continues to serve God by Joyfully Sharing Christ's Saving Love With All People Now.
 
For more information on Trinity Downtown’s history check out our booklet  "125 Years of Telling God’s Story."