Church in downtown Sheboygan is
the mother church of Lutheranism in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
In the early 1850s a Lutheran pastor
from Milwaukee preached to Sheboygan’s newest German immigrants in a
local public school building. This led to calling the first resident
Lutheran pastor in Sheboygan.
Pastor Otto Eissfeldt, an 1853 graduate
of Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis and sixteen lay members
organized the Sheboygan congregation on 26 May 1853 and also established a
Christian Day School. Both have been in continuous existence since then.
The name Dreieinigkeits Kirche, or Trinity, was adopted on 14 January
In 1854 a small church building was
acquired which served the growing congregation until destroyed by fire on
5 October 1868. That same day the congregation resolved to relocate at the
northeast corner of Ninth Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Plans for the new
church edifice with two classrooms on the lower level and sanctuary above
were drawn by Rev. Martin Stephan, Jr. of Chester, Illinois who was both
an architect and pastor and the only son of the leader of the Saxon
immigrants who came to America from Germany in 1838. Cornerstone laying
ceremonies were held on 23 May 1869. The building was enlarged in 1882
with the addition of transepts with balconies.
A frame school building, erected east of
the church in 1881, was replaced with a red brick building in 1914 with an
addition in 1927.
Overcrowded classrooms resulted in the
establishing of branch schools on the west and north sides of the city in
1877 and 1889. Churches built at these sites were Immanuel and St. Paul.
Trinity established another daughter congregation, south side Bethlehem, in
1890. All are Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations today.
Until 1922, divine services were
conducted in the German language. Bilingual services continued until 1974
when the last regularly scheduled German worship service was held. Special
German services are still held periodically.
In 1968, ninety-nine years after the
original church building was erected a comprehensive renovation program
was undertaken. Completed in 1976, it included a gym, and a connecting
lounge between the church and school. Recent renovations added a computer
classroom, and also a music room located above the lounge. The church is
handicapped accessible via an elevator.
Twenty pastors have served Trinity
congregation since its founding while thousands of children received
Christian education from over 150 fulltime teachers.
Sunday school and Bible classes have also been conducted through the years
and continue to this day.
150th anniversary book entitled "Unchanging Times, Unchanging Love" is available for purchase.
Please contact Chris in the
church office at (920) 458-8246 or if you would like to purchase one.