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Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church

989-892-5435
    
1010 33rd Street
Bay City, Michigan  48708-8600

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1912 - 1936
 
Second parsonage was formerly a funeral home.
  During Pastor Lederer’s service, a “new” parsonage was purchased in 1912. It was located on Broadway between 30th and 31st streets. This residence had served as the W.S. Hyatt funeral home and the medical office of Dr. White. Pastor used the doctor’s office as his study. The former parsonage located between the church and school now became the teacherage.

  Pastor Lederer did not enjoy the parsonage long, as he accepted a call to Conklin, Michigan, in 1913. Rev. Hans Eggbert replaced him in January 1914, but resigned soon after in June 1918.
 
  Finally, the Reverend John Zink accepted a call and was installed the first Sunday in October 1918. During Pastor Zink’s pastorate, English was first employed in worship services with one conducted each month in the evening. It had become obvious that effective church work and the future growth of Trinity would be hampered by an exclusive use of the German language. There was some opposition, as some members feared that English would replace their beloved German.
 
  The Spanish Flu pandemic swept through the world and killed more people than the Great War which had just ended. Public gatherings were prohibited, and Bay County schools were closed for a time. Worship services were allowed to continue, but funerals were limited to 15 minutes. The pandemic lasted until 1920, claiming among its victims several young members of Trinity.        
 
 
The church as remodeled with basement,
after 1923
  The congregation, determined more than ever to focus on Christ-centered activities, expanded by building a basement under the church in 1923. A new kitchen was included, with furnishings provided by the Ladies Aid. The teacherage (the original parsonage) was remodeled and moved from between the church and school to the corner of Marsac and 30th streets, where the structure remains to this day. The church was also remodeled, recarpeted, and new lights were installed. A new furnace replaced the old stove used to heat the church.
 
  The school was still heated by coal stoves and it was the duty of the principal, Paul Mehnert, to start the fires and hold them throughout the night in cold weather. The principal was also responsible for cleaning the school, a service usually rendered by the students.
 
  The congregation recognized the need for a new school, and plans for a new two-room building were drawn in July 1929. The estimated cost was $20,000. The great economic depression which hit the nation that fall brought the program to a halt.

  If not for a student glancing out the school window, the congregation would have needed to replace the church. In 1931, Principal Mehnert had the students stand for the Lord’s Prayer when 7th grader Frieda Ebel yelled, “The church is on fire!” Having no phone, the principal had a student run to Schwartz’s grocery store on the corner and turn in the alarm. It was during the Lenten season, and the furnace had been started to warm the church for services. The fire was quickly extinguished, but for a long time the church suffered a chronic roof leak.  
 
 
Old church interior
  Sunday, June 14, 1936, Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Pastor Zink was moved to write, “May the Lord, our God, who guided and held His protecting hand over our fathers, also lead us and our children that we may abide in His grace.”
 
  There was much praise to be given to God, recalling all the hardships dating back to the Great Fire of 1892. The Lord had indeed kept His protecting hand over the congregation, which numbered 449 souls.

  Pastor Zink installed his replacement two years later, with the nation still in the depths of the Great Depression and another war imminent overseas. 
 
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