Construction of the church continued as weather permitted, and after services on April 29, 1962, the cornerstone was laid (after certain articles in a copper box were inserted into it). As the pastor conducted the rites, he struck the cornerstone three times with a trowel in the name of the Triune God.
Work on the building proceeded well under the watchful eye of Mr. Grimmer, and the new house of worship was ready for services November 11, 1962.
Architect Douglas Morris cuts the ribbon as Pastor Kasischke and Art Lijewski lead the procession into Trinity congregation’s new house of worship.
Dedication Sunday began in the old church, where a brief service was held. These were very solemn moments and tears were shed as members departed the house of worship which had served them well since 1887, where many of them had been baptized, confirmed, and married. Many eyes turned back as members proceeded in an orderly fashion to the entrance to the new house of worship.
Appropriate rites were conducted before the president of the congregation opened the doors. The officers entered, bearing the sacred books and vessels from the old church, followed by the congregation. It was a truly happy occasion, and members attended in such numbers that there was not room for all, even after the parish hall was opened. In two services over 1,400 members and guests poured out their hearts in glory, thanks, and praise to the Lord for His wondrous and abundant grace and mercy toward them.
Pastor Kasischke declared, “Today we are privileged by the Grace of God to dedicate this beautiful church to the Glory of God, for the proclamation of His Truth as it is revealed in the Gospel, for the administration of the Holy Sacraments, and for the salvation of eternal souls. May it henceforth be a house of worship, where all who enter shall see no one, save Jesus only! May all who serve as shepherds of this congregation lead them on the way to salvation by showing them none other than Jesus only!”
Dedication Sunday November 11, 1962
“On this day of rejoicing let us humbly and gratefully acknowledge the grace and mercy of the Triune God who enabled us to erect and dedicate this new house of worship for His service. Let us not point with any pride to anything our hands may have accomplished but let us say with the sacred writer: “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” and then give all the glory to God the Father, our Creator, to God the Son, our Redeemer, and to God the Holy Ghost, our Comforter and Sanctifier. To Him alone be all glory, now and evermore.”
Pastor Kasischke noted that the church was such a functional and attractive building that many religious denominations sent committees to examine its features.
The total cost of the church was about $344,000. The Finance Committee, headed by Harold McDougald, had worked on a ten-year loan repayment plan. In an outpouring of gratitude for God’s blessings, the debt was paid off in nine.
Before the old church was razed, the pews were purchased by a Baptist Church in southern Michigan, and the bell was shipped to Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Los Angeles.
Second Teacherage, corner of Stanton and 34th St.
As the congregation approached debt free status, it was resolved to replace the teacherage. The old residence on Marsac, dating to 1890, was in constant need of repair. The new teacherage was built conveniently near the church, and was ready in the fall of 1972. The old teacherage was sold not long after Principal Keller and his family moved into the new residence.
Thus ended the program to replace all Trinity’s aging structures. In a short time, the cost of the teacherage was paid and in March 1973, the congregation was debt-free.
In 1974, the Ladies Aid, in observance of their 75th
anniversary, began raising money to purchase stained glass windows for the church. The project was wholeheartedly supported by the congregation, with memorials and donations actually exceeding the cost of the undertaking. The windows were installed early in 1976.
When Pastor Kasischke retired in June of 1976, the Lord led Pastor Karl M. Plocher
to accept the call. He was installed on July 18, 1976.
Tragically, Pastor Plocher’s time at Trinity was cut short by multiple sclerosis. When his health continued to deteriorate, he resigned in 1983. During Pastor Plocher’s time at Trinity, a new church constitution was adopted, Wednesday evening Bible studies began, services were taped for “shut-ins,” and a part-time secretary was hired to assist pastor.
Trinity also became involved in a vicar program at this time. A vicar is an intern on track to become a pastor. The vicars served for about nine months at a time and were a great help to the congregation.
Resurrected Christ statue dates to the 1940’s and has adorned the altars of the old and new churches.
Pastor Ronald Muetzel
was led by the Lord to accept a call to Trinity and was installed November 20, 1983. He began his service by visiting all 375 families of the congregation. Pastor Muetzel initiated Bible study classes between Sunday services, and Vacation Bible School was introduced in 1985.
At this time the congregation was interested in building a gymnasium for the school. However, the school itself needed serious repairs and updating. Volunteers from the congregation rewired, painted, and installed new windows and insulation.
In 1986, Trinity was blessed to celebrate its 100th
year. The congregation began a ten-month-long celebration with special services, beginning with Pastor Kasischke returning to speak March 2, 1986. The celebration culminated with a service in January 1987, honoring the school. The congregation at that time numbered 827 members.
The congregation also adopted a series of projects as part of the anniversary, renovating the chancel by removing planters and installing stained glass across the front. New carpeting was installed, and landscaping about the church was renewed.
In July 1986, the congregation engaged the architectural firm of Gerald J. Yurk and Associates to design the gymnasium. The actual construction date would be delayed until there was sufficient cash in hand. In the meantime, much needed repairs were undertaken on the church: building beams were cased in marine plywood and copper, the roof was repaired, and the upper bell tower encased in copper.