Chronicle of the Trinity First Evangelical-Lutheran Church - Pages 26 - 29

"holding their united church service in the French church. Both pastors would be acknowledged and called to service and as soon as possible, steps would be taken to build their own church. We closed the meeting with a song of praise: Now let us all thank God! The little church on William Street would be used exclusively as a school and in the other church a celebratory last service would be held where the two pastors presided at the altar along with Pastor Zeumer. To open the congregation's church service in the French church there was a confirmation ceremony of the children. This was a truly appropriate beginning. On the second Sunday after Easter those to be confirmed were examined and on the following Sunday we led 38 children in an open procession to the French church, where they were blessed after the confirmational oratory of both pastors. It was a blessed Sunday in which these happy, united children in one church entered and left arm in arm, putting some of the grown-ups to shame. The confirmation day ceremony brought attention to the limited amount of space in the church and a proposal was made to purchase a larger church as soon as it was possible. Through the providence of God an opportunity presented itself. The true Lord and Savior had helped the Buffalo congregation. There were still many obstacles to overcome - there were many who were displeased and had to be won over; there were those filled with mistrust, whose hearts had to be stilled in the proper sense of unity in faith brought about by loving activity. We wanted the matter resolved not for our sake but for the sake of Christ, whose true intercession commands all of our brothers in faith; He alone, the true Shepherd of His faithful, wills the defeat of Satan's cunningness and power and grants us His Grace."


Chr. Hochstetter


The united Trinity First Evanglical-Lutheran Church now held regular congregational meetings and affairs were handled with fraternal harmony. Our Board of Trustees consisted of the following 9 brothers: G. Henning, W. Hachmann, A. Becker, Fr. Bräunlich, Fr. Brück, H. Wolter, G. Huhn, C. Gräser and Fr. Lösch. Our church committee had the following 5 brothers: W. Sprötge, Carl Falkenhahn, W. Schwinn, Fr. Grollmitz and J. Hilgeneck. The decision to purchase the Episcopal church at the corner of Washington and Mohawk Streets for $18,000 could not be realized and the congregation held its church services in the so-called French church at the corner of Tupper and Ellicott Streets after the May 5th closing service at the church on William Street (at which the blessed pastors Hugo Hanser and Zeumer participated). This church was used exclusively for school-related activities. The decision not to write a brief history of the origin of the united congregation was based on the advice given to our pastors by Dr. Sihler, who had attended our congregational meetings on July 18th and 21st, 1867 and based on the judgment of Professor Walther and Pastor Schwan, who were to publish the history. At the meeting of July 21st Dr. Sihler proposed the assignment of Pastor C. Gross of Richmond, Va. to our congregation. Pastor Hochsetter accepted an appointment in Pittsburgh and Pastor Ruhland was called to Pleasant Ridge, Ill. Both pastors stayed until Pastor Gross arrived in our midst on September 15, 1867. In the interim it had been decided on July 28th to purchase a piece of land on Michigan St. Deliberation on the church construction was held on August 18th. The decision was made to accept the plan of the building committee. The nave would be 50 x 100 feet, the altar-choir space 15 x 24, the sacristy 12 x 12, and the steeple hall 20 x 20; the total length according to the plan was


130 feet with a height of 25 feet. The building should be in the Byzantine style. Bids were accepted from the contractors on September 8th and $11,048* were turned over for the building costs of the church (without steeple). In the meeting of September 15th it was announced that the building had started and that our newly appointed pastor would arrive here "this evening". Pastor Ruhland exhorted the congregation to strive towards peace and unity. As Pastor Gross arrived, our old pastors traveled on to their new assignments. On the following Sunday Pastor Gross was installed by Pastor Hanser; in the afternoon the cornerstone of our new church was laid. This was Pastor Gross' first official act in our midst. The first congregational meeting under Pastor Gross' chairmanship was held October 13, 1867.

At this meeting Teacher Johann Robert asked permission to accept an appointment from the congregation of Pastor Hugo Hanser in Johannisburg. The request was granted. On October 20th Teacher Herman Will took Teacher Robert's place and on October 31st there was a joint celebration of the anniversary of the Reformation with Pastor Brand and the St. Andrew's Congregation. Pastor Gross reported in the May 1, 1868 issue of The Lutheran: "I expected much conflict and trouble, but behold! Thus it would have been were it not for God's wondrous blessing upon the most favored, for the congregation established itself in peace, and there was even seen an increase in the membership; there were about 200 voting members."

After the judgment had been made that the Martin Luther College would belong to Pastor Grabau, the school sessions, which until then had been held at the Martin Luther College, would be moved to the William St. location. Two classes were conducted in the old church and the schoolhouse, which was next to the church, was used for the third class.


C. Gross


Teacher Bürger gave instruction in the first class, Teacher Wille in the second and Teacher Wischmann in the third. On July 5, 1868 we could finally move into our new church and hold the dedication service. Teacher Wille decided to study theology and on July 11, 1869 he left for St. Louis and God's blessing followed him in his decision. The congregation appointed Miss Anna Beyer as teacher for the second class and Teacher Bürger conducted the religious instruction in both classes. At the meeting of October 3, 1869 Mr. C.F. Baum of Evansville, Ind. was appointed teacher of the second class. On July 3, 1870 the congregation purchased an organ for $1,000. On July 31st Mr. Baum resigned his post as teacher and Teacher Will was called to take his place on September 11th. On June 4, 1871 school administrator Mr. Geo. Allmeyer was appointed and Teacher Will went on to an appointment in Martinsville. On the advice of the Conference Teacher Wischmann resigned his post. For a time the congregation could not find someone to take over the third class, so Teachers Bürger and Allmeyer divided the 220 children into 2 classes. On July 9, 1871 it was decided to build a new school (55). On April 7, 1872 the property on William St. was sold for $6,500. At the same meeting Teacher Bürger received permission to go to the congregation in Washington, D.C. On July 7, 1872 Mr. T. Stiemke, a theological doctoral candidate, was appointed teacher and vicar. On September 8, 1872 the building of the rectory was completed. On August 20, 1873 Teacher Karutz was appointed. The third class was reestablished after the construction of the new, spacious schoolhouse was completed. A young man by the name of Geyers was found and given a provisional appointment but he was soon afterwards let go. On 1873 on Whitsuntide the Young Men's Association was established in our congregation, which was given the task of preserving the German language and


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