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Picture of Trinity Trinity Lutheran Church
Where Jesus' Voice is Heard, Proclaimed and Lived
N60 W6047 Columbia Road
Cedarburg, WI 53012
(262) 377-0610

Trinity's History

The history of Trinity begins in Kammin, Pomerania, Germany. Most of the founders lived in that area before their immigration to America to escape religious persecution. Religion at that time had been largely reduced to a philosophy of life, and pulpits had often become lecture platforms. An edict from the German government decreed that the Lutheran and Reformed Churches lose their identities and become one, to be called the Union Church of Germany. This meant that the Lutherans, whose doctrines and confessions were precious and important to them, were now to use the United Agenda and could no longer have strictly Lutheran services and teaching.

In June of 1843 a large contingent under the leadership of Pastor Kinderman left their homes and set sail for America to seek religious freedom. They traveled first to Buffalo, arriving in early September. Part of the group remained in Buffalo while the rest set out on barges through the Erie Canal for Wisconsin. In Wisconsin the group separated again, with one part going to Kirchayne, another to Lebanon and the third group to Cedarburg, where they founded the City of Cedarburg and Trinity Lutheran Church.

During the first winter, the people suffered great hardships. Their hurriedly built log and brush cabins were meager shelter from the bitter cold Wisconsin weather that year. To worship God was uppermost in their minds, and as soon as possible a church, made of logs, was erected in 1844 on the line between the farms of Ludwig Groth and Carl Frederich Dobberpuhl on the corner of what is now Western Avenue and Evergreen Boulevard. Each farmer donated a portion of the church property, which included the cemetery. The cemetery is one of the oldest Lutheran cemeteries in Wisconsin and is still in existence though long since abandoned. In 1877 the congregation erected a large monument in the old cemetery with the names of the people buried there. Cedarburg has taken over the cemetery as a memorial to the city's founders and called it "Founders Park."

Trinity's church council, 1938

The congregation had grown steadily and outgrown their small log church. A new church was built out of field stone near the corner of Washington and Western Avenues. It was 30 feet x 40 feet and was dedicated to the Glory of God on Reformation Day, Oct. 30, 1853. At this time the congregation took the name "Dreifaltigkeit" or Trinity Church. The first 10 years it was simply known as "Die Kirche" (The Church).

On Nov. 23, 1890, a decision was made to build our present church. Since there were four churches in the area of Washington and Western Avenues, the congregation purchased land on Columbia Avenue for $700. The cornerstone was laid on June 14, 1891. Farewell services for the old church were held on Dec. 16, 1891, and the new church was dedicated on the 4th Sunday in Advent, Dec. 20, 1891, with three packed services.

Postcard of Trinity, 1912

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