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History of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church 1893 - present
Excerpts taken from 'History of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church 1893 - 1993
"100 years with God's Grace and Blessings"

In thankful memory of the present generation of Lutheran Christians of Trinity Luther Church of Nokomis, Illinois, we pause to celebrate over 100 years of God's grace and mercy. Whatever is glorious in this history, whatever success has been achieved by individual pastors, members, or congregation, we attribute to the unmerited mercy and blessing of God. With the inscription above the chancel in our church, we say "Glory to God in the Highest". Whatever is inglorious in our history, whatever mistakes were made on the part of pastors or people, we take to the mercy-seat of God and pray: "Heavenly Father, forgive us for Jesus sake.

March 28, 1893

Trinity Church was organized by Nokomis residents, who were former members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

April 1893

Lots 4, 5, 6 in Block 10 on North Pine Street were purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Peter Moos for $400.00 as the site for the new church.

October 8, 1893
The new Church was dedicated to the glory of God, to the proclamation of the pure Word of God, and the administration of the Sacraments.

October 22, 1893
The small group of members, under the spiritual guidance of Pastor Martin Hermann, of St. Paul's, organized into a congregation and chose the name Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. There were nine charter members.

August 25, 1895
The congregation's first pastor, Paul Kolb, was installed. He was pastor for one year. Pastor Kolb passed away April 16, 1942 in Maywood, Il. There were no records found for events between 1896 and 1901 with the exception of the sale of Lot 4 to Mr. Thomas Wolters in order to liquidate a debt owed by the congregation.

July 6, 1902
William Kowert, who was a student at Concordia Seminary, was ordained and installed. In the congregational minutes a note was found saying "that we grant a vacation to Rev. Kowert who is to be married to Miss Katie Eekhoff." As a result of this, we find our good ladies anxiously looking forward to a pastor's family living in their midst. The congregation accordingly accepted the plan of the Ladies Aid for the building of the first part of the present parsonage.

June 19, 2004
Pastor Kowert accepted a call to St. John's Lutheran Church in Elgin, where he served until he passed away December 31, 1938.

August 1904
Pastor Ph Estel became pastor of Trinity. It was during his time as pastor that Trinity resolved to add it's consent to the organization of the Southern Illinois District of the Missouri Synod. The congregation has been a member of the Missouri Synod since its organization and active in its support. Pastor Estel served as pastor until the fall of 1905.

April 1906
Pastor O. H. Henkel became pastor of Trinity. Under his pastorate, the church was enlarged to its present size. Ten feet were added to the main building and the present chancel was built. It was at this time that our present Altar and Pulpit were purchased. The enlarged church was rededicated in August 1907. Pastor Henkel accepted a call to Baldwin, Il in October 1911.

No date given
Trinity extended a call to Rev E. H. H. Gade of Montana, who came to be our pastor until March 16, 1916, when he accepted a call to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Dundee, Il.

March 19, 1916
Rev. O Henkel was recalled to become pastor of Trinity. By 1917 is was found that the parsonage was inadequate for the pastor's family. However, due to World War I, action was postponed until the fall of 1919, when the pastor's home was enlarged at a cost of $515.00.

October 1918
25th Anniversary celebration festival planned. From a letter of Pastor Henkel, dated May 25, 1943, we learn that the celebration was not held due to the influenza epidemic.

1922
Trinity Ladies Aid and the Young Men's Society build the basement under the church. The Ladies Aid furnished the bulk of the money, $1480.00 to be exact, all earned by hard labor. All who observe how the basement is constantly being used for the Lord's work will agree that this was a noble deed. It furnishes room for classes in Christian education and provides a meeting place for various organizations and celebrations.

January 1923
The congregation resolved to use the envelope system in the collection of funds for the Lord's work.

October 6, 1929
Pastor Henkel resigned and retired to Fontana, FL.

January 5, 1930
Trinity extended a call to Rev. Albert E Richert, missionary at Mt. Vernon, Il. During this year, the steeple was removed from the church and replaced with the current cross.

June 14, 1931
According to the minutes, the present pipe organ was purchased for $250.00 from the Palace Theatre. An organ room was built and the pipe organ was rebuilt to make it suitable for church services

March 25, 1936
Trinity purchased the Schoen property across from the church for $402. 00. The home on the property was converted into a parish house, serving especially the needs of a growing Sunday School.

December 13, 1937
The congregation accepted the resignation of Pastor Richert, who was called to serve our Lutheran University of Valparaiso, IN. With the coming of the draft, Pastor Richert became a Service pastor, serving our boys in the Army and Navy in San Diego, CA, and after June 1943 he served in Detroit, Michigan.

March 6, 1938
Rev Alvin W. Mueller of Kingfisher, OK was called and installed by Pastor C. F. Lehenbauer.
During this year a forced-air furnace was installed, the street in front of the church was widened by the city, a center aisle in the church was arranged, and new carpet was bought by the Ladies Aid.

1940
Prompted by a desire to care for our hard of hearing members and for over-flow crowds, an amplifying system was installed with a loud speaker in the basement of the church, along with ear-phones for the hearing impaired.
At the time of the 50th Anniversary, Trinity had 385 baptized souls, 285 communicants, and 66 voting members.
A Building Committee was elected to study plans for future of the church. Plans were studied and monies gathered for the enlargement of, or building of a suitable house of God to meet the needs of the growing congregation. World War II halted any building, but the gracious Lord guided many members to lay aside funds for the future. War Bonds were purchased by many members of the congregation. The congregation itself invested all money of the Building Fund in U. S. War Bonds.

February 27, 1944
Rev Mueller accepted a call to St. Paul's, Decatur, IL.

May 1944
Rev E. H. Bekemeyer was installed as pastor of Trinity.

December 6, 1946
With the end of World War II, and building restrictions lifted, the congregation decided to build a new church. A new building committee was elected: O. J. Stiehl, John Oltmann, Alvin Hagemeier, Elmer Jansenn, Ed T. Johnson, Louis A. Johnson, and Ray Storm. Mr. Theo Steinmeyer of St. Louis was hired as architect and plans were made to begin construction as soon as possible. Due to unforeseen circumstances, building would not begin for two more years.

March 31, 1951
The Parish House, which was on the site for the new church, was sold a public auction and removed.

May 6, 1951
Ground was broken for the new church. Excavation for the basement was begun. On October 21, 1951, the cornerstone was laid.

June 29, 1952
The new church was dedicated. Much labor was donated by members of the congregation and many of the windows and inside furnishings were given as memorials.

May 31, 1953
Rev Beckemeyer accepted a call to Danville, IL.

January 3, 1954
Rev Robert J. Martens accepted the call to Trinity and served the congregation until June, 1956, when he accepted the call to Carlyle, IL.

October 7, 1956
Rev Theodore J. Klein was installed as pastor of Trinity. It was during this time that the congregation decided to build a new parsonage. When the church was built, the congregation tried to buy the property north of the building site, but the price was too high. Felix Ronchetti purchased the property, which he offered to trade to the church for the old parsonage, which he then sold at auction. It was moved to another location, and the new parsonage was built where the old church and parsonage stood. The lot purchased from Mr. Ronchetti was seeded with grass and gave the church more room to the north side.

1960
Pastor Klein started the telephone devotion "A Moment With God", which can still be heard today.

1961
Trinity congregation is host to the Southern IL District Convention.

January 6, 1963
Pastor Klein accepted a call to Port Huron, MI.

March 31, 1963
Rev Marvin Matzke was installed as pastor of Trinity. In 1962-1963 a student from Springfield Seminary came to help the pastor teach Saturday School, Sunday School, and help with the Worship Service on Sunday morning. This continued until the Seminary moved to Fort Wayne, IN.

1965
The basement floor was resurfaced with Torginal.

1968
The property south of the church was purchased and the house was sold to John Meiners, who moved it to a new location. The lots were then made into a parking lot for the congregation.

1969
A new speaker system was installed.

1971
A new organ is installed.

November 25, 1973
Pastor Matzke accepted a call to El Paso, IL.

May 15, 1974
Rev Randall Shields was installed as pastor of Trinity. He resigned May 10, 1977, to continue his education at St. Louis Seminary.

1978
Ceiling fans were installed in the church, and more were added several years later.

December 4, 1978
Rev Alvin Rodeck was installed as pastor of Trinity.

1979
The wooden doors in the narthex and wing area are replaced with glass doors.

1980
The church heating was converted to natural gas from oil.

1983
Due to the cost of materials, there was no bell tower built onto the church for the original church bell, which was struck in 1893. A Bell Tower Fund was started and in the summer of 1983 a Schulmerich Carillon Bell Tower was erected.

October 30, 1983
The Bell Tower was dedicated on the 90th anniversary of the founding of the congregation.

1986
New carpet was laid in the chancel, in the front of the nave, and down the aisles of the church.
Ceiling fans and spots lights were installed in choir loft.

August 31, 1988
The congregation accepted the resignation of Pastor Rodeck, who retired to Virginia.

Fall 1988
Rev Ronald Oppen accepted the call to Trinity. Before he accepted the call the parsonage was completely renovated. In 1989 it was covered with vinyl siding.

1990
Raymond Dammerman family presented pew cushions, kneeling rail pads, and pastors' chair cushions, as their way of saying Thank You.
New baseboard heating system installed in basement.

September 1997
Rev Oppen accepts call to Trinity Lutheran in Hoffman, Il.

November 1998
Rev Bert Eickhoff accepts call to Trinity.

July 2000
The handicapped stair lift is worn out and will be removed.

May 2002
Architect Emil Win presented his plans for an addition to the church that will make it handicap accessible. Motion was made to carry on with this plan at a cost of approximately $150,000.

July 2002
Meeting called by Elders to present a proposed amendment to the constitution to allow women's suffrage. A motion was made and seconded to present the amendment to the quarterly voter's meeting.

At the following voter's meeting, the motion was made and seconded to amend the constitution to allow women's suffrage. The motion failed in a secret ballot with 14 yes, 21 no votes, and 1 abstention.

October 2002
Progress of the handicapped building project reported: cement work is done at a cost of approximately $23,000. Local carpenters will set the side walls on November 12th.

Pastor and the Elders suggested a three month trial period of a contemporary worship sevice the first Sunday of the month. The motion was carried.

January 2010
Pastor announced that he will be starting a Junior Youth group in 2010.
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