In God's Name, By God's Grace, To God's Glory
About Trinity Lutheran Church
Over 100 years ago, Trinity Lutheran was founded on the principle that it wanted to grow and be relevant in an exciting city. Built in the center of the city because most members walked to church, it was a community church. There are many stories about people walking to church in groups. Scandinavian immigrants, many working in the building trades, took pride in constructing their church and being supportive of others in their times of need. In searching the parish notes, there are stories of families struck with a disaster and individuals stepping forward to help and to start a fund drive.
Being a community church changed as White Plains expanded. Trinity moved from a mostly European congregation to a worshipping community from many nationalities. In the 1960’s White Plains planners spoke of expanding the city north. The area near North Street and Bryant Avenue was to have new building projects that would be like a new community. Our church took the risk of moving outward as well. Although the building of homes never happened, the intent to remain on the cutting edge remains a goal for us.
Trinity has members involved in many aspects of this community. As example, the congregation regularly contributes food to the White Plains Food Pantry. Some members also volunteer on distribution days. A father with his teenage son spearheads the ventures to New York City on “Mid-night Runs”. It is a program to bring homeless New Yorkers food, clothing and have dialogue with them. Both youth and adults come back touched by those they met. Our members look for new ways to be relevant in this community. Trinity is helping the White Plains Superintendent of schools begin a mentor program at the grade school level. Some of our members will meet with a student weekly. Pastor Norm meets with more than one group of area clergy to discuss ideas like “what one church may not be able to accomplish alone, many can together.” That “shared ministry” challenges individuals to discern his or her gifts and how each can serve God in “our little corner of the world.”
A group of Swedish Lutheran immigrants, bound together by cultural and religious ties, united for the purpose of worshipping together in the tradition of their homeland.
The Bethel Swedish Evangelical Church was officially organized, with 27 charter members. Worship services and other activities were held in a variety of White Plains buildings, including Broadway Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church on Mamaroneck Avenue, and later at St. Matthew Lutheran Church.
The congregation reorganized under the name of Trinity Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church. The next year, congregation members began collecting funds to construct a permanent church building.
A property on Orawaupun Street was purchased for construction of the church building.
The cornerstone was laid, the first Confirmation Class graduated.
The church building on 148 Orawaupun Street was dedicated.
Trinity’s first pastor, Rev. William R. Frendberg, was called. Up to this time, the church had been served by students and faculty of Uppsala College in New Jersey.
The English language was first introduced during worship service at Trinity.
A combined choir from Trinity and St Matthew’s Lutheran churches sang at the New York World’s Fair.
The congregation dedicated its pipe organ. Frank Stewart Adams, a renowned organist and student of Marcel Dupré, played a dedicatory recital.
Trinity celebrated its 50th Anniversary with five of her six former pastors in attendance. This year also marked the official separation from Emanuel Lutheran Church of Pleasantville, a congregation Trinity helped found. Up to this time, the two had functioned as separate entities, but under a single church organization.
New property was purchased at the corner of North Street and Bryant Avenue. A new parsonage at 9 Byron Avenue was also purchased at this time.
The old Swedish church and parsonage at Orawaupun Street were sold to Calvary Baptist Church, which still functions.
Trinity held her final worship on Orawaupun Street, and entered a five year period of crisis and uncertainty. Unexpected community opposition in the North Street area delayed the construction of the new church building, and Trinity found herself once again without a permanent worship home. The congregation held together through this difficult time, meeting at the YMCA, Boy Scout Center and St. Matthew’s Church. A series of legal confrontations prevented the church from beginning construction.
The New York State Court of Appeals finally approved Trinity’s right to build her new home on North and Bryant. A groundbreaking service was held the cornerstone was laid, and construction began – at last!
The new Trinity Church building, including sanctuary and education wing, was dedicated to God’s Glory.
The education and parish fellowship wing was named Glad Hall, in honor of a former pastor, the Rev. Carl A. Glad.
Trinity’s 85th Anniversary was celebrated with a special reception, and a display of historic pictures and memorabilia.
Trinity’s 90th anniversary was celebrated.
Trinity Church expanded the use of her facilities, and her methods of outreach, to better serve the neighborhood. In addition to already existing groups such as AA and the White Plains School of Animal Training, Faith (Korean) Church of Westchester began holding worship services in January. In May, TCI Cable aired the first segment of One in Spirit, a half-hour member-produced TV program produced – the only local Lutheran television ministry in metropolitan NY. The Edna Lillian Roker Adult Day Program opened in July, providing day care for those with Alzheimer’s Disease. Lutheran Family and Community Services opened its Westchester office in August, and the Alzheimer’s Association began holding support group and informational meetings in September.
Trinity celebrated its hundredth anniversary and called its first Synod Deacon. Two more were added in 1998.
Trinity's Centennial Celebration, October 24, 1998, the attached reprint of our September 1927 Newsletter offered an interesting look back at our beginnings.
Groundbreaking for the new parsonage on the Church property
Meet The Church Council
Church Council Meets Every 3rd Sunday of the Month
Kris Jones/ Betty Cheung
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