History of Trinity Lutheran

Old Trinity Lutheran Church It is very difficult to decide just when Trinity Lutheran Church came into being. Unlike other institutions that go back to a specific starting point in time, Trinity’s beginning was more of a gradual and evolutionary one.

The first Lutheran service was held in 1893. Pastor Anders Bengtson drove out from Cumberland’s Augustana Church and conducted the service in the old schoolhouse. From 1893 to 1897 a Pastor Peterson would drive out and have occasional services. Later in 1897 Pastor Malmquist began coming quite regularly from Augustana and began urging the people in McKinley to form a church of their own.

In 1907 Construction was begun and the cornerstone laid. Not all was easily done however; those people had no funds whatsoever! The trees for lumber, the sawing and all construction had to be donated. In addition, there was difficulty raising enough cash to pay for services being held in the schoolhouse. The greatest disappointment came when the bracing holding up the uncompleted structure gave way and the entire building collapsed. Discouraged, but not defeated, the builders started again. This time they succeeded. It was a long time before the interior was completed, but services were held anyway.

As time went along the church interior was gradually improved. The Luther League purchased an organ in 1911 and in 1913 the old wood planks nailed to nail kegs were replaced with pews. Other additions included the pulpit and altar in 1914 and a bell in 1915.

By 1912 the church was admitted to the Minnesota Conference of the Augustana Synod. During the 1920’s Swedish language was gradually replaced by English, and in 1938 the name of the Church was changed from “Piteo Lutheran Church” to “Trinity Lutheran Church”.

In 1956, a two point Parish was established with the Georgetown Lutheran Church, and we transferred from the Augustana Synod to the Lutheran Free Church. In 1961 this Parish joined in the merger with the American Lutheran church.

During the later 70’s and early 80’s, the church basement was paneled and the complete building insulated to save energy. Also, stain-glass windows, given as memorials, replaced all the main floor windows. Gifts continue to be given as memorials to those who lived and worshipped in our community and church.

New Trinity Lutheran Church After a lot of discussion on how we could improve the Church it was decide to build a new worship center. In 2004 the congregation voted to build a new church with the help of Mission Builders. In the summer of 2004 construction started on land, some of which was donated just West of the original Church. With the help of many volunteers from the congregation, and surrounding communities, the building was built. Many fund raising activities were held and the Church became active in holding ice cream socials, brat stand at Louis’s, garage sale, and community fairs and craft sales.

Arial view of the new Trinity Lutheran Church - McKinley The first worship service in the new church was held on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005. The dedication of the building was held on April 17, 2005,