History of Our Church

Our First Pastor -- Pastor Frederick EsemanThe year was 1905.  Teddy Roosevelt was President of the United States.  Robert LaFollette, Sr. was governor of Wisconsin.  The population of the U.S. stood at 83.8 million, 2.23 million in Wisconsin.  The automotobile had been invented, but paved roads were few and far between.  Rail was still the preferred means of transportation.  Federal spending for 1905 totaled $570 million, and it cost just 2 cents to mail a first-class letter. 

Times have changed, but some things remain the same.  Trinity Lutheran Church was founded in 1905.  Over 100 years later, Trinity continues to preach the Gospel, celebrate the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion and minister to young and old, just as it did them.

Many important events led up to the founding of our congregation in 1905.  During the summer of 1904, two children were confirmed in an English service at St. John's German Lutheran Church.  Shortly afterward, four men who had been instructed for more than a year desired to join the Lutheran Church.  These men, Walter E. Moe, John H. Phillips, Frank G. White and August Balzer, under the guidance of St. John's pastor, Dr. J. F. Boerger, decided it was time to organize an English mission congregation on the north side of Racine.  "The Father's Faith in the Children's Language" was the vision of the founding fathers of Trinity.

After two unsuccessful attempts to find a missionary pastor, a call was extended to the Rev. Frederick C. Eseman of Coal City, Illinois.   On January 15, 1905, in a service at St. John's Lutheran Church, Rev. Eseman was installed as English Missionary for Racine.  He preached his first sermon on Sunday evening, February 5, in St. John's Church.  On the same evening John Phillips was baptized and confirmed, and Walter Moe, Frank White and August Balzer were confirmed by Rev. Boerger.  On February 14, Mr. Philips, Mr. White and Mr. Moe met with Rev. Eseman in his home at 1828 Green Street and formally organized Trinity English Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.

From 1905 on, the congregation grew steadily.  Initially, the mission congregation held its English worship services in St. John's Church.  After about a year, plans were drafted to build their own place of worship.  In the spring of 1906, ground was broken at the corner of Milwaukee Avenue (now Dr. M. L. King, Jr. Drive) and Albert Street.  On May 20, 1906, the cornerstone was laid.  This new church, constucted and furnished at a cost of $7,500, was dedicated on September 9, 1906.  During the next few years several amenities were added, including new furnishings, stained glass windows and a pipe organ. 

Trinity was less than fifteen years old when its members realized that their facilities were no longer adequate for church, Sunday school and day school.  At a meeting of the congregation on October 19, 1919, the purchase of our present-day Geneva Street property was announced by the Expansion Committee.  In the fall of 1924, the original property on Milwaukee Avenue was sold to another church body and steps were taken to rebuild. 

On September 9, 1924, ground was broken for the new church building and the cornerstone was laid on November 23.

The church where we continue to worship today was officially dedicated to God's service on July 12, 1925.  During the next year-and-a-half, the parsonage was constructed, followed by the building of the school.

Trinity continues to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Church and School.  In 2000, a preschool wing was added to serve our youngest students.  Recently an elevator and additional fellowship space was added to serve our members better.  In 2017 a new HVAC system will update our heating and add aic conditioning to the church and school.  All this has been provided my our marvelous members under the grace of our Almighty God.