A Brief History of Trinity Lutheran Church
On December 14, 1938, officials of four Lutheran congregations, the Norwegian Lutheran Church, the First English Lutheran Church, the Hauge Minde Church and the Swedish Augustana Church, signed merger documents officially creating Trinity Lutheran Church of Crookston, Minnesota.
On December 14, 1938, officials of four Lutheran congregations, the Norwegian Lutheran Church, the First English Lutheran Church, The Hauge Minde Church and the Swedish Augustana Church, signed merger documents officially creating Trinity Lutheran Church of Crookston, Minnesota.
The roots of Trinity go back to 1872 when the Rev. B. L. Jagboe, an itinerant missionary, came to the Crookston community. Services were conducted in the home of Bernhard and Petra Sampson, one of the early settlers of Crookston. Following one of the services on June 7, 1874, a business session was held to discuss plans for organizing a congregation. A resolution was passed to organize and the group adopted the name of Red Lake River Evangelical Lutheran Congregation. In 1891, the name was changed to United Lutheran Church. The name was again changed in 1917 to the Norwegian Lutheran Church, which was one of the four church bodies to merge in 1938 to become part of the present Trinity Lutheran Church. The congregation had no church building and services were held either in the homes of members or in other buildings available as meeting places. In the fall of 1885, a 24 x 60 foot building was erected on leased ground at the corner of Ash Street and East Robert Street. “The Chapel” was built for $495.
The First English Lutheran Church was established January 14, 1914 as a branch of the Norwegian Lutheran Church because of a demand for using the English language. The group rented the Baptist Church at 205 South Ash Street and then purchased the building in 1916 when the church was organized.
In 1936, a fire destroyed the Norwegian Lutheran Church, beginning the movement to bring about a union of the Lutheran churches in Crookston. A meeting was held May 25, 1936, but no formal union was made. The congregations agreed to form a federation and extended a call to the Rev. Abner S. Haugen. The four congregations continued to operate as a Federation until December 14, 1938 when the group was incorporated under the name of Trinity Lutheran Church.
The New Church
A building commission had been formed on April 22, 1937 for the construction of a new church. The group reported a fund of $18,000 on January 1, 1939. After much discussion, the site for the new church was selected at the corner of Broadway and Fletcher. In 1949, the Board of Trustees was authorized to enter into a building contract when 60 percent of the estimated cost of construction was collected. The estimated cost of the new church was $90,000. An architect was hired and the cost estimate was raised to $125,000. The contractor estimated the cost at $280,000 on a cost-plus contract. A revised estimate on May 31, 1948 indicated the cost at $347,000. The total cost was about $400,000.
Cornerstone laying for the new church was held May 8, 1949 and dedication services were held on June 4, 1950. The first worship services were held in the new church on April 16, 1950. The following weekend, the disastrous 1950 flood inundated the old church basement at 205 South Ash Street. The furniture and fixtures had been removed just in time.
The women of the church were untiring in their work to help finance the building of a new church. From 1936 to 1956, the women raised over $80,000 that was given to the building fund. Serving lunch at the Red River Valley Winter Shows raised much of the money. Every day during the Winter Shows 1,200 hamburgers, 90 pies and other foods were consumed. Other activities undertaken by the women were the lutefisk supper, the Christmas bazaar and smorgasbord.
A major addition to the new church was a 3-manual Schlicher pipe organ that was dedicated on September 26, 1971. The installation of the new organ, which was contracted for in 1966 for about $52,000 was tied into the remodeling of the church chancel. About a third of the money was received from memorials to replace the old organ which had been installed in the English Lutheran Church in 1923.
On Sunday, June 25, 2000 the Discipling Center was dedicated. This 22,000 square foot, handicapped-accessible addition has Internet connectivity with ample room for education, support groups, ministries and other activities. Plus, our new technological capabilities are on par with any found the larger Minneapolis/St. Paul area located 300 miles southeast of Crookston.
(This history was taken from “Trinity Lutheran Church 1938-1988” as published in the 1988 Trinity picture directory, compiled and edited by the late Ruth Ross Regnier.)
Past & Present Pastors...
Pastor Abner S. Haugen ~ February, 1937 – October, 1950
Pastor Olaf C. Cartford (Interim) ~ October, 1950 – March, 1951
Pastor J. David Larsen ~ March, 1951 – April, 1957
Pastor Emmet Rogness ~ July, 1954 – August, 1955
Pastor James D. Sumption ~ May, 1956 – October, 1957
Pastor Ralph L. Tellefsen ~ August, 1957 – September, 1967
Pastor Olaf J. Engh ~ September, 1961- June, 1968
Pastor Daniel L. Dowling ~ June, 1963 – January 1, 1965
Pastor Julian L. Erickson ~ August 1965 – April, 1967
Pastor Paul R. Gilbertson ~ July, 1967 – December, 1971
Pastor James H. Hanson ~ February, 1968 – April, 1985
Pastor Walter E. Otto, III ~ June, 1972 – August, 1976
Pastor David A. Aaker ~ February, 1977 – March, 1983
Pastor Paul S. Magelssen ~ July, 1984 –May, 1987
Pastor Jerold B. Salveson ~ August, 1985 – April, 1994
Pastor Gary J. Mikkelson ~ July, 1987 – December, 1991
Pastor Ernest Stadum ~ April, 1988 – September, 1990
Pastor Don R. Walker ~ January, 1991 – August, 1995
Pastor Steven C. Berntson ~ May, 1992 – August, 1996
Pastor Charles D. Brown ~ July, 1994 – August, 1998
Pastor Michael J. Dahle ~ May, 1997 – February, 2000
Pastor Wesley D. Mathre (Interim) ~ August, 1998 – August, 1999
Pastor James Kegel ~ September – December, 1999
Pastor Gerald L. Friest ~ April, 2000 - June, 2001
Pastor Randolph W. Smith ~ November, 1995 – June, 2008
Pastor Marsha D. Smith ~ November, 1995 – March, 2009
Pastor Steve Trandem ~ March, 2003 - present
Pastor Jo Gast ~ March, 2008 - present
Pastor Paul N. Svingen (Interim) ~ July, 2008 - August, 2009
Pastor Lee Yarger (Interim) ~ November, 2009 - April, 2011
Pastor Gregory Isaacson ~May, 2011 - present
Past & Present Seminarians...
Pastor John R. Hanson
Pastor Nathan J.H. Hanson
Pastor Nanette Hagen-Hinck
Pastor Lynn Zaffke
Pastor Lane Zaffke
Annette Toft Langdon, R.N.
Pastor Tedd Ostrem
Pastor Duane K. Sorum
|Pastor Christopher Gaule
||Pastor Jo Gast
|Melinda McVey McCluskey (current)
||Michael Sletto (current)
Past & Present Presidents...
|1950 - 1951 A.M. Foker
||1951 - 1952 Glenn Houske
|1952 - 1954 Phillip A. Anderson
||1954 - 1955 Clarence Tvedten
|1955 - 1956 Charles Reppein
||1956 - 1958 A. O. Myrold
|1958 - 1959 Herschel Lysaker
||1959 - 1960 Tom Hagen
|1960 - 1961 James Whitney
||1961 - 1962 Dr. O. C. Soine
|1962 - 1963 Leonard Erickson
||1963 - 1964 William A. Larson
|1964 - 1965 E. C. “Gene” Miller
||1965 - 1966 Earl Swenson
|1966 - 1967 Robert Siman
||1967 - 1968 Lee Engen
|1968 E. A. Peterson
||1968 W. D. Reynolds
|1969 - 1970 Henry Gredvig
||1970 - 1971 Kenneth Johannson
|1971 - 1972 William Larson
||1972 - 1973 Kermit Heiberg
|1973 - 1974 Ed Odland
||1974 - 1975 Dennis Cirks
|1975 - 1976 Don Keith
||1976 - 1977 James Myrold
|1977 - 1978 Tedd Ostrem
||1978 - 1979 Bill Crane
|1979 - 1980 Don Klein
||1980 - 1982 Chuck Rongen
|1982 - 1984 Chuck Larson
||1984 - 1985 Darryl Hyatt
|1985 - 1987 Gary McVey
||1987 - 1988 Mike Siekas
|1988 - 1992 Gerhard Ross
||1992 - 1996 Jeannine Windels
|1996 - 2000 Chuck Holmquist
||2000 - 2004 Steve Ross
|2004 - 2005 Tom Fuchs
||2005 - 2011 Brian Frisk
|2011 - 2014 Rod Rinderknecht
||2015-Present Dave Davidson
Maundy Thursday worship at Trinity March 24th, 2016.
A live tableau of Davinci's Last Supper.