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Trinity Lutheran Church

Established 1916

605 S. Fourth St

 

Trinity Lutheran School

 

 

TRINITY PREPARES FOR BUILDING ITS NEW CHURCH BUILDING PART III

 

[Derived from Trinity Lutheran Church Caller newsletter, 01 2017]

 

A special congregation meeting was called for June 8, 1953. Mr. Schumann, as chairman of the Building Committee, gave a history of the project. Having met recently with the architect, the congregation ratified changes in the specifications. The estimated cost of the building with furniture and architectural fees was now $302,141.00.

 

One can only imagine the discussion that followed. The new estimate was 10 times larger than the original amount raised based on the original goal for building construction. The minutes record that “various opinions were expressed and questions answered”. A motion was made and passed that the congregation should vote by ballot on the new church as recommended by the Building Committee. The results of the ballot were for the church – 77; against – 14.

 

The next issue was construction material. The next resolution was whether we should have the church Lannon stone or brick. A rising vote was taken. The number of members for Lannon stone – 52. Number of members for brick – 7. A notation on the side margin of the ledger in which the minutes are recorded make this statement: Lannon stone would cost $6,500.00 more than brick. It brought the cost up to $308,641.00. The next issue dealt with was the balcony or gallery. Another motion was made, seconded, and carried that we vote on finishing the gallery of the church. Results: for finishing – 10. Opposed to finishing – 31. A final motion of the evening carried. The officers of the congregation were given the authority to sign a building contract.

 

By mid-July demolition of the Church Home had begun. Some practical matters had to be decided. The services of the janitor were no longer needed since there was no church building to clean. The congregation would be meeting for services in the gymnasium of Northwestern

College. A $600.00 donation was made to the college for providing their facility as well as providing a canvas covering for the gymnasium floor. Insurance coverage was obtained for the people (in some cases entire Trinity families), who were participating in the demolishing the Church Home. All members were asked to state when they would be available for voluntary labor. For those who could only volunteer in the evening, flood lights were brought in to allow the work to continue. The congregation knew the contractor would be ready when they were ready.

 

Care was taken in the demolition work. Many of the bricks were cleaned and used in foundation rooms of the new church. Even today bricks of the Church Home can be found in the basement storage rooms at the west end of the current church building. By the October 5 congregational meeting the report was given that progress on the new building was satisfactory. Thanks were expressed for the help received in demolishing the old building. While the new building was progressing, recommendations on financing the project came to the council:

 

Two plans for funding our church were presented: A bond issue with the Ziegler Co. consisting of $150,000 bond issue at 4-1/2% and on the assumption the congregation raises $54,000 by July 1, 1953, meaning pledges are redeemed July 1, 1953, instead of December 31, 1953.  Borrow $50,000 from synod at 4% no set time to repay. Borrow $50,000 from bank at 4% for 6 years retiring $8,000 per year on principal. Borrow 30 to 50 thousand dollars from individuals at 3-1/2% for 12 years. It was felt that plan no. 2 would be the better one to follow. 

 

Once again Pastor Timmel was thinking ahead to what needed to be planned: The matter of cornerstone laying and dedication was brought up. Pastor Timmel asked for suggestions on how it should be done. It was decided an extra envelope marked “Cornerstone Laying” and a publicity pamphlet be mailed to members and the Watertown community watched the changes in the 600 block of South Third Street with interest.

 

The Watertown Daily Times printed an article to help answer some questions:

 

Details of New Trinity Church Are Announced Contracts Signed; Building Project to Require a Year

 

Construction work on the new Trinity Lutheran Church, opposite City Park, will begin around September 1, it was disclosed today as details of the structure were released.

 

The church will be Gothic in type and will have clerestory construction with transepts. The exterior will be of Lannon stone with Bedford trim. The interior will be in face brick. The building will have an asphalt roof.

 

There will be a full basement. Balconies will extend over the narthex and in transepts. There will be a deep chancel and a roomy sacristy. The side aisles will be separated from the nave by arches. The main entrance will be on the West side facing City Park, There will be a north porch with entrance at grade level.

 

Indirect Lighting

 

The floor will be covered with asphalt and clay tile and the church will be illuminated by indirect lighting with rheostat control. There will be a split heating system that is hot water and forced ventilation.

 

The dimension of the new church will be 129 feet in length, and 39 feet wide in the nave and the ceiling will be 40 feet above the floor.

 

Above the West entrance there will be a rose window while on the East a Gothic window will rise above the altar. Gothic windows will be provided on the main floor and square windows in the clerestory. The main floor will seat 444 and additional seats for 157 will be provided in the balconies.

 

The basement quarters of the new church will contain a full auditorium, stage, kitchen, Sunday school rooms, toilet facilities, and a boiler room.

 

Will Require One Year

 

The building period for the new church is one year. During the interval the congregation is holding its regular Sunday

services in Northwestern College Gymnasium.

 

The general contractor for the project is Orville Madsen, Minneapolis, widely known as a builder of churches. The Otto Biefeld Company, Watertown, has the contract for the mechanical installations and the electrical contract has been awarded to Arnold Ruesch, Watertown.

 

Frank Abrahamson, St. Paul, is the architect.

 

Cost of the buildings is as follows: General contract, $260,143; mechanical contract, $30,735; and electrical contract, $8,210.29. 

 

Long Time Planning

 

Plans for the new church have been underway for several years. Recently work was begun on dismantling the old church building, which was formerly the William Buchheit home. It was acquired by the congregation and dedicated in May, 1919. Work on dismantling it is nearing completion. All of the work on removing the old building has been done by members of the congregation, working on a volunteer basis. They began demolishing in mid-July and large groups have been working, mostly evenings. Men, women, and even children of the congregation joined forces in doing the work. Floodlighting was erected on the site to facilitate night time work.

 

Trinity Lutheran Church, of which the Rev. K. Timmel is pastor, has a membership of 560 confirmed and a total of 775 persons,

 

The building committee includes W.A. Schumann, chairman, Arthur Mallow, Dr. E.C. Kiessling, Albert Schlueter and R. A. Guenterberg.

 

The finance committee consists of Arthur Weihert, A .L. Grinde and Henry Maltz.

 

In announcing the details for the new church, a spokesman said today that the plans have been underway a long time, but it is felt when the new building is completed it will be one of the most beautiful new Gothic-style churches to be found  anywhere in Wisconsin. 

 

1953 was shaping up to be a very interesting year at Trinity Lutheran Church!

 

1953

CONFIRMATION CLASS

  

Vilas Glaeske, Rev. Kurt Timmel, Jon Teslchow

Phyllis Schlueter, Joyce Hackbarth, Bruce Bentz, Nancy Schlueter, Susan Edwards

Penelope Riemer, Valerie Frohmader, Shirley Wittchow, Mary Ummus, Sandra Reinhardt.

Confirmation held at NorthWestern College auditorium because new Trinity church was being built.

 

1964      Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel and Student Center at Madison

10 29          The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod which numbers St. Mark’s and Trinity Lutheran Churches in Watertown among its members and of which St. Luke’s Lutheran Church is an associate has made plans for the construction of the Wisconsin Lutheran chapel and student center at Madison.  The Rev. Henry E. Paustian, one of the pastors of St. Mark’s Church, who serves as missions chairman of the synod’s western district, first made the plans known several months ago and the purchase of property for the construction has now been completed.

 

1974

               School built at 801 South Fifth Street

 

1999

07 10       Rev. James A. Mattek installed; fifth full time pastor welcomed in 83-year history   WDT

 

2000      PARISH HALL ADDITION

02 08          Trinity Lutheran Church, 604 S. Fourth St., is planning construction of a parish hall addition of its Gothic style church building which was constructed in 1953. Architectural planning is currently under way and actual construction is expected to begin later this year. The 800 member congregation voted last month to proceed with plans for the $1,213,000 structure which will be located to the south of the current church building. A major corridor connecting the existing narthex to the new larger narthex will pass through the base of a bell tower. In addition to the larger narthex area, the main floor will also have a large parents' room, conference room, a large office area, an enlarged altar guild room, rest rooms and an elevator.   WDT

 

2004      50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHURCH BUILDING

       30TH ANNIVERSARY OF TRINITY SCHOOL BUILDING

10 06          Trinity Lutheran Church of Watertown, 605 S. Fourth St, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its church building and the 30th anniversary of the Trinity School building.  Trinity's origin began in 1916 with English services and 13 members in St. Mark's School auditorium.  Pastor Frederic Stem was called as first pastor. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was established on Nov. 5, 1916. It was commonly referred to as Trinity English Lutheran Church.  The Ladies Aid was organized in 1917.

 

10 23          During worship services on Sunday, the Rev. James Mattek will preach a farewell sermon to the members of Trinity congregation.  Mattek has served as Trinity’s pastor since 1999.  He recently accepted a call to serve as administrator for Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Service, located in Milwaukee.  Immediately after services, a dinner and program will be held in honor of the Mattek family.  WDT

 

2012      FAREWELL BRUNCH FOR PASTORS

 

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Watertown will bid farewell to the Revs. Terry and Sue Larson on Sunday, Nov. 25.  They are retiring after several decades with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

 

A farewell brunch will be held between services, from 9:15-10:30 a.m.  Everyone is welcome.  Members of the congregation are encouraged to bring a healthy potluck brunch item to share.

 

Terry Larson was called to Immanuel in 2007, first as an interim pastor and later as the full-time senior pastor. His spiritual and administrative leadership has contributed greatly to the congregation and the ministries of the church. The congregation has known him for his wisdom, gentle manner and healing presence.

 

Sue Larson joined Terry Larson in ministry at Immanuel in 2010.  Her interest in global ministries, underprivileged people, and environmental stewardship has fostered many beneficial changes at Immanuel.  She has worked closely with Immanuel’s conservation committee to create beautiful and eco-friendly gardens around the church, and recycling efforts have greatly increased.

 

Under the inspiring leadership of the energetic husband and wife team of pastors Terry and Sue Larson, Immanuel’s positive contributions to the community continue to grow.  The Watertown Food Pantry, Bread and Roses weekly dinner, the Hometown Mission and the Personal Essentials Pantry have all been based at Immanuel.  Sue Larson was instrumental in getting the Personal Essentials Pantry established.

 

The church council and all members of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church invite everyone to attend worship with them on Sunday, Nov. 25.  These will be the final worship services in Watertown guided by the Larsons.  Services are at 8 and 10:30 a.m.  Everyone is also invited to the potluck brunch.

 

___________________________________________

 

·         

1902

WILLIAM BUCHHEIT HOME, 605 S. Fourth Street

  

 

The first congregation met in a house built by one of Watertown's early settlers, Luther Cole, on the William Buchheit property (SE corner of Fourth and Wisconsin) which was purchased by the church in 1919.  The home was remodeled and church services were conducted there for many years.

 

The existing parsonage was built in 1921, and by 1922, the church had 212 communicant members. Rev. Kurt Timmel was named pastor in 1932.

 

Trinity members had some participation in the operation of St. Mark's School starting in 1920, and Articles of Agreement for the school provided Trinity with the opportunity to call a teacher in 1933.  She was Hertha Sievert, who taught for 47 years.

 

A building committee was established in 1945 and in 1952 plans were approved to build a new church.  The old house/church was razed by Trinity members.

 

The new church building was dedicated on Dec. 6, 1953, with some of the remaining work finished in 1954.  The stained glass windows were installed in 1962.

 

In 1966, the Rev. Walter Schumann was called to replace Rev. Timmel, who retired.

 

Trinity Lutheran School

 

The Trinity School Building Committee was established in 1972 to pursue its own school due to crowding at St. Mark's School.

 

Trinity Lutheran School was built on Western Avenue on land purchased from the city, and the school was dedicated Jan. 6, 1975.  Principal was Allen Krause and the school had three teachers and 95 students. Twenty of the students were St. Luke's members.

 

Phillip Glende was named school principal in 1978, and Robert Moldenhauer took over in 1980.

 

Trinity-St. Luke's Lutheran School

 

In 1981 the joint school operation was established.  The school was named Trinity-St. Luke's Lutheran School, or TLS. Communicant membership was 530.

 

The Rev. William Gabb was called to replace Rev. Schumann, who retired.

 

Due to enrollment growth, expansion plans for the school got under way in 1987.  St. Luke's became joint owners of the school, and plans for a building addition were approved. The school was dedicated in 1988.

 

When James Moeller became principal in 1990, the school had a staff of nine, and 193 students.

 

The new organ was installed in 1991 in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the church, Communicant membership was 595.  The sound system was replaced with a new sound system in 1992.

 

The Rev. Paul Eickmann joined the church as part-time pastor in 1995.

 

In 1997 a new bell system was installed. A buildings committee was established to plan for a church addition, and a heating and cooling systems upgrade.

 

School expansion prompted a decision in 1998 to establish a split campus. St. Luke’s built the school on Clark Street and Trinity purchased full ownership of the Western Avenue campus.

 

There were several changes in ministry in 1999. The Rev. Robert Voss served as interim pastor after Rev. Gabb accepted another call. Rev. Eickmann retired, and Rev. Mattek was called.

 

Gerald Kastens joined the church as minister of discipleship in 2000, the same year the church addition and upgrade were approved.

 

The new Parish Center addition and heating and air conditioning systems were dedicated in 2001.

 

In 2004 communicant membership was 653.  The school staff numbered 15 and student enrollment was 279.

 

Cross-References:

No 1:  Trinity Lutheran website 

No 2:  St. Luke’s chapter

Trinity-St. Luke’s Lutheran School

 

 

 

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