Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Louis
The following records from this congregation are available:
Currently, this is all the information available from this church.
Established in 1839; still active
This first Lutheran church west of the Mississippi was built in the Carondelet neighborhood of St. Louis by immigrants from Saxony who came in 1839 seeking to preserve the purity of their Lutheran beliefs at a time when Lutheran and Evangelical beliefs were being merged into a single state Protestant church in Germany. They planned to go to Perry County, Missouri, which most did, but some remained in St. Louis. Their first pastor was Otto Hermann Walther. His brother, their second pastor, was Rev. C. F. W. Walther, who founded a Lutheran newspaper, which in 1848 brought about the formation of the “Joint [Lutheran] Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States.”
The fledgling congregation first used the basement of what is today the Basilica of St. Louis at Broadway and Walnut (now Chestnut) before purchasing a lot on Lombard Street, between Second and Third, in early 1842, and by December of that year, they dedicated their new church building. At the same time, the congregation also began a parish school in a private home on Poplar Street.
The church remained in the same location until 1864, when wealthy members of the congregation donated money to purchase land at Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenues (now Eighth and Soulard Streets) for a new building. A year later, in December 1865, the new church was ready, complete with the tallest spire in St. Louis at that time.
All remained intact until a tornado struck in 1896, causing immense damage. The church rebuilt in 1897, incorporating into the new structure the old pulpit and the baptismal font that had been spared from damage. Both are still in use. In 1989, Trinity’s school was the oldest continuously operating elementary school in the City of St. Louis. Trinity Lutheran Church is also acknowledged as the “mother church” to Holy Cross, Immanuel, and Zion Lutheran.
Address: 812 Soulard Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63104
Location 1839–1842: 209 Walnut Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102
Location 1842–1865: Lombard Street between Second and Third, St. Louis, Missouri 63102
Location 1865–present: Eighth and Soulard (812 Soulard St.), St. Louis, Missouri 63104
Trinity Lutheran Church purchased property for a cemetery in 1845. The cemetery we know today as Concordia Cemetery was set at its present location and size in 1856. Access Trinity Lutheran Church’s cemetery here.