Our story began when Reverend O.P. Stavaas, pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Brush Prairie and a Madagascar missionary on leave, called at various homes to interest women in organizing a Ladies Aid. The first meeting of the “East Side Ladies Aid” with 13 charter members was held on January 18, 1940. On February 7, 1940, a general meeting resulted in an election of officers, and the newly established church was named Trinity Lutheran Church.
Services were held in a member’s home, a rented hall, and then a house that was purchased for the purpose. The church grew to a membership of about 700 and in 1948 the property on Columbia Street from 38th to 39th was purchased as the site for our new church.
Nearly 5000 man-hours of work went into the construction of the Education Unit and Chapel at the new site, which opened on October 14, 1951. This unit was built to augment the Sunday School which by then had an enrollment of almost 200. By November 1953 it was necessary to start holding two services as Trinity continued to grow.
On Easter Sunday, April 17, 1960, after much planning and prayer, the ground was broken for a new sanctuary and education-office wing. On Palm Sunday one year later, March 16, 1961, Trinity’s beautiful new sanctuary was dedicated with the addition of a new pipe organ in May. In 1965 when Trinity celebrated its twenty-fifth-anniversary membership was over 1,100 baptized members.
Since 1961 the first sanctuary building on 39th Street had been referred to as the “Old Sanctuary”. In May 1974 it was named “K.J. Stolee Hall” in honor and memory of charter member K.J. Stolee. Today we refer to it as Stolee Hall.
A “master plan” incorporating extensive remodeling of the sanctuary, office, and education facilities began in November 1988. An “Evening of Promise” began the fund-raising for the initial phases. Ground-breaking ceremonies occurred on February 18, 1988, and excavation began in April.
On September 16, 1990, a 50th Anniversary Celebration Jubilee was held with Bishop Wold, and current and former pastors participating.
Since then the Sanctuary has gotten a facelift and the grounds around the church have had several updates. We have active members that are dedicated to keeping up our beautiful building on a regular basis.
We are proud of our history. Joyous and music-filled worship, quality Christian education, and community outreach are the cornerstones of our mission and will continue to influence everything we do.