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History of Holy Trinity Evangelical

Lutheran Church

(1928 - 1981)

By Dr. Kenneth Carlson

In the Spring of 1928, a survey of the Beaver community was conducted by 14 pastors of the Pittsburgh Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America and revealed that there were seventy-five Lutheran families in the community. As a result of this survey and the expressed desires of the Lutherans in the area, a new congregation was formed, with the formal organization taking place at a service held in the auditorium of the Beaver High School on Sunday, June 3, 1928. Conducting that service was the Rev. John J. Myers, the Synod's Home Mission Superintendant, who preached on the text "I was glad when they said unto me: Let us go into the house of the Lord." Forty-seven persons were accepted as charter members of the infant congregation and since the occasion marked the festival of the Holy Trinity, those present adopted the name "The Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Beaver."

Later that month, services were moved to the Conservatory of Music, Third and Wilson Avenues and were conducted there until the congregation moved into its new home. Rev. A. E. Simon, then a student at the Chicago Lutheran Seminary, served the congregation for four months, until the first official pastor, Rev. George L. Ulrich was installed.

In the Fall of 1928, the 8-room A. P. Marshall residence, located at Fourth and Beaver Streets was purchased and remodeled to make it suitable for church purposes. The church occupied the first floor and the second floor was retained as living quarters for the pastor and his family.

Times and situations remained difficult for the congregation during the early years and although growth was steady, it remained slow. The Curtiss-Wright plant's coming to Beaver in 1941 brought several new families into the parish during the years of the second World War and Westinghouse coming in 1947 brought more Lutheran families into the area.

Due to growing membership, the congregation acquired a parsonage at 1521 Corporation Street in the Spring of 1950 and the second floor of the church was then converted into the church school.

At the time the property was purchased on Beaver Street, the congregation understood that the quarters were only "temporary" and their hopes included the erection of a new church building. Through depression, war and hard times faithful members never lost sight of that dream and in the fifties their dream began to take concrete shape.

September of 1953 saw the congregation engaging in a giant effort to raise funds for a new building. A congregational meeting held in November of 1953 made the decision to relocate, and a subsequent meeting in January of 1954 approved the purchase of property at the corner of Third and Navigation Streets, the present location of the Lutheran Church. Ground was broken on May 2, 1954, and the basement unit of both a new church and education wing was dedicated on February 5, 1956. The property on Beaver Street was sold to the Trinity Episcopal Church.

In 1960, the congregation purchased the property in back of the church to use for parking and future expansion and in 1962, property adjoining the 1960 purchase was obtained.

Heightened activity in building got underway with another fund raising drive in January of 1961. Contract for construction was signed on June 28, 1962, and work began on July 2.

The cornerstone for the present church building was laid on September 30, 1962, and the church spire was raised into position on February 6, 1963.

In 1968, the Dawson House on Third Street, which had been used to handle "overflow" church school activities was demolished and landscaping of the church grounds added to the beauty of the area. Interior improvements were made in the church basement and kitchen to accommodate the "Meals-On-Wheels" program which is currently serving the homes of many of the elderly in the area.

On the 21st of May, 1978, Holy Trinity celebrated its 50th year of dedication to the Lord.

Since the organization of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Congregation in 1928, ten pastors have been called to serve the parish with our present pastor, Rev. Donald R. Thomas being called in March of 1977.

From the 47 charter members, the congregation has expanded to now include 547 baptized members, 452 confirmed members and 314 communing members.

Presently, the men of the congregation are erecting the second floor of the education wing and hope to have it completed by mid summer.

Holy Trinity looks forward to the next 50 years for growth, service and dedication to our Lord and Savior.

Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Corner of Third and Navigation Streets