Since our founding in 1904, Holy Trinity has been a church deeply rooted in the diverse, immigrant-rich Longfellow neighborhood, in an appreciation for learning, in traditional worship, and in a commitment to social justice.
When, in 1904, a group of people chose to leave St. Peder’s Lutheran Church, a Danish-speaking congregation in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, they were embracing the new realities of the communities in which they lived and worked. This group believed that the new church should use the English language. Their efforts resulted in the founding of the Evangelical English Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity.
The new church grew rapidly from 37 original members to 273 members by 1909. By 1954, the baptized worshipping community was 3,744, making Holy Trinity the third largest church in the United Lutheran Church of America (ULCA). World missions, stewardship, and evangelism were emphasized. Music became central to the church’s identity during this time, with a junior choir, senior choir, and bell choir all contributing regularly to worship. In 1975, updates were made to the worship space, including the installation of a faceted stained glass window behind the altar. Worship continued to be seen as the central and integrating action of the congregation’s life together, an important congregational value that continues to the present day.
From the beginning, Holy Trinity has viewed education as intimately connected to the worship life of the community. The process of education lends meaning to worship, and worship nurtures the life of faith. The Sunday Church School at Holy Trinity emerged during the earliest days of the congregation and Holy Trinity’s commitment to Christian education of children in the community has remained strong throughout its history. Although the number of children in the Sunday Church School program has decreased over the years, reflecting demographic changes in the community, the program itself has evolved to engage children and youth of all ages in discussions relating biblical and theological themes to contemporary life.
Holy Trinity’s history has been characterized by love, service, and responsibility for our community in a local and global context, including concerns for world hunger; homelessness, the elderly, migrants and refugees; racial inequities; the earth; and the political process. Our congregation has always believed it is appropriate for the church to be involved in moral and ethical discourse about our society and its legislation and to influence, wherever possible, issues which are an affront to justice and peace within the global community. Inclusion is a given value at Holy Trinity and all are welcome without exception.
*Much of the content of this page has been adapted from Mary Ellen Olson’s 2004 article, “With One Voice: 100 Years of Worship at Holy Trinity English Lutheran Church.”