Trinity Lutheran Church
Records show that the first Lutheran worship services were conducted locally as early as 1888 by the Rev. Carl Cossman, the itinerant pastor of Zion, Lunenburg. It is fitting that the building in which Trinity congregation worships was eventually dedicated in his memory as “Cossman Memorial Lutheran Church” in 1907.
By the time an identifiable group of local Lutheran Christians began worshiping regularly in the 1890's, the little town they lived in was a bustling community. There were numerous hardware stores, dry goods stores, three blacksmith shops, a shoe repair, bicycle shop, three hotels, a barbershop, meat markets; two churches, and a funeral home.
It's not surprising, then, that a meeting was held, on June 4, 1900, in Chesleys Hall (near the present Shoppers Drug Mart store), where the decision was made to form a new Lutheran congregation in New Germany. Those at the meeting were at the time members of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in West Northfield. Two of the men attending were elected deacons of the new Trinity congregation: Ambrose Lohnes and Joshua Falkenham. Benjamin Conrad was elected treasurer; and the group committed themselves to raising the large total of $20.00 toward the pastor's salary! The Rev. W.M. Weaver was called as the first pastor of the New Germany Mission Parish, which included Trinity as well as congregations in North River, Newburne, Hemford and Pleasant River.
Pastor Weaver was meticulous in keeping records of his pastoral acts in those early years, The records show the following firsts:
-The baptism of Percy Falkenham, son of Joshua and Hodia, on April 30, 1900 (a month before the new congregation was formed!);
-The confirmation of John Fancy, April 7, 1901;
-The marriage of George Rushfort and Flossie Smith, September 19, 1900;
-The funeral service for Hannah Fancy, age 43, who died December 27, 1900;
-The Service of Holy Communion of November 4, 1900; thirteen persons were communed.
The charted members of the congregation are not listed in the records; but the first communicants, on November 4, 1900, were Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Conrad, Winnie Conrad; Mrs. Amos Arenburg; Mr. Joshua Falkenham; Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Lohnes; Lydia Lohnes; Laura Lohnes; Mrs. Charles Power; Mrs. Enos Risser; Mrs. Leah Snyder; Mrs. Emma Silver.
The cornerstone for the planned Cossman Memorial Church was laid on September 27, 1904. There is no known record of how the property was obtained, or from whom. It is surmised that the property had been owned by the Morgan Company, and was obtained from them, perhaps as a gift. The stained glass window at the street end of the church depicts Father Cossman, in whose memory it, and the church building, were dedicated. Cossman Memorial Church was consecrated to the service of the triune God in fitting style on September 29, 1907.
It was in 1948 that the parish decided to build a parsonage on land adjacent to Trinity’s church. The first residents were Seminary students Robert Rock and Wilfred Myra, during the summer of 1948. Pastor and Mrs. Wilfred Myra and their children were the first family to live in the lovely home. Some time later, and for many years, Trinity’s Sunday School classes, Bible study, meetings and other events all took place in the basement of the parsonage, which was outfitted with a kitchen and other furnishings.
On Christmas Eve, 1959, a new electric organ was dedicated and used for the first time at Trinity. It was the gift of Mrs. Edna Lantz, Trinity’s long time organist and choir director, given in memory of her late husband, Avery.
Work done on the church building in those years included installation of vinyl siding in 1984; steeple repairs in 1985; and especially the building of the new hall addition, in 1986.
May we all remember our gracious God’s abiding, redeeming, love and grace, over our one hundred years, and for many more to come!
Trinity Lutheran Church, New Germany
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