Trinity held its first worship service on January 2, 1949, becoming the tenth LCMS church on the east coast of Florida. Missionary-at-Large Albert J. Schulz gathered local Lutherans in the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Cypress street for worship. Attendance was around 30 and the offering was $13.45. Margaret Schulz, Pastor’s wife, had her three children and another child in her Sunday School class. This is a drawing of 115 Cypress Street by member Betty Krausman.
In July of 1949, the congregation took title to the current property on Ridgewood Avenue. What is now the Fellowship Hall section of the campus was called the Parish House Chapel, built in 1950 and expanded in 1954 as the Edifice. In 1953, the congregation called Rev. Schulz to be its regular, permanent pastor, asking him to leave his position as mission pastor to the Atlantic Coast area. By the end of the year, the average attendance at worship was 152. By the end of the decade, Trinity had a Walther League (youth group); senior, junior and boys choirs; a Ladies Guild; Men’s Club, a Boy Scout Troop, and a Baldwin Electronic Organ for music. Girl Scouts met at the church in the beginning of the 1960’s.
In 1958 the property adjacent to the church’s original land was bought, consisting of a seven room dwelling on three lots, which offered immediate expansion for Sunday School and valuable new land. It was on this plot that the Youth Building was built.
The current sanctuary was dedicated on January 17, 1965. In 1969 attendance had grown to 477 communing members and 663 baptized members. Pastor Schulz served the congregation until 1972, with Rev. Norman Rieck assisting for two of those years. Pastor Delmar Glock was installed on December 10, 1972 and served until 1989 when he retired. He was followed by the Rev. Phillip Vangen from 1989 to 1998; Rev. Frederick Schultz from 1999 to 2009, and Rev. Breit Snider 2007 to 2017.
When the Rev. Paul C. Sizemore was installed as the Pastor of Trinity on October 1, 2018, he returned to the church where he grew up. He was baptized by Pastor Albert J Schulz and began attending Sunday School when he was 5 years old. In 1971, he received a degree in elementary and secondary education from Concordia University Chicago and graduated from Concordia Seminary in St Louis, MO in May of 1981. He was ordained June 1, 1981 and served parishes in Georgia and South Carolina before receiving the call to serve as Trinity’s sixth Pastor.
In 1976, Trinity Lutheran School opened it's doors. At first, the school offered a kindergarten class. Eventually, through the years, additional grades were added until it had K-5. The school was an important part of the community. Unfortunately, like many other parochial schools, Trinity Lutheran School had to close around 2014 due to high costs. For two years after, the church operated a pre-school, VPK.
Before 2000, Trinity had Baldwin electronic organs. On Dec. 3, 2000, its pipe organ was dedicated with a recital by Thomas Helms, Director of Music for the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee . The following is taken from the program of that recital.
"The organ was built by Elmer Goetz, formerly of Daytona Beach, and a member of our congregation. Having built several smaller organs in the past, his inspiration to build this twenty-nine rank pipe organ came only from God. With no formal training and the majority of plans only in his mind, Mr. Goetz was given the ability to transform several hundred pipes stored for years in his home into a work of art.
The organ that you see is a very special addition to our church. It was financed and built solely by the congregation. With countless hours of volunteer labor given by many members to glorify God, the vision led by Mr. Goetz was turned into reality.
In addition to its inspiring visual display, the organ’s beauty comes from its alluring musical colors provided in part by European pipe-work of only the finest quality. The classic organs of Europe crafted hundreds of years ago were built on-site in exactly the same manner as was this organ. This method produces far superior organs in contrast to mass-produced instruments. The two-and-a half year project allowed time for changes, additions, and improvements to the organ from its original specifications. Several ranks of pipes were added and one rank was eliminated requiring additional design modifications. Under the tonal direction of Allan Van Zoeren and Thomas Helms, the final blending of pipes with the total ensemble gave the organ its unique personality."
Although we love our beautiful organ and thank God for the joy it has given us, we are in the midst of replacing it with a beautiful 24 rank Casavant pipe organ.
Christmas 2021 - The new Casavant organ has been physically installed into our balcony. James Freeman has measured the wiring needed to hook the organ up. He is building essentially a wiring harness in his shop and will bring it back to hook up. We should have the organ for Easter, God willing, and will look forward to dedicating it in the Easter season.
Out with the old and in with the new pipe organ. Keep up with the progress through pictures. Thanks to the volunteers who work so tirelessly to install our Casavant pipe organ.