Historical photos of Trinity
Historical Documents from Trinity in 1975
List of Trinity’s Pastors from 1802-2008
Copy of church Constitution from 1878
Program from Trinity Rededication service in 1956
Cover of F. Everline’s Luther’s Small Catechism 1933
German Lutherans were among the first settlers of the Boonsboro area. The exact date of the organization of Trinity Church is not known, although many consider the date of the Church’s beginning to be 1750.
Called Ringer’s Church, a Lutheran congregation met several miles northwest of Boonsboro on the Peter Ringer homestead. This church continued into the 1800s, even after the Lutheran and Reformed congregations united to build Salem Church (sometimes called the Stone Church) in Boonsboro. Time has erased all traces of the Ringer church and its adjoining graveyard.
Another church which had a bearing on the history of Lutherans in this area was Shunk’s or Shank’s (German for Swing or Schwank) Church, located northwest of town. The Germans who worshipped there built their log Reformed Church about 1750. It was this congregation that joined the Lutherans to build Salem Church.
In their plans to raise funds for the new church, the two congregations petitioned the Maryland Legislature for permission to conduct a lottery for the new church. Permission was granted and the church was built. The site was to the rear of the present United Church of Christ on Potomac Street in Boonsboro. The church, which had two levels, was built of stone. Shingles for the roof were donated by General Samuel Ringold of Fountain Rock. The bell, which was cast in England, cost $400. Dedication was in 1810 with the Revered William Rauthauser, the Reformed pastor, preaching the sermon.
The first known Lutheran pastor was the Rev John G. Schumacker, who served the congregation from 1802-1809.
By 1870, the congregations had out-grown the facilities of Salem Church and both built a new church. The Lutheran congregation sold its share in Salem Church to the Reformed congregation for $1,600.
That same year the congregation purchased property on South Main Street at the cost of $1,000. The new Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was dedicated in January 1871. This present building, the third in the congregation’s history, cost $12,500. The cornerstone was laid on July 16, 1870 with dedication the following January.
Trinity Lutheran Sunday School was organized May 15, 1870. Classes met in the basement until 1925, when the congregation erected both the present Church School building and the parsonage. The cost of these projects was $26,000.
During the past 137 years, many changes have been made in both the church and the church school buildings. Prior to 1870 the choir sang without an organ. The first pipe organ, a small one purchased in Philadelphia for $400, was pumped by hand. The second, a Moller, installed in 1907, was also pumped by hand until electricity was introduced in 1914. A new Moller pipe organ was purchased in 1954 and is still in use.
During the period from 1954 to 1956, the congregation renovated the church building, at a total cost of about $65,000. Included in the project was the new organ, new heating plant, new lighting, a new chancel, an amplifying system, conversion of the balcony into a room for parents with babies, and renovation of the present social room. The Rededication Service took place October 28, 1956.
In 1961, the congregation completed payments on the renovation of the church building and purchased a lot adjoining the parsonage.
The congregation renovated the church school building 1963. The work, completed at a cost of more than $35,000, included flooring the balcony level as a separate floor, new heat, light, plumbing, ventilation, extension of the amplifier to serve the church school, carpeting and sound-proofing. Also, changes were made in the social hall to provide space for the South County Food Bank and a handicap access ramp was constructed in 1987.
In May of 2011, Trinity suffered a devastating fire that started in the ceiling above our sanctuary. No one was in the building at the time of the fire, but neighbors saw smoke and called the fire department. Their quick actions and those of the Boonsboro fire department saved our building. In total, the church suffered nearly $500,000 in damage to the sanctuary, pipe organ, pews, social hall, sunday school spaces and more. During this time, our congregation grew spiritually, realizing that our “church” is based on people, not our physical space. One year later, we were back worshiping in the sanctuary and providing space, volunteers and resources to Micah’s Backpack, a program of the South County Food Pantry. Micah’s Backpack provides bags of food to elementary-age children who may otherwise go hungry over the weekend.
Shortly afterward, Trinity renovated its dated kitchen through various gifts to the congregation, especially one from the estate of John Harlan Bast, Jr., a longtime member of Trinity. The update enables us to continue our fellowship activities and serve a variety of community organizations in need of space. Trinity opens its facilities to a number of organizations, including the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous and Save Our Children, a support group for family and friends of heroin addicts.
Trinity is a disciple-making congregation. The congregation continues to grow, reaching out to the new community residents in the greater Boonsboro area and serving people in need by supporting such ministries as the local food pantry, Children in Need, and Toys for Tots.