Reflection

 

Lutherans first began to worship Ashland in about 1820. There was no church, so worship took place in homes, schools, and barns.  In 1838 this small group moved to a log building one mile north of Ashland, to what was called the Neff Church.

Under the direction of Pastor W.J.  Sloan, the congregation of 32 found a home in a former brewery at Orange and Third Streets in 1839.

Several pastors came and left and the congregation grew until, in 1852, a church was built on the north side of Third Street, between Orange and Church Streets. 

By 1861, the congregation had amassed 101 members and was continuing to add to and repair the church.

Reverend Emerson, who had been pastor from 1847 to 1852, was recalled in 1861, but then entered the Army as a Civil War Chaplain.

By 1874 the Civil War was long over and further prosperity continued for Trinity. The church was repaired and a parsonage had been built on the lot at Cottage and Pleasant Streets. There were 269 members added.

In 1882 the church indebtedness was paid off and services were being expanded.

1883 brought heartache as the buildng, in service for 31 years, burned to the ground and left Trinity homeless once again. In 1884, Dr. Haithcox came to Trinity and a building project began almost immediately.

The new church, on the corner of Church and Third Streets, was dedicated in 1885. The building was erected at a cost of six times that of the original building and one-tenth as much as our present building.

In 1892, the first Men's Bible Class was organized.

Dr. Arthur Smith returned to Trinity in 1908 to continue a forty-six year tenure. Growth and prosperity continued with the addition of kitchen facilities (supplied by the Women's Guild), a new parsonage on Sandusky Street, a new organ, and conversion of the basement to usable space.

The Reverend Harold Lentz joined Trinity as assistant pastor in 1936. In 1939, the church's centennial was celebrated.

From 1941, when Dr. Smith retired, until 1954,  Pastors Lentz, Anspach, Smith, Wolf, and Harter served Trinity. During this period an educational building and parish hall were added.

In 1954,  Dr. Robert S. Kinsey was called as pastor of Trinity.  Associate pastors who served under Pastor Kinsey were:  Richard Eisemann (1959-1961),  Charles Streich (1961-1964), Karl Grieshaber (1964-1966), Allen Hanson (1967-1969), and Michael Fruth (1970-1977).

On February 19, 1978, Trinity called Pastor Sanford C. Mitchell.  He was installed as associate pastor on May 7, 1978. One year later he was called as senior pastor.  Serving with Pastor Mitchell as associate pastors were David G. Shackle (1980-1986),  Terry L. Mohr (1986-1992), Robert Pflueger (1993-present), Mark Oster (1997-2002), and Jeffrey D. Messner (2003-2015).

In 1994, the congregation was served by a ministerial staff of 8 full- and part-time persons including Pastor Robert Pflueger, a retired pastor, hired for 30 hours per week.

In 1999, the staff included Pastor Sanford Mitchell, Pastor Robert Pflueger, Pastor Mark Oster, and Associate in Ministry Ron Marenchin. The ministerial staff consisted of 5 full-time staff and 19 part-time staff. The Preschool staff of 4 served 40 children that year.

At the present time the staff includes Interim Senior Pastor, Michael Koch, Associate Pastor Robert Pflueger, Associate Interim Pastor, Jeff Scott, and Associate in ministry Ron Marenchin. We have 6 full-time staff and 21 part-time staff. We also have two preschool programs with a staff of 4 serving 80 children each school year.

In 2011, Trinity joined the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).