A Brief History of Trinity Lutheran Church, Faribault, MN

We are strengthened through the diversity of our congregation, as each and every member brings a unique blend or experiences, needs, and skills which help to challenge and broaden our work of Christian ministry.

Trinity congregation has quite a rich background story to help familiarize you with where we’ve been. From our beginnings in 1869 when a preaching station was established; the dedication of our first building in 1871; the start of Trinity School in 1875; affiliation with the Missouri Synod in 1883; construction of new buildings and merger of Trinity Lutheran & Peace Lutheran school to form Faribault Lutheran School. Throughout this all, we experienced fast growth. Within the first twenty-five years of organization our membership reached 1,000 members! Today, that number exceeds 1,500.

The German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church (Deutsche Evangelische Lutherische Trinitatis Kirche) was organized January 1, 1870. A 34×60 foot brick church was constructed in 1871 at a cost of $3,300.

The building was located at the site of the two-story portion of the present school. In 1886, Carl Barckoff built a small organ for the sanctuary at a cost of $650. In 1900 with a congregation of 500 members, construction began on a new church building. This building included 44 stained glass windows and a large ornate white altar, which was built by Frederick Sellner, a member of Trinity. The small pump organ and baptismal font were moved from the first church into the new sanctuary. Early in 1901, the 120-foot steeple was built to house a 2000-pound bell. One thousand people attended the dedication of the $16,000 church on November 10, 1901. A Wicks pipe organ was installed in 1914. In November 1965, a Skinner pipe organ was installed in the balcony at a cost of $20,000.

Trinity’s support of education began early in its history with the founding of Trinity Lutheran School in 1875.

Pastors Hertrich and Schulz taught school in the parsonage until a one-room school was built in 1883. In 1884, Trinity installed its first full-time teacher and principal. When the new church was built in 1900, the former sanctuary was remodeled into a two-room school. With continued growth, a four-classroom brick school was built in 1915. In 1953, three classrooms and offices were added. On April 5, 1959, a service was held dedicating the new auditorium, locker rooms, two classrooms, kitchen and church offices.

Faribault Lutheran School was begun in 1996.

In 1996, Trinity joined with Peace congregation to establish Faribault Lutheran School. The school is located at the site of Trinity Lutheran Church and teaches K-8th grades.

Groundbreaking for the present church took place on June 25, 1989.

A pew from the 1871 church, the bell, baptismal font and seven stained glass windows from the 1900 church were incorporated into the new building. The church was dedicated on May 20, 1990. A Berghaus pipe organ was dedicated on November 10, 1996 and the Organ Completion Project in 2004 completed all the pipes and electronic capabilities. In 2000, a tower was constructed to house the bell from the 1900 church.