The city of Jefferson was established as the permanent seat of state government in 1825. As the population of the area began to grow, so did the number of Lutherans. In 1843, Zion Lutheran Church was established six miles south of the Jefferson City.
In 1868, Rev. Carl Thurow was ordained and installed at Zion Church. In 1869, Rev. Thurow organized the Lutherans in Jefferson City and rented space in a building on the corner of Broadway and Dunklin Streets and began to hold services.
The group purchased a site on the northeast corner of Monroe and McCarthy Streets and erected a brick church. On August 21, 1870, the church was dedicated. Thirty three families worshipped in the new church. The first constitution was adopted on December 5, 1870 and marks the beginning of Trinity Congregation.
One of the reasons for establishing the church was the need for Christian education for the children. In 1871 Trinity Lutheran School was established. The one room school met in rented space and later met in the church. Vicar Burger was the first teacher as Rev. Thurow could not serve Zion, Trinity, and also teach.
Rev. J.J. Walker was installed as the first pastor on November 3, 1872. He also assumed the teaching responsibilities in 1873.
In 1876, a parsonage with a downstairs school room was built on McCarty Street next to the church.
Five pastors served Trinity in the first church building. Rev. J.J. Walker, 1872-1875; Rev. H. Wesche, 1875-1887; Rev. J.H.C. Kaeppel, 1887-1888; Rev. Rohlfing, 1888; Rev. Christian Purzner, 1888-1897
During Rev. Purzner’s pastorate, the second Trinity Lutheran Church Building was constructed on the northwest corner of Monroe and McCarty Streets. It was dedicated in November, 1895. The old church building was then remodeled and became the school.
A Sunday School was begun in 1897 as a supplement to the Christian Day School. Eight ladies served as teachers.
Up till this time, the pastor had been the only teacher. But as the school grew, it became necessary to call a teacher to assist the pastor. The enrollment in 1905 was 80 students. Mr. D.C. Maurer taught from 1905 to 1923.
Five pastors served Trinity in the second church building in addition to Rev. Purzner. Rev. F. Meyer, 1897-1904; Rev. Paul Kretzschmar, 1904-1908; Rev. William Richter, 1908-1936; Rev. Alfred Schmalz, 1931- 1956; Rev. Walter Niedner, 1957-1983.
A new parsonage was built at 416 Monroe in 1923. The next year the old Central Public School on the northwest corner of Monroe and Miller Streets was purchased and the school moved to this location.
With the addition classrooms, three assistants were added. Mr. Leonard Fischer as called and taught from 1924-1967.
Trinity continued to grow and the facilities downtown were small and parking was limited. On April 23, 1961 the current facilities were dedicated and the properties downtown were vacated.
Nine pastors have served Trinity at the present location in addition to Rev. Niedner. Rev. Ken Sievers, 1972-1976; Rev. Mark Hawkinson, 1977-1980; Rev. Joel Schmalz, 1980-1988; Rev. Norbert Becker, 1984-1988; Rev. Martin Hoyer, 1988-1993; Rev. John Hobratschk, 1989-2010; Rev. Jerome Brownlee, 1995-2005; Rev. Russ Bowder, 2009-present; Rev. Sam Powell, 2010-present.
Service and fellowship organizations were also started early. The oldest organization is the Ladies’ Aid. It was organized in 1888. Circle 1 started in 1901, Circle 2 in 1915, Circle 3 in 1919, Circle 4 & 5 in 1921, and Circle 6 in 1924. The Missionary Society started in 1935 and the Evening Guild in 1949. The Men’s Club started in 1930. The Boy Scout Program in 1944 and the Girl Scouts around the same time.
Special mention should be made of three pastors who served Trinity over twenty-five years. Rev. William Richter, Rev. Alfred Schmalz, and Rev. Walter Niedner. Under God’s blessing their leadership left a strong positive impact on the growth of Trinity.