In 1885, a group of German Lutherans living in SE Pontiac formed a small congregation and held their first service on May 31st. While there is no record remaining of how many were in attendance at that service, there is a notation that $3.27 was collected as the first offering. 1895 saw the small congregation purchase property along Jackson Street in Pontiac and begin planning to build their first sanctuary, the cornerstone for that building was laid in 1901.
1907 marked another new beginning for the congregation. That year saw Trinity Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) merge with St. John’s Lutheran Church (Ohio Synod) and form a single, new, congregation that was thereafter known as St. Trinity Lutheran Church. Along with the new name came a new building on Auburn Avenue at Jessie Street where St. Trinity would remain until the early 1970’s. 1917 saw the opening of a full-time grade school that would also operate until the congregation had to relocate.
The intervening years saw many blessings from God upon the congregation even in the midst of challenging social times (The Great Depression and World War II) as they continued to thrive and grow. In the 1950’s and 60’s, St. Trinity participated and assisted with planting three other Lutheran churches as well as serving as a meeting site for worship services for the deaf. The elementary school continued to grow and expand throughout this time as well.
The social upheaval of the mid-to-late 60’s brought new challenges to St. Trinity. While the church and school had been racially integrated since the mid-50’s, the property and congregation members became targets of violence in the midst of the unrest. After numerous attacks and great personal danger, the heartbreaking decision was made to leave Pontiac in 1971. The congregation purchased and moved into a church building on Andersonville Road in Waterford.
After finally selling the original property in Pontiac in 1972, St. Trinity purchased the land at our current location on Sashabaw Road in Clarkston and planning began for the building of our new church home. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 10, 1975, and, aided by unseasonable warm weather, St. Trinity was able to hold the first formal service in our new building on January 18, 1976. In the intervening years St. Trinity has had several building expansions, more than doubling our square footage, as well as purchasing the property immediately to the north of us. We are blessed with a park-like setting encompassing trails through our woods, a picnic pavilion, a regulation soft-ball field, and playground.
While St. Trinity has faced many different challenges over the years, we remain a testament to the faithfulness of God to His people. From humble beginnings, through a merger and several moves, the saints at St. Trinity have always looked to, and trusted, in the guiding hand of our Heavenly Father.