Trinity Lutheran Church
Calgary AB

T2P 0G9



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Who we are

Founded in 1899, Historic Trinity Lutheran Church has been a cornerstone of the Eau Claire and downtown Calgary communities for over 100 years. We have seen many changes in the city in that time, and have undergone many changes ourselves. Originally we were "Norwegian Lutheran Church", an ethnic congregation formed by the workers of the Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Company. Now, we have grown into a truly urban and multicultural community of faith, with members living in all parts of the city, coming to Calgary from all parts of the world, walking in all walks of life.

At the heart of it all, we have held fast to a commitment to the warmth of genuine fellowship and hospitality. You are welcome to join us any and every Sunday for traditional worship with the feel of a close-knit country church, with inspired and intelligent preaching, favorite old hymns played on the organ, and the wonderful atmosphere and history of "the little white church on the corner". Afterwards join us downstairs for coffee, lunch and friendship!

Our church is also a lovely place for weddings and group meetings. To find out more about us, our community, our faith, our history, and booking information, you are welcome to explore our website using the side menu. Thank you and we look forward to meeting you soon!



Church Address

Trinity Lutheran Church
840 3 Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 0G9
Canada
Phone: (403) 266-1570
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Church Pastor

Rev. Margaret Propp
Pastor
840 3 Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 0G9
Canada
Phone: (403) 266-1570
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Quote of the Day
1 Corinthians 6:20

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

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Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada   Edit

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840 3 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
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the corner of 8th St. and 3rd Ave., downtown   Edit


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Trinity Lutheran Church Service Times

Sunday Morning Worship - 11:00 a.m.

Join us for the warmth and worship of a country church with the cosmopolitan vibrancy of a multicultural faith community in the heart of the city... Spirited and traditional, inspired and progressive. The choir is ready to sing both old favorites and new soon-to-be favorites. Children will be able to enjoy a special sermon and activities just for them. Adults will also be able to enjoy some of the best messages in city, provided by Pastor Margaret Propp. We also serve up coffee, lunch and hospitality after the service!

Holy Communion is held on the first and third Sundays of the month. We also hold a special healing service with the annointing of oil on fifth Sundays.

Community Garden - Every day!

Stop and smell the roses at the Historic Trinity Community Garden. Located beside the church, our lovely garden offers a chance to enjoy the outdoors for relaxation, meditation and contemplation.

Trinity Lutheran Church service times last updated on the 27th of December, 2019
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History of Trinity Lutheran Church, Calgary AB

Church History: 1899 to Today
The First Colony of Norwegians in Alberta

Late in the 1860's, the pioneer Methodist missionary John McDougall stood on Spy Hill resting his horse. Below him stretched a vast prairie remarkably carved at the junction of the Bow and Elbow rivers. As far as his eyes could see, the whole prairie was dotted with thousands of grazing buffalo. Just over a decade later, white marauders had not only wiped out these thundering herds but decimated the First Nations with their whiskey, gunpowder and small-pox, and then corralled those that remained to suffer privation on the reservations. In spite of the American whiskey smugglers and other lawless characters that roamed the West, some scattered ranchers came with their cattle. When the North West Mounted Police arrived in 1875, there were less than 100 white people in the entire area later to become one of Canada's great cities.

It was the coming of the railroad in August 1883 that really opened this part of the West to both homesteaders and entrepreneurs. If there was to be a building boom, there had to be piles of lumber on this bald prairie. As early as the fall of 1883, the Eau Claire Lumber Company chartered by the State of Wisconsin, had agreed to operate a mill using logs from 100 square miles of leased timber land which flanked the Bow, Kananaskis and Spray Rivers. Enterprising Americans with confidence in the future of Calgary raised the capital, dismantled a complete sawmill at Eau Claire, Wisconsin and shipped it to Canada via Winnipeg, complete with a predominantly Norwegian crew of skilled workmen under leaders skillful in the ways of developing new lands.

The American freight cars could not travel to the West. The Norwegians spent a week transferring the heavy machinery and all goods to Canadian Pacific Railway cars. On June 6, 1886 they arrived at Calgary, where their first task was to unload the saw mill on the south shores of the Bow River. They worked long hours all summer and fall to build the mill and to install the machinery. There they established one of Calgary's major industries which would soon turn out three carloads of lumber daily, not only for Calgary, but for the surrounding territory some 100 miles in every direction.

The Norwegians who came west at that time settled in newly built cottages on streets adjacent to the mill and formed what is still known as the Eau Claire district. The avenue closest to the Bow River they named Eau Claire Avenue.

Martin Ulvestad, in his 1906 book Nordmaendene i Amerika, reports as follows:

It is in Alberta that we find the greatest number of Norwegians. The first Norwegian settlement in this province was established in the environs of Calgary in the 1880's. The founders of this settlement were: Bernt Thorpe, Conrad Anderson, Nils Anderson, I. Ness, L. Pedersen, Ole Foss, S. Soly all from Fredrikstad; Hans Green, A. Hurom and Has Olsen all from Kristiania; Theodor Strom from Hedemark; C. Anderson from the area of Farsund together with Golbert Berg, Peder Eide and Charlie Hammer. These men came to live among the Indians and the Canadians.

Not only did these pioneers bring a name to this entire district, but an important industry. In 1887, the Eau Claire firm built the first traffic bridge over the Bow River near the present site of the Louise Bridge (10th St. W.). Peter A. Prince, also from Eau Claire, was manager of the mill from 1886 to 1916. Prince's Island was named after him. Bernt J. Thorpe was the millright. The homes of both Prince and Thorpe have since been moved to Heritage Park, the local historical village.

Amongst these pioneers from Eau Claire there was a group who 13 years later became the nucleaus of the Eau Claire Scandinavian Lutheran Congregation. In the interim, several of the families, such as the Thorpe household, became associated with the Methodist Church or attended services held by the Salvation Army.

Congregational Beginnings (1899-1909)

Even the early Norwegian pastors were required to submit an annual statistical report to church headquarters. One such pioneer pastor simply wrote boldly these few words on the otherwise uncompleted report form: "I spend most of my time hunting up Norwegians." For many, this would be a cryptic analysis of the role of the early Lutheran pastors sent into western Canada.

One of the pioneer leaders was Halvor C. Wik born in 1844 in Norway, an immigrant to the States in 1880 and an ordained minister in 1887. After a brief ministry in Wisconsin, the Home Mission Board of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America sent him with their support to the District of Alberta in 1899. The Vang congregation near Wetaskiwin had already been organized on May 18, 1899 by the Home Mission Superintendent of this Synod. However, Bersvend Anderson, a pioneer pastor of the Hauge Synod, had already established the first Lutheran group, the Bardo Congregation (near Tofield) as early as May 23, 1895.

Pastor H.C. Wik reached out far and wide to such points as Calgary, Edberg, New Norway and any other places where Norwegian Lutheran settlers could be found. Because he was also from Wisconsin, he soon made ready contact with the Eau Claire people in Calgary, where he held intermittent services from 1899 to 1901. Unfortunately, there are no congregational records of the work at Calgary from 1899 to 1910. According to Wik's own journal, he officially chartered the Eau Claire Scandanavian Lutheran Congregation on May 28, 1900.

However, based on the testimony of the congregation's own members, they were already established by 1899. In that early year, the interested Norwegian Lutherans of the Eau Claire district organized themselves and began meeting in the comfort of the members' homes. Much of this organizational work was due, in no small part, to the work of the Norwegian Lutheran Ladies' Aid. In many of these pioneering Lutheran congregations, the formation of the congregation itself usually came after the formation of the ladies' auxilliaries, and it was these groups of intrepid women who were often responsible fundraising and paying the pastor. The Norwegian women's group eventually raised $2000 for the building of the church in 1924... A princely sum at that time. Then, like always, women formed the backbone of the church.

Nevertheless, in spite of the journals of the Lutheran missionaries, it would appear that the group in Eau Claire established itself and kept itself alive throughout the first decade of the 20th century while enjoying only occasional attendance by an ordained minister.

The late 1800's and early 1900's saw a relative explosion in Lutheran activity in Calgary. The first Lutheran services in the area were held by two pastors of the Augustana Synod in 1893, but wouldn't come to any organizational fruition until the establishment of First Lutheran Church in 1900. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod first held services here in 1899 and formed the original Immanuel Lutheran Church in 1901 (which disbanded in 1948). Having been formed in 1899, the present Historic Trinity Lutheran Church is one of the first to be organized in the prairie West, surpassed only by Bardo (1895) and Vang (1899). Moland congregation at Camrose was also organized by Wik on September 30, 1901. Shortly thereafter he returned to Wisconsin. But unlike First and Immanuel, who had to wait no more than a year for a church building, the Eau Claire Scandanavian Lutheran Congregation would have to wait 11 years for a basement constructed on the corner of 8th St. and 3rd Ave. SW, and an additional 14 years on top of that for a church building.

A Time of Building (1910-1926)

Pastor Carl O.B. Ness was the first resident pastor to serve Trinity. When he arrives in Calgary on June 30, 1910, there was no one to meet him in spite of advance notice. As yet there was no church or parsonage but the Swedish church was rented for meetings. A basement structure had been started but was not yet completed. Ness spent the first days hunting up potential church members but had little success. In a letter written in 1965, he reported that at the first service he had to install himself because there was no district president in those days and the nearest pastor was about 100 miles away. He also wrote:

I had an audience of 13 and some of them were Swedes. And I had been told that there was a congregation of 26 families and that they were so anxious to get a pastor. Yeah! Most pastors (young ones) would have bought a return ticket the next day and left. I didn't expect much and had made up my mind to stay three years.

More and more people came to Calgary during a real estate boom. By fall the new basement was ready for services. It was a happy day on October 23, 1910 when J.R. Lavik, pastor at Claresholm dedicated these basement facilities. That happiness would turn to chagrin come winter, however. Mrs. Eric Davidson recalled what it was like in those early years:

I can remember how cold it was many a Sunday morning in the church basement. We only had an oven where coal and wood were used. There was no gas and no caretaker at the time. The person who arrived first for the service on Sunday morning had to make up the fire in the oven.

As a rule the job was done by Hans Olsen, because he was usually out early on Sunday morning. The floor was always so cold; it was hard to keep your feet warm. I can remember one Sunday the temperature was way below zero and the minister's wife came to the service with a boiling waterkettle and a pillow. She sat with her feet on top of the kettle throughout the whole service.

It happened more than once that the water froze to ice while we were washing the floors. So it was a happy day when two stoves with gas were installed.

That same year the name of the congregation was changed to the Norwegian Lutheran Church because it was made up of Norwegians living at Calgary and had little connection with Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Early in 1914, the decision was made to build the present parsonage. In the fall of that same year, Sunday School was started. Also in 1914, Pastor A.H. Thorsen, a recent graduate from the Seminary arrived but he returned to the States in 1916. The next two years, Calgary was served by Pastor H.G. Fatland, who lived at Claresholm. A full-time pastor, Magne Schillaas, was here from 1921 to 1925.

It was during this time that the congregation completed the church above the basement facilities and combined the dedication of the new church with its 25th anniversary on January 12, 1924. The Calgary Herald recognized the occasion with an article in the Jan. 11, 1924 issue. It reads in part:

... the first Norwegians came when there was no Calgary... from Eau Claire, Wisconsin where they had been members of Rt. Rev. G. Hoyme's congregation... first president of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America. Of these old timers, Mr. Louis Pedersen and his wife are still members of the local congregation as well as the 'Grandma' of the Foss family, Mrs. Josephine Foss and a few others that are now gray-haired... The Norwegian constituency in Calgary is small, yet the congregation numbers 150 souls with 53 voting members. The Sunday School has 30 scholars. The Young People's Society averages 40 in attendance. The most faithful work has been done by the Ladies Aid Society which contributed $2,000 to the building fund for the new church

With glowing praise, they went on to declare:

Being founded on the Rock of Ages, the local Norwegian Lutheran church has stood the test of time during a quarter of a century, and with renewed hope the congregation move into the new inviting church, dedicating it to the glory of God, and gathering the Norwegians of Calgary in the church of their fathers, which teaches all loyalty to God, to home and to country.

A product of its time, the Herald also offered this slightly fainter praise:

... the Norwegians in Canada readily fall in line with Canadian institutions and contribute richly to the development of the country and have no foreign ideals to perpetuate...

It is important to note that in the first quarter of the new century, only three of nine pastors were local residents (Ness, Thorsen and Schilliaas). Seven of these nine pastors were born in Norway, the other two in the United States. All of them received their theological training across the line. The last pastor in this era was K.M. Mjaanes living far away in Fairview, Montana.

Following Mjaanes, Pastor A.H. Solheim, the principal of Camrose Lutheran College provided limited pastoral services throughout 1926. A longtime associate of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, having provided lectures and seminars for her in the past, Solheim eventually became full-time pastor in 1927.

The Transition to Canadian Identity and Autonomy (1927-1941)

Beginning in 1927 and extending over a period of 43 years, there were ten different pastors, all of them full-time and resident in the manse. Philip Hansen served as the only lay pastor from 1942 to 1944, following the bitter depression which lasted all through the 30's. However, in these years several changes were made indicating an important transition to a Canadian identity.
In 1927 the dedication was made to have all the morning services in English but to retain Norwegian in the evening. The mortgage was finally burned in 1933 during the ministry of Pastor J.O. Jovaag, who served from 1930-1936. When Pastor Ivar Saugen came in 1937, all services were held in English. Then, in 1941, the name Norwegian Lutheran was changed to Trinity Lutheran. However, it wasn't until December 29, 1948 that the congregation accepted the recommendation of Pastor G.O. Evenson (a member of the Home Mission committee) to become fully self-supporting.

In 1931, the then Norwegian Lutheran Church received the unfortunate distinction of hosting the first Navy funeral in Calgary. At the age of 28, congregation member Henry Gunderson died on Friday, November 13th, 1931 while serving in Victoria, British Columbia. His body was brought back to Calgary and his funeral held at the church on Tuesday, Nov. 17th. He was then laid to rest in Burnsland Cemetery.

The War Comes Home (1941-1945)

Trinity, as it was newly christened, participated in the war effort. Throughout the war, the Ladies Aid group was active in collecting boxes of used clothing and other items to send as care packages. In addition, they also sewed some 6,440 garments to be sent to the Canadian and Norwegian Red Crosses as fundraisers and to be passed along directly to the service members.

Several members of the Luther League youth group were also called into duty. Their names were loving kept in a handwritten list accompanying the group's journal and minutebook. They were: M.G. MIkalson, C.M. Orsten, S.C. Orsten and A.L. Huff, all serving overseas, and P.S. Olsen, serving in Esquimalt, B.C.

To close the book on this dark period of history, the December 30th, 1945 Sunday service folder at Trinity carried a meditation on the words of General Douglas MacArthur's September 1st speech at Tokyo Bay:

Military alliance, balances of power, League of Nations - all in turn failed... We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advance in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand yeras. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

Trinity's Changing Face in the Post-War Boom (1945-1959)

The latter years of the 1940's were a time of change and progress for Trinity. On December 29, 1948, the congregation accepted the recommendation of Pastor G.O. Evenson (a member of the Home Mission committee) that the church become fully self-supporting. Also in that time, Trinity took to the airwaves, hosting the "Evangelical Lutheran Hour" on CFCN radio from 1948 to at least 1956.

Through the decades of the 50's, Calgary began to grow anew. In fact, all of Alberta was experiencing a boom in this dynamic decade, which really began with the discovery of Leduc No. 1 in February 1947. Not only did dramatic changes begin in downtown Calgary, but sprawling suburban areas started to spread. Many residents of the inner city moved to new homes in the suburbs. Thus, in 1956 when faith Lutheran Church was established, many members transferred from Trinity. In spite of this, the church maintained stability under the faithful ministry of G.E. Morstad (1944-1950), L.E. McFarlane (1950-1955), A.A. Berstad (1955-1959) and M.A. Rude (1959-1966). In 1962, there was a major renovation and addition to the church costing some $10,000. Earlier, Mrs. Ole Kirkwold had donated an electric organ, which is still used in the church to this day.

The Celebrations Begin (1960-1969)

Late in 1960, the congregation celebrated its 60th anniversary. It was a time of rallying and many took courage. Meanwhile, another new Lutheran Church was established in Calgary and many members now living in southern suburbs transferred to Christ Lutheran.

Meanwhile, the Lutheran Church in Canada took a major step forward. The Danes in the U.E.L.C., the Germans in the A.L.C., and the Norwegians in the E.L.C.C. formed an autonomous Canadian Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (becoming the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in 1986). This brought Trinity into greater relationships with eight sister churches in Calgary representing many different traditions and various national backgrounds. It was a time of getting to know one another in the fellowship of an enlarged church. However, some suggested that Trinity be merged.

In the early years of the 1960's, Trinity had a lively congregational life, including two Sunday morning services, a junior and senior Sunday School, and three choirs of successive age groups. The church also supported a Boy Scout troop, the "Hi-Leaguers" youth group, and two women's circles. However, the 60's closed with further residential decay in the inner city and continued expansion of commercial and high-rise buildings in downtown Calgary. The future role of Trinity was undergoing an agonizing appraisal.

Towards the 75th Anniversary:
A Period of Appraisal and Renewal (1970-1974)

With the leaving of Pastor V. Propp in 1969, there were continued suggestions that the day of service for Trinity was really over. However, some of the old Viking spirit again prevailed. Pastor L.O. Sogge, who became chaplain at Bethany Hospital agreed to serve part-time on a limited salary. A time of renewal began.

During these years, the concept of a downtown Lutheran ministry began to emerge. The president of the congregation, Ivar O. Smistad, shared his vision of a day of close cooperation between all three of the Lutheran churches then located in the inner city. Trinity Lutheran of the ELCC, Mt. Calvary Lutheran of the Missouri Synod and First Lutheran of the Lutheran Church in America all served the inner city at this point, and all three shared similar urban problems. Of these churches, only Trinity remains today in the downtown. In 1981, both First and Mount Calvary Lutheran Churches sold their downtown properties. First Lutheran relocated to the suburb of Strathcona, while Mount Calvary Lutheran became a partner with Ascension Catholic Parish to form the Sandstone Ecumenical Centre.

In September 1973, Pastor C.M. Cherland accepted the call to be the full-time pastor at Trinity. In 1974, the church celebrated its 75th anniversary. Of that time, Dr. G. Loken wrote:

The church was first established in the homes when there was little but the river and an island in these parts. Over 75 years, men have come and men have gone. Both the old homes and the pioneers have moved to higher ground. The old sawmill closed in 1945, but the historic church is still here.
Now a decade has arrived for starting all over again. The new residential concepts proposed for the renewal of Eau Claire district are appealing because of the maximum use of this magnificent park setting where there is the river and an island... As envisioned, the Eau Claire district will again be a beautiful place to live in a setting combining the natural and the urban. Where there are people, there is the church.

It would take some time for Eau Claire's renewal, and there would still be questions about Trinity's place in the community.

Towards the 95th Anniversary:
Trinity's Place in a New Urban Landscape (1975-1994)

That Trinity would do everything in its power to remain in the Eau Community was beyond question. Ivar Smistad told the Calgary Herald in 1979: "We have a challenge now to stay in the root of the city... We have a Christian commitment to continue the congregation for whoever is in need of it." There was talk in the congregation of renovating and expanding the church to accommodate new members and a larger steeple. It was hoped that this would create a more dynamic visual presence to compete with the high-rises that were beginning to dwarf the building. However, Pastor Ed Summers recognized that to do this would "be destroying one part of [the church]".

Summers was also the last pastor at Trinity to live in the manse. In 1980, he moved out because Eau Claire was no longer suitable for raising a family: there were no schools, supermarkets, parks, or other families. Gone were most of the working-class bungalows of the old Eau Claire, and in there place were parking lots and strolls for the sex trade. The Calgary Herald Sunday Magazine of August 13, 1989 describes the scene:

It's difficult to think of Eau Claire as a community. Coming off the Louise Bridge, the welcome mat reads, "Parking $3.75 - Flat Daily Rate." But in poetic juxtaposition, Trinity Lutheran Church... still stands as gatekeeper to Eau Claire even though around it, its parish has disappeared.

Eventually, the district would see a renewal as developers saw the potential for luxury condominiums along the downtown riverside. Around Trinity, gleaming glass and faux-brick towers began to rise, changing the character of Eau Claire yet again.

When the church reached its 95th anniversary in 1994, it was with both joy and melancholy. A great celebration was held in honor of Trinity and her history, with official letters of recognition by Calgary Mayor Al Deurr, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Cretien, as well as from the Bishop of the ELCIC and past members and pastors. The grand scale of the anniversary was in inverse proportion to their expectations for the future: the congregation didn't expect to make it to the 100th.

Towards the 100th Anniversary:
The Darkness and the Dawn (1995-1998)

The years leading up to the 100th anniversary were lean and often heartbreaking. A dwindling membership amidst the renewed, condominium-based community of Eau Claire put the church on the brink of closure many times throughout the half-decade. The building itself entered a state of disrepair because there simply wasn't enough money to go around.

Land prices had skyrocketed in the gentrified area, which made the planting of new churches prohibitive and prompting Trinity's dedication to remaining in Eau Claire. However, this same fact provided a possible means for the church to remain there in spite of its troubles. As Trinity's trustee John Lukkarinen noted, the church's "main asset is the land it sits on", and an idea was hatched to move the building to the adjacent vacant corner. This would have seen Trinity facing down 3rd Avenue from the end of the street, rather than sitting on the north-east corner of 3rd Avenue and 8th Street. Money from the sale of the land would have gone to the pouring of a new foundation, moving the building, and restoring it on its new spot, with the excess towards regular church operations.

However, the city also had plans for the vacant space at the end of 3rd Avenue. A series of conduits for the C-Train Light Rail Transit system already rested beneath the plot, but there were also ideas for a residential development being passed around. Eventually, Trinity's plans to move were lost in the bureaucratic shuffle. The future was once again uncertain, but God wasn't done with the little church yet.

The 100th Anniversary and Beyond:
New Life in a New Millennium (1999-Present)

Trinity did make it to the 100th Anniversary, and this was cause for celebration! And celebrate the congregation did, for a whole year. Throughout 1999, the pews were filled with all sorts of oddities as the church hosted monthly theme Sundays, counting down the decades. Flower children came out for 60's Sunday, bobby-socks and poodle skirts were taken out of mothballs for the 50s, the pews were rearranged briefly for a 1910 home-church themed Sunday, and tinfoil hats abounded for the last theme Sunday: the new millennium.

The celebrations were so loud, in fact, that they started drawing in new members from across the city. Pastor Mastin observed that

Everybody who worships here has a keen interest in the place... There's something about Trinity that engenders a passion for worship.

Singles, couples and families began arriving from as close as the downtown apartments to as far as the outlying suburbs. From its roots as a Norwegian ethnic church, Trinity has also come to be a spiritual home for people from all over the world and all sorts of different cultures. Some of the original families remain, and they have been joined by families of Eritrean, Chinese, Korean, German, and other backgrounds. Reflecting new times, the church has also come to be home for people of alternative subultures, even hosting (for a brief time) a youth group for Christian Goths, Punks, Metalheads and Ravers. Pastor Mastin noted that "it's not uncommon to have United Nations here on Sunday."

The building was renewed along with the congregation. The church received moneys through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada's LIFE program, which were put to restoring the exterior of the church building and completely renovating the 1914 manse. The manse, one of the last vestiges of the old working-class Eau Claire, was redubbed "Trinity House" and continues to serve community and congregation as a picturesque residential property. Courtesy of a grant from the Calgary Foundation, the green space beside the church - formerly the location of another bungalow lost in the 1990's - was transformed into the Historic Trinity Community Garden, dedicated to the beauty and common good of the Eau Claire community and its residents.

Trinity's Legacy

The story of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church is the story of Eau Claire and of Calgary. Its history is rooted in the formation of Eau Claire by the Norwegian immigrants of the Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Company. Along with Calgary, the little Norwegian Lutheran Church became a more urban, multicultural community. When the district entered a period of decay and decline, Trinity Lutheran Church suffered and weathered along with it. And with the renewal of the downtown, the "little white church on the corner" has also been renewed.

But the real legacy of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church lies in the lives that it has touched and the people it has embraced as a Christian community of faith. Trinity is more than a historic site and a quaint example of rustic architecture. It is a family to the people who have chosen to make it their spiritual home. Amongst these are Pastor Alfred J.C. Johnson, who sent the following letter to Trinity on its 100th anniversary:

I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church out in the country near Kindersley, Sask. After leaving home in 1943 I did not attend any church. I began working at the CPR Telegraph Office in Calgary in 1948. Children began to arrive and at the urging of my father the two of them were baptized in Trinity in 1950. Early in 1953 Mary and I started coming to Trinity and there we heard the message of the Gospel again and our faith was re-kindled and came alive. Mary took instruction and was confirmed by Pastor McFarlane and I became very active in the church, serving in various ways including president of the congregation. Another child was born in 1955 and during that year I experienced the call of God to enter the ministry. I took my first year of university at the old Calgary branch on 10th St. in 1956 and then in 1957 we left for Saskatoon where I completed my university and seminary and was ordained in 1961.

I look back with the fondest of memories of the years we spent at Trinity. It was there that our faith was renewed and where our whole family experienced the warmth and love of a caring congregation. All of that had a great influence on us as we wrestled with the question of going into the ministry and finally determining that this was the will of God for us. I thank God that Trinity was there and that it had that kind of impact on our lives.

Text by Dr. G. Loken (1974) and Cory Gross (2005)   Edit


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The power of Christian prayer I want Thy plan, O God
I want Thy plan, O God, for my life. May I be happy and contented whether in the homeland or on the foreign field; whether married or alone, in happiness or sorrow, health or sickness, prosperity or adversity - I want Thy plan, O God, for my life. I want it; oh, I want it.
Trinity Lutheran Church listing was last updated on the 27th of December, 2019
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