Lutherans Come to America

Trinity Lutheran Church is a member congregation of The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod.  First named the "German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Missouri, Ohio and Other States," the name was shortened to the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod at its 100th anniversary in 1947. Today the name "Missouri Synod" serves to tell us that our church's long history is an important part of its identity and that it has the unique heritage of being borne out of the Middle West of the United States.

From its very beginnings the LCMS has been made up of individuals from many backgrounds -- a people called by God to live out their Christian faith together as a church. One group was Saxon Lutherans in Germany who in the early part of the 1800's were determined to remain faithful to the Word of God in spite of the age in which they lived. In the forms of a forced church union and the unbelief that accompanied Rationalism, temptation and persecution became a part of their daily lives. While they suffered both in body and in spirit because of their beliefs, they were sustained by their faith in Jesus Christ that they confessed in the teachings of the Lutheran Church.

Led by Pastor Martin Stephan, these faithful Christians turned their faces in a new direction to which God seemed to be pointing them. America and its freedoms offered the promise that they could continue to believe and practice their old Lutheran faith. Landing at New Orleans and traveling by steamer up the Mississippi, the group came to Missouri. Eventually a young pastor named C.F.W. Walther was to lead them in their new homeland. Walther was to rise as a church leader and he eventually became the first president of the Missouri Synod. He showed his fellow immigrants how it was the Word of God and not a particular country or form of polity that made them a church. At one hundred and fifty-nine years, the LCMS still holds the Scripture as the "only rule and norm of faith and life", and the Lutheran Confessions as trustworthy and faithful teachings.