From the 1880's until the 1920's the members of Trinity experienced a period of intense privation. Some settlers sold out and left the area but the majority of these courageous people struggle on. A sampling of names from those early days are mentioned in early church records and many still are listed in local telephone directories showing the resiliency of many of these families. During these very difficult years the Southern District assisted the congregation until such time as it could become self-supporting again. It was difficult to obtain and keep pastors in those days. From 1888 until 1925, thirteen men served Trinity either as regular or as vacancy pastors.
Rev. A. Mueller served Trinity from 1917 until 1924. Every spring he went back to Minnesota to work his farm there. When Pastor Mueller had gathered his crop in the autumn he headed South once more for the winter and again became full-time pastor at Trinity until the next spring. He truly planted the seed and the Word!
One fall when he returned to Hanceville he found the congregation using Sunday School material and was assigning students to classes by age. Pastor Mueller didn’t like this; “Too modern!”, he said. He held up the Small Catechism and asked “what is this?” No one answered - until a small voice said, “That’s the Small Catechism!” Pastor Mueller said, “Let’s not forget that!”, and proceeded to teach a lesson from the Small Catechism and the Bible - no new-fangled materials for him!
Times have changed since those days, but his lesson about the value of the Catechism and the Bible as the basis for teaching what we believe, teach and confess is still valid.