Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
A CONGREGATION OF THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
It Wasn’t Easy
World War One, epidemics and weather often played a large part in being able to get to church.
In 1918, a huge blizzard kept many people at home. As did workless and coal less Monday.
On March 29, 1920 one of the worst tornados to ever hit the Fox Valley blew through Elgin on Palm Sunday. The First Congregational Church just a few blocks from here was severely damaged and many people lost their lives that day. Holy Trinity was spared, but several of our members had their homes damaged. The council took on the task of checking with them to see what help they needed to rebuild. Influenza epidemics kept people quarantined several times. Our members lived through the polio epidemic when no Sunday School classes were held because children weren’t supposed to be in large groups. By 1932, In spite of the depression and economic difficulties, Holy Trinity experienced the greatest year in its history. Attendance averages were the highest ever, the total income was the largest in history, the building campaign was the first financial campaign in the area in ten years to succeed. The balcony in the sanctuary was added at that time.
How Holy Trinity Began
Every church has a story. This is Holy Trinity’s.
Elgin at the turn of the 20th century was a bustling, happening
place. A little over thirty-nine percent of the industrial workforce in Elgin were women. These women came from all over the country to work in the Watch Factory for sixty cents a day. One of these women was Ada Beck. After arriving in Elgin, Ada could find no church that held worship services in English. Writing to her former pastor in Goshen, Indiana, Ada convinced him to come to Elgin and see if they could begin a new church. Equipped with the forward thinking mission statement, “The Faith of the Fathers in the Language of the Children”, meetings began in the fall of 1902. The meetings were held in Unity Hall on the dance floor. The people attending the services met in each other’s homes many extra times to learn the liturgy and the hymns in English. Forty-one charter members incorporated Holy Trinity English Lutheran Church on March 9, 1903.
We are celebrating our 115th anniversary!
In 1904 the building site at the southwest corner of Division and Chapel streets was voted upon and purchased for $4200. On June 10, 1906 the cornerstone for the church was laid. In June of 1906 the cornerstone of the church was laid and the first service was held on Christmas Eve in 1906. Holy Trinity was consecrated on January 27, 1907.
The newspapers were always eager to print the news from our church and this is how they described our new building. “The exterior is of brown brick with white stone trimmings. The walls of the sanctuary are a cream color, deep at the base and gradually growing lighter toward the top until it blends easily into the very delicate ceiling shade. In the center of the ceiling is a large skylight of leaded glass in soft pearl, cream and violet shades.”
The windows of the sanctuary are of leaded glass and done in rather plain colors. The two windows at the sides of the altar have designs of white lilies. The cost of the lot, structure and furnishings was $24,972.
After the building was completed, they immediately ran out of room so they decided to dig a basement under the superstructure. Men donned overalls and jumpers and armed themselves with picks and shovels, and went to work. From shop and store, workbench and professional sanctum, those men came and worked until their hands were blistered and their backs lame. Three nights a week they came. St. Jacob’s Oil and mustard plasters had a great boom just about that time, but the men (and this is a direct quote) had oodles of fun. Type your paragraph here.