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Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is a family of Christian believers in south-central South Dakota, organized in 1917. We confess the historic Christian faith, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and professed in the Lutheran Confessions, and we strive to practice that faith with God’s help.
What’s in Our Name?
We are an assembly of people united in a religious profession for a common purpose.
We believe, teach, and confess the historic Christian faith. It was Martin Luther’s (1483–1546) desire to reform the teachings of the Catholic Church, so that they would reflect what Holy Scripture (the Bible) teaches and what earlier Christians had once taught. Some hallmarks of Lutheranism include distinguishing between the law and the gospel, an emphasis on the solas (see below), and a high regard for the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper). We belong to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a church body represented throughout the United States, and in fellowship with 33 other church bodies throughout the world.
Evangelical means “focusing on good news.” The overarching message of the Bible is a joyful one, centered in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus died on a cross around 33 AD to reconcile all humans with God, and then returned to life three days later, appearing to more than 500 eyewitnesses. Jesus’s resurrection proves that the Bible is true, that he saved us from sin and hell, and that all who trust in him can be certain of eternal life in heaven after this short life on earth is over.
Even though the name Trinity is not found in the Scriptures, it is a name the Church has used to describe the one true God, based on what he reveals to us about himself in the Scriptures. Trinity simply means “three-oneness.” God says that he is only one divine being, but that he exists in three divine persons—the Father who created us, the Son who redeemed us, and the Holy Spirit who makes us holy and keeps us in the faith.
The Three Solas
The teaching of Holy Scripture, restored to prominence during the Reformation, can be summarized this way: We are saved eternally only by God’s grace (sola gratia), which is only received through faith in the completely sufficient work of his Son Jesus Christ (sola fide), and God only reveals this truth to us in Holy Scripture (sola scriptura).
First Lutheran services held in Tripp County
First Lutheran services held in Winner in the John Sass hall, on the east side of Main Street near Fourth Street
Sept. 2, 1917
The Lutherans in Winner organize as Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Congregation
Aug. 8, 1920
Trinity’s first church building, a 26' × 38' frame structure with a 20' tower, dedicated to the glory of God
Trinity’s Sunday School is organized
Trinity joins the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
German language services are discontinued
Tripp County devastated by grasshoppers
St. John’s Lutheran in Witten forms a dual parish with Trinity
Trinity holds her first Vacation Bible School
May 29, 1949
Trinity’s enlarged church (by 24') rededicated, with 360 attending
Special centennial service for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod held in the Leahy Bowl, attended by 750
Dec. 2, 1962
First broadcast of the Lutheran Radio Service
Trinity subscribes to the Northwestern Lutheran (now called Forward in Christ)
June 18, 1967
Trinity celebrates her 50th anniversary. The congregation has 435 baptized members, of whom 295 are communicants.
Sept. 9, 1979
Trinity’s current church is dedicated to the glory of God
New hymnals (Christian Worship 1993) are ordered
St. John’s Lutheran in Witten forms a new dual parish with Zion Lutheran in Mission
Trinity approves twice-per-month celebration of the Lord’s Supper
St. Paul’s Lutheran south of Colome closes; several families transfer their membership to Trinity
New digital carillon installed
Cross on the west façade of the church installed
Steel roof installed
Bell tower installed
Baby grand piano purchased and installed in the front of the sanctuary
Sept. 24, 2017
Trinity celebrates her 100th anniversary
July 21, 2019
Final service held at St. John’s Lutheran in Witten; several families transfer their membership to Trinity
COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through the United States
Community garden started
New hymnals (Christian Worship 2021) are ordered