Our Story

Celebrating 100 Years of Ministry!

March 14, 1914 - March 14, 2014

On March 14, 1914, the congregation that would come to be known as Trinity Lutheran Church had its beginning in the home of James H. Thompson.  A small group of individuals met on that day to organize a Scandinavian Lutheran Church.  Reverend Halvor Jensson was called as pastor.  The church was named Rapid City Skandinavisk Lutherske Menighed.

On March 26, 1914, the church constitution was adopted.  (This constitution, together with the first parish record, was lost.)  The small congregation decided to conduct worship services in the Salvation Army Hall.

On May 22, 1914, a committee consisteing of C. A. Ness, T. Egemo, Ed Larson, J.H. Thompson, H. Anderson, and Reverend Jensson were chosen to investigate the possibility of securing a building lot.  The comittee reported on July 21.  They recommended the purchase of a centrally located lot, but suggested that no definite steps be taken until at least two-thirds of the money was collected.  Thomas and Oscar Egemo were empowered to solicit funds. 

On January 28, 1915, the annual meeting of the congregation was held.  It was decided to pay the pastor an annual salary of $200.  It was found during the year that the congregation could not raise this sum, and so the salary was lowered to $150.

On January 19, 1916, the treasurer's report for the preceding year showed a total income of $193.  The right of women to vote in meetings of the church was recognized at this meeting.

On January 24, 1918, the first mention of Sunday School is found in the secretary's book.  Instruction was given in English, Norwegian, and Swedish.

On April 9, 1919, the church bought lots 1 and 2, block 96, of the original town site for $1,000.  The church was later built on these lots.

In 1925, the congregation built a new church at the corner of 4th and St. Joseph Streets at a cost of about $5,000.  During the year, the name of the congregation was changed to St. John's Lutheran Church.

In November, 1927, there were 100 members in the congregation.  A committee was appointed to draw up a new constitution after a diligent search failed to disclose the whereabouts of the original constitution.  The trustees were empowered to file Articles of Incorporation and apply for a charter, since no evidence of previous incorporation could be discovered.  A charter was granted to St. John's Lutheran on December 1, 1927.

In 1938, radio remote control equipment was installed in the church by the Home Mission Board to serve the people on the prairies and in the hills.  KOBH offered to broadcast the Sunday morning service free of charge.  Today, Trinity Lutheran Church is still heard over KOTA radio every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. MST.

With thoughts of expansion, a building site on the corner of 4th and Kansas City Streets was purchased in 1941 at a cost of 7,000.

In 1942, St. John's Lutheran Church changed its name to Trinity Lutheran Church.  One of the reasons for the name change was to avoid confusion with St. John's Hospital.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new church were held February 5, 1945.  The church was erected at a cost of about $165,000.

In June, 1947, Trinity sold lots 1 and 2, block 96, to the Labor Temple Building Association for $12,000.

Dedication of the present day Trinity Lutheran Church was held on December 14, 1947.