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Celebrating More Than 65 Years of Serving Jesus in Bradenton!

On February 7, 2010, Trinity Lutheran Church celebrated her 65th Anniversary.  The first stirrings of the Holy Spirit toward birthing a Lutheran Church in Bradenton began in the fall of 1941.  People of the Lutheran Faith in Manatee and Sarasota counties were "summoned" through a newspaper article and a first service held on November 23, 1941 at the Seventh Day Adventist Church.  With the assistance of pastors in the Tampa area, afternoon services were held until a supply pastor, Rev. S.M. Wenrich was appointed to serve from November 1942 until May 1944.  Sunday School was initiated in 1943 .  Rev. N. E. Miller was supply pastor from October 1944 until May 1947.  The formal organization of the congregation occurred on February 7, 1945.  Rev. W. J. Moretz became the first called pastor on June 1, 1948.

Property was purchased in August 1947 at 18th Ave and 13th Street.  The congregation worshiped in the Seventh Day Adventist Church until February 1949 and at Ballard Elementary through June 1949.  Ground was broken for the Church building February 27, 1949 and the church building was dedicated on February 19, 1950.

Pastor Moretz served Trinity from 1948 until 1963.  The Rev. Wayne S. Allran was called and served from 1963 until he retired on December 1, 1987.  In 1967 the church council authorized a building program to address the growing congregation's need for more space and the current site was purchased.  The current building built, with a Dedication service held on March 30, 1969.  The Rev. Dr. William Roen was called to pastor Trinity in July of 1988 and served Trinity until 1996.  The Rev. Dr. Bobbie Blackburn was called in April of 1997 and came to serve the Lord with Trinity on July 1, 1997. 

No history of Trinity is complete without a recognition of the stellar and gifted service of Paul Clark, our organist and choirmaster since 1976!  Paul's gifted playing and joyful leadership of the Choir, and his clear love for giving Glory to God through music is contagious and a blessing to all who participate in worship with Paul's leadership.

Our Tree of Life Preschool was organized September 10, 1990, and continues to serve our community by offering affordable quality Christian preschool and Daycare.  Ms. Heather Scheible has served as TOL's Director since 1996, and continues to provide fine leadership as we move into new avenues of serving with the VPK program. 

After 30 years of serving us well for worship, learning and fellowship activities, our building was renovated in 1999.  At the advice of a liturgical consultant, we made a 180 degree turn in the sanctuary, creating a more welcoming narthex and providing for the design and construction of the inspirational stained glass window that graces the Chancel and is pictured in this directory.  The window was designed and constructed by Garry Weston, and a number of Trinity folk had a hand in grouting and prepping the 19 foot window for installation.

In 1998, Trinity jumped into a ministry of training intern pastors in pastoral education.  We have had a new intern each year since 1998 (one year, we had two interns!), each of whom brought equally as much life and love and spirit to the congregation as they gained in learning.  Currently in the Narthex you can view the "Vicar Wall of Fame", picturing each of our former Vicars and identifying where they currently serve.  Trinity has become well-known as a place where interns "hit the ground running" and gain tremendous experience in ministry in their year with us.

In 1998 we began our first Saturday night "contemporary" worship service.  Often the pastor and vicar were gathered with but one or two other worshipers.  We persevered, believing that worship needed to be as accessible to the "unchurched" or "under-churched" folks as much as to those with traditional worship needs.  Over the years, many "regular" worshipers have drifted into a contemporary service and made it their home as well.  Today we often gather over 100 at our Saturday evening or Sunday morning contemporary services, and we have been blessed with the talented presence of a number of gifted singers and musicians.  Our Saturday night keyboard player, Sergei Glushonkov, came to us in 2003 while in college and continues to grace our Saturday evening worship with his gifts.  Sergei mentored Timmy Monroe, our very own drummer at Trinity! 

While Trinity was birthed through the Holy Spirit's gathering together of folks who were already Lutheran in their background, today we welcome new disciples from many different Christian backgrounds - and we have a special heart for people who have never experienced the gift of faith.  As we move into the coming years of ministry in Bradenton, we will continue to serve the needs of people in our community, nation and world with compassion and humility.  We will continue to value and support our young people as they grow into the faith of their Baptismal covenants.  We are working to develop new paths for people to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and come to faith.  Thank you for being part of this vital and growing ministry!  Be blessed and blessing as together we listen for God's guidance as we serve, fall more deeply in love with Christ Jesus every day and share the passionate love of our Savior with those who are searching for New Life in Christ!