Trinity Lutheran Church of Pell Lake, Wisconsin, had its beginnings in June of 1947. Several people met at Pell Lake Clubhouse with the Rev. Albert Lorenz (pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, Slades Corners) who agreed to serve as the organizing pastor. At the first church meeting in November, four of the original members were present: Mrs. Christine Antemann, Mr. And Mrs. Dallman, and Edward Dallman, their son. Trinity's original church

Mrs. Antemann offered the use of her garage on Juneau Road for a temporary church site. With the help of three men from Slades Corners, Clarence Schroeder and William Wolf transformed the garage into a small, adequate chapel. Services began immediately. In 1949 Sunday school was started. Mrs. John Frei and Mrs. Walter Dilloo were the first teachers. On July 3rd, 1949 30 people attended church and 23 were in Sunday school. Trinity celebrates its Anniversary of Organization on the first Sunday in October as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Between 1949 & 1952, sixteen 20' by 100' lots were purchased at the intersection of Clover Road and Grove Road for $1,500. In 1954, after months of consideration, the church decided to purchase a former two-story school building (from St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Lyons) for $2,300 to move to the Clover/Grove site as the beginnings of the church building. The second story was sold for $1,185 and is now a home on Highway 50, across from Wheatland School. All together the building, the roof, and utilities cost $6,000. A furnace was soon added for $1,700, and Trinity members pitched in to prepare their new home. Stan Holman, Clarence Schroeder, Donald and John Tolar and Otto Wickberg spent many hours on the building. George Miller supplied paint and other materials.

While Trinity's new building was nearing completion, it was discovered that the Wisconsin Synod did not admit Masons into membership. Since some members and prospective members of Trinity were Masons, the church decided to withdraw from this synod in January 1955 and align with a church which admitted Masons. On February 20th of the same year, the congregation reorganized as a mission of the Wartburg Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America. There were 33 adults on the membership roll of the reorganized church.

Palm Sunday, April 3, 1955 was an outstanding day in the life of Trinity. Ninety-seven worshippers attended the first service in the new building. The following Sunday, 135 people joined together to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord on Easter- truly a grand beginning! Trinity's interim pastor Rev. Joseph Huntley (pastor Immanuel Church, Lake Geneva) conducted the dedication Ceremonies.

On May 27th, a $1,100 Hammond electric organ was installed, and other improvements soon followed. The acquisition of an altar, altar cross, baptismal fount, candle sticks, communion set, kitchen equipment, paraments and pews, along with the installation of glass block windows (each displaying a cross) finally transformed a Roman Catholic schoolhouse into a picturesque Lutheran Church. After eight years of meeting in a garage, Trinity's pioneers had done this at a total cost of $15,000 – a remarkable achievement.

Trinity_on_CloverAfter the building was completed and the new church furnished, Trinity became aligned with St. Paul's Church in Lyons as a two-point parish. They called Kenneth Engel to be their pastor. He arrived in May 1955 and was installed on June 2nd, as Trinity's first called pastor. When he left in July, 1956 membership was 65. The Rev. Paul James was pastor from August 1956 to August 1957. During his pastorship, membership reached 76. Rev. Wolf Knappe was Trinity's third called pastor and led the church from 1957 to 1961. Trinity's membership increased to 131 confirmed adults and 50 baptized children under his direction.

In 1962, four national churches, including the United Lutheran Church in America, united to form the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). Districts and synods of the four churches were realigned and Wartburg disappeared in the process. Trinity was aligned with the Wisconsin – Upper Michigan Synod of the LCA.

During the pastorate of the Rev. Fred DuPaw (1967-1975) membership remained constant. St. Paul's in Lyons continued to share pastors until December, 1975 when they decided to align with a new mission in Burlington. For the first time in its history Trinity was on its own and many believed that this would be its darkest hour. The president of the synod considered closing down the church because it didn't seem to be a viable congregation. However, because of the tenacity of several members who petitioned him, the president gave Trinity the chance to prove itself. Rev. Wm. Avery was sent as an interim pastor to prepare the congregation for a full-time pastor.

In 1977 the Rev. Donald Behrendt became the first full-time pastor in Trinity's history. During his pastorate membership soared and people began to look forward to the day when Trinity would no longer be a mission congregation.

The Rev. Brian D. Metke came to Trinity in 1982. An office was built in the church during the Spring of 1983 which greatly enhanced the availability of the pastor to the congregation.

In 1984 Trinity embarked upon a different kind of building program. Instead of building with bricks and mortar, the congregation began to build adult members into biblically educated servants of Christ. It was truly a leap of faith when Trinity, a poor mission congregation, invested $2,000 in order to enroll in the Bethel Bible Series. This intensive two-year course became the foundation for Trinity's future growth and development of biblically educated leaders. In the same year, Trinity also began to work in conjunction with St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church to hold lively Vacation Bible School programs for the community youth.

On Palm Sunday, March 31st, 1985, Trinity celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Clover Road location. On that day Trinity became financially self-sufficient with a full-time pastor. The entire budget for 1985 was $32,792.

In 1987 Trinity began a two year remodeling program which included: renovating the sanctuary with new carpeting, a new color scheme, refinishing the pews, air-conditioning, a fellowship room and original stained glass windows designed and made by Nancy Metke-Ksicinski.

In 1988, The Lutheran Church in America merged with other Lutheran denominations to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). During the celebration of this union, members of Trinity were at the head of the procession and their picture was displayed in the Janesville paper. In the same year, Trinity became a “Tithing Congregation” by giving 10% of its current income to the synod's benevolence, world hunger, and other ministries. Trinity also enrolled in the lay-minister program called the Stephen Ministry. This program is designed to teach members caregiving skills and remains a bedrock course in Trinity's curriculum.

In 1989, Trinity's average weekly worship attendance reached 130 people. The facilities became so cramped that the church decided to double the size of the building by constructing an addition on the north side. The new area was designed to add Sunday School rooms, a large fellowship room and space for worship overflow. A professional fundraiser consultant told the council that they would not be able to raise enough money for the project, so they decided not to hire him. After sharing the need with the congregation, adaquate funds were raised and Trinity paid the building off before the loan was due. The shell was professionally built and members worked together to finish the inside of the building. Within two years the addition was complete and totally paid for. Trinity praised God for this awesome blessing.

During the 1990's Trinity entered a new phase of development. The church's three-point goal was to: 1) Provide engaging worship experiences (comprised of three services and two worship bands) 2) Focus on adult education for the 60 participants who take classes during 10 months of the year and to 3) Provide intensive youth ministry opportunities. Throughout the decade, members cared for the needy by making monthly collections for world hunger, contributing to a joint food pantry with St. Mary's in Pell Lake, and preparing quilts and school bags for missions in Africa.

In 1990 members of Trinity began to participate in the Lay Leadership Movement called Via de Cristo (Cursillo). At the time of this writing, over 100 individuals have participated in this life changing retreat. Pastor Metke was chosen to represent Wisconsin at the natiThank offeringonal Via de Cristo “Secretariat” in Georgia where he was a speaker.

A year later, Trinity decided to stop passing the collection plate. Instead an offering box was used. When people complained that all the church wants is money, worshipers at Trinity would invite people to the congregation, telling them, “We don't even take an offering.” However, Trinity did take an offering once a month for world hunger, asking people to save their pennies throughout the month and bring them for Lutheran World Relief. In 1991 Trinity was honored as being in the top 5% of those who donated to world hunger in their Synod.

In 1993 Trinity began forming some innovative outreach and discipleship ministries. The church's youth leaders traveled to Minnesota to begin setting up a new statewide youth ministry called “Badger TEC”. God has used Trinity as a leader in founding this exceptional youth program. “Teens Encounter Christ” continues to bless high school youth throughout the state. Other new outreach ministries included:

  • -Jubilee – A traveling troupe of musicians, singers, dancers & puppeteers. Jubilee was honored to perform at the Synod assembly and pictured in “The Lutheran Magazine” -Hobby Shops – Each summer members of Trinity would teach children their favorite hobbies: Baking, guitar, stained glass, self defense, knitting, rocketry, fishing… over 25 hobby shops were taught during each summer. -Brass bands, string ensembles, worship bands and even a Mariachi group have been formed to perform at church, nursing homes and special events. Trinity has performed several times for Lake Geneva's Evening in the Park series at Flat Iron Park.
  • -Weekday youth ministries have become common at Trinity. Programs were designed to reach out to the community during the week by offering the Gospel through relational ministry as well as drama, music, food, movies, outings, service projects, teachings, retreats and mission trips.

Youth Ministries include:
Kids of the Kingdom - 3rd & 4th grades
Fully Reliant on God - 5th & 6th grades
Kids for Christ - 7th & 8th grades
Reach Out for Christ - High School

In 1996 Trinity made a practical change in their worship style and began using video projection for worship services. This was cutting edge technology at the time, but Trinity has always been willing to try new things as long as the Gospel message is lifted up.

In 1997 Trinity celebrated its 50th anniversary in high style. With fanfare, dinners and the Bishops visit, members were reminded that Trinity was slated to have its doors closed permenantly in the late 1970's. The church prepared a time capsule to be opened on Trinity's 100th Anniversary, and began to look towards big changes in the near future.

A year after the Jubilee celebration, Trinity began having three worship services on Sunday mornings. With over 100 people in small group Bible studies and support groups the church leadership began to realize that Trinty would have to expand our building again and began to discuss the possibility of relocating the church site for future growth.

In 1999 Trinity purchased 23 acres at the Pell Lake & Highway 12 intersection. With a perfect location for future growth, the vote to relocate was unanimous. The expanding church family was primed to begin a new era in Trinity's history. However, the future looked uncertain for a while. In order to receive a loan from the ELCA's Mission Investment Fund Trinity needed to sell the old building. After one year of being on the market, it still was not sold. Finally after prospects had completely dried up the congregation had a one-day prayer vigil. Every worshiper prayed at different times throughout a 12 hour period. Within 48 hours of the prayer vigil, Trinity received 3 offers and one of the individuals purchased the building and allowed the church to rent the building until Trinity was ready to relocate to their new home. Praise God- what an answer to prayer!

While mired in the uncertainty of the unsold building in 1999, Trinity received the honor of being the church with the best Discipling Program in the entire ELCA. Pastor Brian & Cindy Metke represented Trinity at a national event in Milwaukee where they received the award.

In 2000, Trinity began hiring more staff in order to help with all of the new ministries. These included the positions of pastor, full time “secretary”, full time youth director, part time lay ministry coordinator, part time janitor, and two keyboard players.

Two years after the purchase of the land, construction on the new building at Pell Lake Drive and Trinity by airHighway 12 began under the direction of Cathy Skinner in 2001. Cornerstone Architects and Curt Andresen Builders were hired to build the structure. On December 6th Trinity held its last worship service in the old building on Clover Road. A motorcade which included a fire truck processed to the new building to dedicate the church. On Dec.15th the building was opened to the community with our first worship service, and worship attendance increased from 250 to 350 weekly worshipers overnight.

In 2002, Trinity had another celebration as a huge surprise party was given for Pastor Brian and Cindy Metke's 20th anniversary at the church. In 2003, Trinity branched outward yet again as leaders from the church began to lead workshops throughout the synod on innovative ministries that will be of help to other churches: “Making disciples instead of members”, “How to successfully move a church from traditional worship to blended and contemporary worship”, and “How to assimilate new members and develop a Lay Ministry”.

In the same year, Trinity received a $15,000 grant to help with adding staff. A full time Lay Ministry Director was hired, as well as a Youth Director, Janitor, Receptionist, Parish Coordinator, Christian Education. Director, Director of Discipleship, and two keyboard players.

At the time of writing in 2004, Trinity remains open to the direction of the Holy Spirit in the future. We plan to focus on ministering to Bloomfield's social needs: Broken marriages, addiction, and financial problems. “It takes a village to raise a child, but it take a church to raise a village”. We are called to bring the light of Christ to the world.

“Look what the Holy Spirit has done through people who were open to God's guidance and who stood on Christ the solid rock.”

Notable Events Since 2004

2004 - Present - Trinity begins mission work in Haiti, sending yearly teams of volunteers and helping support a full Trinity Pastorstime missionary, Gladys Mungo

2006 - Trinity hires its first full time youth director

2011 - Trinity calls Joyce Rossen and Tom De Groot into the pastoral ministry, installing them as members of a new pastoral leadership team at Trinity with Reverend Brian Metke.

2012 - Trinity partners with St. John's Lutheran Church in nearby Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

2012 - Trinity begins mission work in Kenya, Africa, sending yearly teams of volunteers and helping support two full time missionaries, Holly Okoth (Camalieri) and Fred Okoth.