A brief history and who we are.........
Trinity Lutheran Church grew out of mission efforts of a Lutheran pastor in Bedford County. Noticing that there were Lutherans in the first wave of workers for Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), he organized the first worship service of what would become Trinity Lutheran Church at Christmas, 1949. Our first pastor, A. Richard Smith, spent his entire pastoral career of 40 years growing and shaping the worship and work of Trinity.
If you read the history of TLC, as written by Corrine Martinez, several headings seem to tell what Trinity is all about. Phrases like “Reach Out,” “Sharing the Good News,” “Living God’s Love,” “Love and Concern,” and “Moving Forward,” are ideas and characteristics that can still be used to describe our congregation today.
Worship services are held twice on Sunday morning. In addition, there is a Wednesday noon Eucharist service.
As Lutherans, Trinity members are constantly aware of the grace of God and how that grace is alive in us individually and in the life of our church. As a community of Christians, we enjoy fellowship and seek to strengthen each other in our struggles and share with each other our joys. We are active members of our community, providing for those in need and providing open doors for those seeking the good news of the Gospel. As part of the worldwide Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, our ministry is multiplied as we unite our efforts with those of the Southeastern Synod and the Church at large.
As our Vision Statement says, we seek to be an oasis of grace, a place open and welcoming to all!
What We Believe
In the broadest sense, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) states: “Our faith tradition is based on a life-transforming story. The ELCA’s story is both ancient and timely. It’s a story of a powerful and patient God who has boundless love for all people of the world, who brings justice for the oppressed. It’s a story of Jesus Christ, changing lives. It’s a story that brings comfort and strength to people who today live in modern, often unsettling times. Learn more about our beliefs - and become a part of our story.”
In the most focused sense, Trinity Lutheran Church understands itself to be a collection of claimed, redeemed, forgiven children of God who have a mission in this community and in the world: share the love we have first received. We are invitation, intentional and inclusive. This flows throughout our Mission Statement and our Vision Statement.
As a community of faith, we share what we have first received: the Word of God! More than printed words on a page, Word of God is three-fold: Written - Living - Proclaimed.
We understand Word of God to be the Bible. Inspired by God, men and women were compelled within history to record a faithful witness to God’s activities in their lives and world.
We understand Word of God to be a person. Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God (see John 1:1-14). In the sacraments (Holy Baptism and Holy Communion) we believe that we encounter and are encountered by the Living Word of God - Jesus Christ. This presence is real and tangible. This Word is creative and redemptive... dynamic and active in our midst, our lives, our world.
We understand Word of God to be something audible. When the Gospel (the Good News of Jesus Christ) is proclaimed – read, sung, shouted, spoken – in the midst of God’s people gathered, we believe that the Word of God is present and active in a power-filled and transformative way.
So... worship is central to who we are and what we do. Worship is an opportunity for us to pray, praise, thank, petition, experience, receive, give, feed and be fed. Worship is where we usually experience the sacraments and in worship God’s Word is most visible and viable. Worship is when God comes to us in a physical way and worship fortifies us to be of service within our lives and larger communities.
We invite you to worship with us - to experience God’s love and grace - to sing - to pray - to be silent - to be fed. We invite you to encounter and be encountered by God. We invite you to be equipped for ministry in the world. A favorite Lutheran hymn sums it up well (ELW #641):
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and reams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
let this house proclaim from floor to rafter
The A Frame Sanctuary
This uniquely piece of architecture served as the congregations sanctuary and fellowship hall through the 60s until the present sanctuary was built in 1979. The A Frame is still used for events today and is available for our community to use for meetings and clubs.
The present sanctuary
Our worship services are held in this beautiful space whose design points to the central aspects of our faith. The altar, font and pulpit point to word and sacrament which are how God's love comes to us as we worship.