Living Christ's Call To Love & Serve ALL!
Est 1939 In the 1930s there were 4 Lutheran churches in Dubuque, but they were all downtown and Dubuque was expanding its limits west. Pastor William Zibell was an experienced home mission developer and called to Dubuque in 1937 to begin a project for the Home Mission Committee of the Iowa District of the American Lutheran Church (ALC). Rev. Zibell organized "Trinity Lutheran Church" in July of 1939 and applied for membership in the Iowa District of the ALC. The congregation began with 25 members who worshiped in Rev. Zibell's home on University Ave. The congregation struggled to grow in membership and the Mission Board decided to end the effort in December of 1941. Rev. Zibell took a call in North Dakota.
It was then, however, that this small mission start connected with Wartburg Seminary. Dr. John C. Mattes offered to serve the congregation without pay and held his first worship service that Christmas. Rev. Dr. Mattes was formally accepted by Holy Trinity in May of 1942 (still with no salary). Rev. Dr. Mattes brought with him "26 guest members" from the Seminary to worship with the existing members. The same Mission Board who ended Zibell's efforts was now willing to support the renting of the former Miller Meat Market building (now our neighbors - Comprehensive Physical Therapy) for $30 per month. The congregation moved into this new worship space in January 1942. A year later, in January 1943, Trinity Lutheran Church changed it's name to "HOLY Trinity Lutheran Church."
Right away in 1942, Holy Trinity was looking outward. They made donations to Lutheran World Action, the ALC, and the children's home in Waverly, IA. A few years later, Holy Trinity would establish missionary outreach to Papua New Guinea. In 1949 HTLC began sending youth to a Leadership Training School sponsored then by the Youth Department of the ALC.
-Sadly, with all the amazing work he had done with the congregation, Rev. Dr. Mattes died January 27th, 1948. His son-in-law Rev. August J. Engelbrecht continued Mattes' volunteer services until the congregation called their first full-time, paid pastor, Rev. Henry C. Hafermann on August 15th, 1948. Rev. Hafermann finished what Rev. Dr. Mattes started in building Holy Trinity's own worship space on the empty lot next to Miller's Meat Market where they were renting. From November - May 1948 Holy Trinity Lutheran Church was constructed and on June 5th, 1948 the people of HTLC proudly moved into their new church building (our current location).
After ten years with HTLC, Rev. Hafermann took another call in the ALC offices. On April 20th, 1958, Rev. Marvin Kampfe was installed as the new pastor.
In 1960 remodeling was proposed to add a Sunday School addition, classrooms, offices, and extend the nave (congregational seating in the sanctuary). The improvements were finished in 1963. It was at this time that Dr. Alfred Ewald inscribed symbols of the Trinity and the 12 apostles to the glass that can still be seen in the HTLC entry way.
In 1965 HTLC began providing partial support for Rev. Ron Schardt, a missionary in Papua New Guinea. The Schardt family remains faithful members of HTLC to this day. Come meet them, they are outstanding!
In 1975 Rev. Kampfe took another call after 17 years at HTLC. Rev. John Beem served for the next 5 years, bringing imaginative enthusiasm to HTLC. During his time ecumenical Bible studies, midweek church school, and the Noah's Ark Preschool began. Rev. Beem also played a key role in the establishment of the Dubuque Area Christians United (DACU).
In 1977 HTLC called a second pastor on board, Rev. Mark Pries. Rev. Pries emphasized youth and community outreach and was actively involved with social concerns, such as jail ministry, pastoral marriage counseling, and the Dubuque Human Rights Commission. Rev. Pries and Beem also started the tradition of giving Children's sermons during worship.
In 1970 the ALC and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) began ordaining women.
From 1976-77 Phyllis Anderson was HTLC's first female intern. In 1979, Fonda Corson was elected the first woman chairperson of the congregation.
In 1977 HTLC member Clara Peschong died and left a large sum of money to the Holy Trinity. After much deliberation, the congregation agreed to use the money to add the current 17-rank pipe organ and remodel the chancel (the area at the front of the sanctuary with the altar). These projects were finished in November 1982.
In 1980 when Rev. Beem left for a new call, Rev. Pries was voted to stay. Rev. John Speerstra was then called to be the second pastor of HTLC. Both pastors left in 1985 for new calls.
On September 15th, 1985 Rev. George H. Bauman was called and assisted by intern Jeff Buettner from '86-'87. The congregation still felt the need for 2 pastors, however, and called Rev. Karen Helmeke Saunders as assistant pastor in 1987. (In 1988 the ALC and the LCA, along with the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), merged into one body to make the largest Lutheran Church body in the US: the ELCA - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.) Rev. Karen left in 1991 and Rev. Robert (Bob) F. Lehmann was called in 1994 as a part time Pastor of Outreach. Rev. Carol J. Christianson was then called as the new associate pastor in '98, but left shortly after in '99. Rev. Joan E. Haug then stepped in from 2001-2002 as the part time associate pastor. In 2002, HTLC said goodbye to senior pastor Rev. Bauman and outreach pastor Rev. Lehmann. In 2002 Rev. Allan R. Simms was called as the associate pastor, but left shortly after in '03. From 2002-2004 HTLC had interim associate pastors and senior pastor: Rev. Charles Johnson, Rev. Mark F. Bents, and Rev. William R. Straka.
Even though the early 2000s were a time of change, it was in the year 2000 that the Living Faith Center (LFC) was added onto the HTLC building.
In 2004 HTLC called their next full time senior pastor, Rev. Arnold Flater. Under Rev. Flater, Sara McCaw was hired in 2005 as the full time Youth and Family Ministry, Rev. Joan E. Haug came back from '08-'09 as an interim associate pastoral ministry and two Wartburg Seminary interns served: David Efflandt ('13-'14) and Carter Hill ('14-'15). Rev. Flater led many mission trips and incorporated the Stephen Ministry program at HTLC with member Cheryl Rose in 2007.
In 2006, HTLC began supporting their second missionary family, Patrick and Jackie Bencke who continue to serve in Japan.
Rev. Flater took a new call in 2015 and Rev. Lanny Westphal was installed as interim senior pastor. Intern David Raemisch served with Rev. Westphal from '15-'16.
In 2016 HTLC called a new full time pastor, the Rev. Joshua Martyn (currently serving). Rev. Martyn worked with the already serving Intern, John Dolan through the summer of 2017. Intern Paris Comentino served alongside Rev. Martyn from August of '17 through the summer of 2018. In August of 2018, Intern Charlotte Eversoll was welcomed as the current intern for HTLC.