A Brief History of
Trinity Lutheran Church
In the fall of 1849 more than a dozen courageous Lutheran families who had immigrated to Buffalo, NY from Selicia, Prussia in 1839, decided to organize a congregation on what previously had been an Indian Reservation known as “Indian Bush” south of the city of Buffalo, NY. Shortly thereafter, on February, 1850, incorporation papers were recorded and filed in the town clerk’s office and “German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation, Unaltered Augsburg Confession of West Seneca, Erie County, N.Y.” was born.
In November of 1851 Trinity Congregation called its first pastor. The call was extended to and accepted by Pastor Ernest Buerger, then Pastor of the mother church, First Trinity of Buffalo. In 1853 the congregation joined the Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other states, now known as the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. During the first decade of her life Trinity Congregation grew from twelve to approximately thirty-five families.
For a little over three years, services were held in a public school building on Orchard Park Road but in 1851 a church was erected on the site of the present building. That same year, in obedience to Christ’s words to “
Feed My Lambs“, a day school was started with classes being held in the church building. In the summer and fall of 1858 the first school building was erected. In 1924, on the occasion of Trinity’s 75th anniversary, a new school building was erected.
In the fall of 1862 the first parsonage was built at 295 Reserve Road, about 4/10 of a mile east of where the current church properties are located. In the early 1900’s it underwent extensive renovations and served as a home for Trinity’s pastors until the existing parsonage was dedicated on June 27th, 1948.
Construction of a new church building, a portion of which now comprises the narthex in our current structure, was begun in the fall of 1869, completed, and dedicated to the glory of God on October 16, 1870. In 1939, as Trinity celebrated its 90th anniversary, the church building was completely renovated. Church attendance and membership began to grow during the World War II years of 1941 to 1946 and continued during the period following to the point where the church building was no longer large enough to accommodate the numbers of parishioners attending services. In addition, more space was needed for the ever growing Sunday School and Bible Classes.
Dedication ceremonies for the new church building were held on November 14, 1954 just 1 year after the groundbreaking. The new building incorporated the existing 82 year old building by moving and turning it so it would become part of the new structure. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s a number of renovations were completed including the addition of new church offices and meeting rooms as well as the installation of a modern, state-of-the-art sound system and video technologies.
With the completion of the new church building in 1954, attention was now focused on the needs of the school. Construction on a new school building was begun in 1956 and on March 3rd, 1957 it was dedicated to the glory of God. Additional classrooms, a kitchen, locker rooms, and a gymnasium have since been added to what is the only Christian School supported by a Lutheran congregation in the Southtowns of Western New York. More information about the school and its rich history of serving the spiritual and educational needs of families in and around our community is available at the school’s website: Trinity Christian School
Since that modest beginning in 1849, 15 called servants of the Word of God have served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in West Seneca, NY. Under their shepherding and by the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the congregation has grown from those original twelve or so families to numerous baptized, and confirmed members in regular weekly attendance.
Our mission is “To make more and better disciples for Jesus Christ.” Won’t you please come and join us in that privilege?
Centennial History Book
Take a look at our first 100 years of history (1849-1949):