The first worship service of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was conducted on November 10, 1918 at the Central Avenue Fire House by the Reverend F.P. Wilhelm, Mission Director of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. Thirty- five adults and eight children were present.
Services were held regularly for the tiny congregation by visiting pastors until Reverend Daniel M. Kleist was installed as the first resident Pastor on September 9, 1919. The Church became incorporated on September 19, 1919 with the following officers: John F.W. Kroeger, President; Julius Paul, Secretary; and Adolph Fleischmann, Treasurer.
The present location of Trinity Church on Palisade Avenue was acquired in 1919 and groundbreaking ceremonies for a church edifice were held on March 15, 1920. Since that time, several additions have been made to the original building. In 1937 the undercroft was enlarged for Sunday School use and in 1951, the entire building was expanded. In 1961, the congregation demolished the rectory which had housed its pastors since 1926 and erected a new educational building for its Sunday School. In 2016, the church underwent a major renovation of the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall.
In addition to Reverend Kleist who was the Pastor from September 1919 to 1946, Trinity has been served by the following ministers: The Reverend Louis C. Meyer, 1947 to 1956, The Reverend Doctor Walter C. Martin, 1957 to 1981 (the congregation moved from the Missouri Synod to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1975), The Reverend Doctor Stephen P. Bouman, 1981 to 1992 (Dr. Bouman left to become Vice Bishop of the New York Diocese), The Reverend David J. Meyers, 1994 to 2006, The Reverend Peter A. Olsen, 2008 to 2018 and The Reverend Rachel M. Zarnke, Youth Minister, 2015 to 2018. We now welcome Reverend Lisa Holliday as our new Pastor.
The Church opened Trinity Lutheran Nursery School in 1982 as a part of its educational ministry, and it has been in continuous operation since then. Today, the school offers programs for toddlers through Kindergarten, including our new Universal Pre-K programs for three and four-year olds. Trinity School offers the children of Bergen County an atmosphere of Christian love in which to grow and develop socially, academically, and spiritually.
On November 18, 2018 Trinity celebrated its 100 year anniversary! So many people have walked through our doors through the years in search of God and fellowship. It was a reminder to us that our church has had such a profound, positive influence on the spiritual health and well-being of so many people and our community. Those who joined us were congregational members of multiple generations, our sister congregations (the Estonian Church and the Debtors to Our Savior), and The Reverends Bouman, Meyers, Olsen and Zarnke. Bogota Mayor Christopher M. Kelemen proclaimed this day as “Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Day.”
Through our social ministries, mission and community work, as well as our strong relationships with the community and other church congregations, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and School continue on with its mission, “ To provide a home in the love of Jesus Christ where all God’s children can be nurtured in worship and fellowship through the Word and Holy Sacraments, so that, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, sharing the life of Jesus and His ministry of compassion and justice in our daily lives and ministries, we might grow in faith and numbers and proclaim God’s reign of love to all.”
Troy Pulido, Council President