A History of Trinity Lutheran Church
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Prescott Valley, formerly
Lonesome Valley, was founded in 1966 but the little prairie village didn’t
become a viable community until several years later. Developers had bought 3600 acres of land
from the Norman Fain ranch with the intent from creating a town from
scratch. In the beginning Prescott
Valley had a motel, a few other buildings and 10,500 lots. By the early 1970’s Prescott Valley had
a population of nearly 1000. In
1973 9,000 of the 10,500 lots had been sold. Nine out of 10 lots were sold to out of
state people, primarily from the Midwest.
Trinity Lutheran Church
of Prescott Valley started in 1971 when a group of interested area residents met
at the home of Emil Krumwiede in Prescott Valley. These people discussed the possibility
of a church: Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur
Kuhlman, Mr. and Mrs. Holger Nilson, Ruth Peterson, Florence Holland, Florence
Strickland, Louise Meyer, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Kuhlman, Betty Lassila, Mr. and Mrs.
Dennis Skow, Rev. and Mrs. Marius Haakenstad, and Mr. and Mrs. Emil
Krumwiede. Also in attendance was
Rev. Eugene Beyer of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Phoenix and Rev. Harold B.
Tietjen, Executive Secretary of the Mission Board or Southern California
District. There was a discussion on
whether or not a mission was warranted here. Pastor Beyer promised to
First services were
held on January 8, 1972 with Rev, Marius Haakenstad officiating and Florence
Holland as pianist. Less than 20
people were in attendance but joy and determination prevailed. These services were held at the
community A frame building. From
early on Trinity was sponsored by Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Phoenix and
served by their Pastor, the Rev. Eugene Beyer.
Officers of the mission
congregation were selected in early 1972. Chairman-Dave Kuhlman, Vice
Chairman-Paul Lassila, Secretary-Linda Kuhlman, Treasurer-Orville Woiwood,
Trustees-Holger Nilson and Orville Woiwood, Elders-Wilbur Kuhlman and Emil
Krumwiede, Sunday School Superintendent-Betty Lassila. In January 1972 Florence Holland called
the first Lutheran Ladies Auxiliary together in her home with 12 ladies
present. First Sunday school
classes were held at 2:30 p.m. and Worship Services at 3:30 p.m. First teachers in the Sunday School were
Sandy Kuhlman, Todd Bulock, Faye Nilson and Vi Krumwiede.
In the Spring of 1972,
the congregation received the good news from Pastor Beyer that a student at the
St. Louis Seminary had agreed to begin summer assignment in Prescott
Valley. Vicar Randy Brodhagen
arrived for the summer and services were held in the Coachlight Inn. During this time Pastors from Phoenix
came up once a month to administer Communion. Vicar Brodhagen occupied the mobile home
belonging to Nellie Hoffman during the summer and worked five days a week at the
Prescott Country Club Golf Course.
During this time the first Vacation Bible School was held, with 61
enrollments and 11 teachers and helpers.
From September to
December 1972, Rev. E. Umbach and Rev. E. Rasmussen served the congregation
while Rev. Eugene Beyer made efforts to obtain a new vicar for the congregation.
In October, the first confirmation class began meeting with Vi Krumwiede as
Pastor Beyer’s requests
for a vicar were answered. Vicar Lance Jennings and his wife Marie arrived in
Phoenix where they made their home in December 1972. Since Trinity was sharing a vicar with
Mount Calvary, Trinity was considered the “daughter” congregation. On December 17th Pastor Beyer
inducted Vicar Lance Jennings at Trinity.
Since the Coachlight had changed hands, services were being held at L
& H Lumber Company in Prescott Valley.
Members were calling it “The Church of the Carpenter!”
In February 1973,
serviced were again conducted in the community A-Frame. Vicar Jennings and his wife came up to
Prescott Valley on the weekends. A
Youth Group was formed and met each week in the Vicar’s home. A mobile at 1759
Tracy, owned by Edward Osenga.
On March 5, 1973 at a
special meeting at the Woiwood home, members decided to take a leap of faith and
purchased a tract of land in Prescott Valley for $15,000. At this time the members were not sure
how they would finance the purchase, but they were determined. Later, half the land was sold to Open
Door Chapel of Prescott Valley. On
March 6 the congregation adopted its first constitution. Incorporation proceedings were also
initiated in 1973. In August 1973
Kristi Lynn Wentz, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Gordon Wentz was the first child to
be baptized in the congregation.
October 21st, the first class of confirmants was received into
membership and a potluck dinner was served as a celebration. A second successful Vacation Bible
School was held that year with an average attendance of 43. A farewell gathering was held at the
Woiwood home for Rev. and Mrs. Lance Jennings who were returning to the
In November 1973, the
congregation strengthened when they learned that a recent graduate of the
Springfield Seminary would be assigned in December as a full time worker and
that the congregation would be recognized as a new mission congregation of The
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and that it was to be subsidized as
Pastor Paul Adams was
installed at Trinity on December 2, 1973.
While Pastor Adams served the congregation, the first church facilities
were built. The building committee
members were Orville Woiwood, Wilbur Kuhlman, Dave Hommel, Dave Kuhlman and Edna
wood. A groundbreaking service was conducted on December 22, 1974. The original church building was
dedicated on April 27, 1975. The
Rev. Harold B. Tietjen was the dedication speaker. Also during Pastor Adams’ tenure a
preaching station was started in Black Canyon City. Later the English District adopted Grace
Lutheran as one of their mission congregations.
The Rev. Richard
Schinnerer was called as Missionary at Large and installed on April 30,
1977. He served the congregation
until August 31, 1979. While Pastor
Schinnerer served Trinity a preaching station was started in
Trinity’s third full
time Pastor was called in November of 1980. Rev. Larry Courson was installed on
February 15, 1981 as Missionary at Large.
By the start of 1982 the preaching station in Prescott became a daughter
congregation. This new congregation
was named “Shepherd of the Hills”.
Pastor Courson served both Trinity and Shepherd of the Hills as dual
A second building
committee was appointed in July 1981 for the expansion of the church
building. The members of the
building committee were Orville Woiwood, Gordon Wentz and Wilma Nunally. The plans for expansion were approved
and the congregation voted to begin construction on April 25, 1982.
From November 1982
through the fall 1983 Vicar Tim Rehwaldt and his wife, Judy, aided in
ministering to Trinity and Shepherd of the Hills. Before the building expansion was
completed Pastor Courson and Joan Carouso were united in marriage at Trinity on
January 29th, 1983.
On April 10, 1983, the
members of Trinity voted to complete the expansion project and become a
Pastor Courson was called by the congregation to serve as full time
resident Pastor on August 30th.
A special “Service of Praise, Thanksgiving. Installation and Dedication”
was held on September 25, 1983. In
1983 Rev. Denis Wittenberger was called to become Missionary at Large at
Shepherd of the Hills.
In October 1987, Rev.
Dennis Morner was called as Pastor of Trinity. His wife Jacque joined him.
Following requests by a
number of Trinity’s members living in the Cordes Lakes area, Pastor Morner was
given permissions to start a preaching station in Cordes Lakes in April
1988. The Cordes Lakes faithful
initially met in the Community Hall.
That first spring and summer they met twice a month on Sunday
afternoons. In the Fall of 1988
they began worshipping every Sunday.
By the fall of 1990, a constitution had been written and the name
“Mountain of Faith Lutheran Church” was selected. From November 1990 on Mountain of Faith
has been served by a number of Pastors, and has been adopted by the pacific
Southwest District as one of their mission congregations.
Early in the spring of 1989,
Nelson Beck, Donna Voss and Alyce Blank met to discuss the possibility of
Trinity beginning a “Latch Key” ministry.
Later that summer Patti Merchant was hired as director and Gayle as
assistant, to begin after school care in September. The name “God’s World” was chosen for
our new ministry. After limited
success, the staff, board and congregation engaged in much prayer, finally
deciding the Lord wanted us to expand our ministry to all day care, morning
Pre-school, and before and after school care. We “re-opened” our doors the last day of
God’s World first elected
board consisted of Darlene Vosberg, Orville Woiwood and Karen
During the period of
1980-1994 enrollment at God’s World continued to grow. It became apparent that the facility in
Trinity’s basement was too small to accommodate more children.
A new God’s World planning
board was formed in 1994 to address the problem of limited space. This board consisted of Dennis Voss,
Vicki Drake, Matthew Voss, Bob Mogler, Orville Woiwood, Marge Melchoirs and
Richard Jefferies. Not only did we
need more space but also the growth potential for Prescott Valley was increasing
by the month.
After much prayerful thought
and planning a resolution was brought before the congregation to move forward
with the construction of a new facility.
The resolution was passed and ground breaking was scheduled for June
1995. A great deal of personal
time, talents. Contributions and prayers were given in the construction of the
new building. Parishioners worked
alongside professional tradesmen on the job. Dedication of the new facility was in
In 1996 Trinity provided use
of church facilities on Saturday afternoons for the “World Wide Church of
God”. A room in the basement was
allocated for “Neighbor to Neighbor” and their mission service to the
A second service was offered
in 1996. Early service offered
traditional Lutheran worship with a choir.
Second service offered an “upbeat” Praise Worship with a Praise
A kindergarten class was
started in the fall of 1998. God’s
World then had an enrollment of 155 children. Trinity has come a long way, with the
Lord’s help, since the early days of our child care center. By 1998 Trinity Church had also grown
from the original dozen or so members to a baptized membership of over
August 12, 2001, after nearly14 years with Trinity, Rev. Dennis Morner answered a call to Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Anchorage Alaska. The congregation bid farewell to Pastor Dennis, his wife Jacque and his children, Beth (13 yrs,) Matt (11 yrs) and Josh (5yrs) at a wonderful dinner in Trinity Hall. Most of the membership turned out as well as many others in the community during the 4-hour festive occasion. Pastor Dennis accomplished many things at Trinity and saw the church bloom! He is a wonderful friend that will be missed.
August 28, 2001: a consortium
of voters chose to hire an Interim Pastor for the next 6 months to guide the
church through the call process.
Trinity Lutheran Church has a strong congregation who believes God is in
the church so here we are to keep His work going.
November 4, 2001: Pastor Norman Walter from Peoria Arizona starts his Interim pastor duties. His first Sunday with Trinity was a success. He was welcomed by all. We look forward to working with him in the call process we will under go in the next few months.
Summer 2002: Pastor Norman Walter is staying in Peoria to recover from health problems. Pastor Herman Jonas, from Cave Creek AZ., has taken over the "interim" Pastor duties. He has been wonderful for this congregation. He has started Pastor classes so we have had several new members join the family of Trinity.
During the past few months we have called three men in three separate call votes. All very good men. We had the opportunity to meet the second in the Fall of 2002, he declined due to family health emergency. March 2003- The current called Pastor visited this week and we will keep him and his family whole heartedly in our prayers that God will guide them to us. We certainly would be blessed to have him among us!
In March Pastor Timothy Blau accepted our call! Pastor Tim will be installed as Trinity's Pastor on May 18th 2003 during a special afternoon service. Pastor Tim is from Salem Lutheran Church in Orange California. Pastor, Mrs. Blau and their two children will be welcomed with opened arms!
“Lord, Our Father In
Heaven, please continue to bless us
and guide us through our upcoming tasks as we rejoice in the many blessings and
benefits You have given us. Amen”