Richard P. Baldwin, compiler
(The following was adapted from an article in the booklet, Islip Town Tercentenary, Town of Islip, 1983, unpaged, and updated by the Rev. David Wackenhuth.)
The Trinity Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) has served the spiritual needs of the Islip community for the past seventy-two years. On February 6, 1927, about eighty people met for a church service in a small vacant store on Main Street in Islip, with Rev. Herman Zoller of Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Patchogue, N. Y., officiating. This marked the beginning of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Islip. On the same day, the first Sunday School service was held with thirty-two children and five teachers. Three days later the Ladies' Aid Society, the first of a number of auxiliary organizations at Trinity, was organized.
As the store proved to be too small, services were then held in the American Legion Hall, at that time located at 437 Main Street. In that same year, a two-acre plot and a two-story building were purchased at the present site on the comer of Nassau Avenue and Union Boulevard. A chapel was built on the site and dedicated on Sunday, October 7, 1927.
Regular worship services and Sunday School were held weekly and the congregation grew. In 1944, the Sunday School had outgrown the chapel so nursery school through second grade classes were meeting at the American Legion Hall, now located on Nassau Avenue. At that time, an Army barracks was acquired as war surplus property and this was converted into a Sunday School building. In 1945, Trinity expanded and started a new church, Grace Lutheran Church, in Central Islip.
On October 10, 1954, ground was broken for a new church building and on August 21, 1955, Trinity dedicated its new church. Trinity again expanded and established a branch Sunday School in East Islip, in 1955, and added another church service to its regular Sunday morning schedule.
On February 7, 1960, a special service of thanksgiving and praise was held to observe the burning of the church mortgage of $60,000.00, less than five years after the church was dedicated. Significantly, four days later Trinity voted to let out bids for the erection of a building to house the branch Sunday School in East Islip.
In September 1961, a parochial school was started with Kindergarten through Second Grade; a grade being added each year until seventh grade was reached. To provide space for additional classrooms, two houses on Union Boulevard, adjacent to the church property, was acquired. These buildings were used also for Sunday School and later for youth work and as an apartment for vicars. Trinity Lutheran School closed in June 1968.
From 1962 to 1964 church services as well as Sunday School were held in the East Islip building.
In 1973, the old parsonage on Nassau Avenue was demolished and Trinity broke ground for the expansion of the church building and the construction of a new educational and recreational facilities. Removal of Consecration and demolition of the chapel (of 1927) and Cornerstone laying of the new building took place in 1974. The two houses on Union Boulevard had been removed earlier in the year. For one year several Sunday School classes met at the American Legion Hall. On December 7, 1974, the enlarged church and new educational and recreational facilities were dedicated. Since that time, the educational facilities have been used not only by the Sunday School and people of Trinity, but also by community organizations. The Suffolk County Lutheran High School was held in the facilities for the school year of 1981-1982.
In addition to Rev. Herman Zoller, who served the congregation from February 1927 to July 1927, six others have served Trinity as pastors: Rev. Carl Gernannt, 1927-1933, Rev. Alexander von Schlichten, 1933-1941, Rev. Arthur F. Steinke, 1941-1951, Rev. Edward Brusick, 1952-1968, Rev. Stanley G. Macholz, 1969-1991, and Rev. David Wackenhuth, 1986 to present.
Organizations at Trinity now include the Ladies' Aid Society and Sunday School (both since February 1927), a vibrant youth ministry, a popular and active pre-school, and a large number of ministries and agencies, including the sponsorship of Boy Scout Troop #249. Sports include softball teams which are part of the Christian Leagues of Suffolk County.