A Century in the Word

A Brief History of the Evangelical Trinity Lutheran Congregation of Clinton, Massachusetts


This brief history of the Evangelical Trinity Lutheran Congregation (LCMS-UAC) of Clinton, Massachusetts was arranged by its current resident pastor, Rev. Paul E. Gramit, especially for the occasion of its 100th anniversary in 2015 and is based on a "Short History" written in 1990 largely by Paul L. Martin, then (and now) president of the congregation, as one of the several projects of our congregation's 75th anniversary year. This history, in turn, was compiled from still earlier accounts.


A congregation's history is ideally about far more than just a history of its buildings and a listing of its resident pastors. Our purpose is to offer a concise, yet rich, history of our congregation sharing many aspects of our life and dynamic over the course of over 100 years (including the background years) insodoing.


Late in the 1890's, a number of Lutheran families in the Clinton area gathered to worship together. That was the beginning of the congregation we now call Trinity.

1899 -- Pastor Kaestner of Worcester was invited to Clinton to hold services in the home of one of the sponsoring families. The date of the first of these worship services was September 17, and there were fourteen people present.

Pastor Kaestner conducted these services each Sunday afternoon at 3:30. The attendance grew quickly and before long, an individual home was no longer able to support the increasing numbers and it was decided to rent space downtown. A large room in the Pierce Block on High Street in Clinton was rented as the meeting hall until August 18, 1901, when Pastor Kaestner accepted a call to Little Rock, New York.

For the next ten years, services were held only intermittently in the homes of various members.

1903 -- Pastor Graepp of Worcester came to Clinton to conduct a meeting in February, during which Mr. Karl Precht was elected Secretary and Mr. Julius Stark, Treasurer. Meetings ceased in November of 1903 and services did not resume until October of 1904.

1904 -- Starting in October, Pastor Halfmann of Manchester, New Hampshire began to hold services for the Clinton faithful on alternate Sundays. Mr. Edward Lemke was elected Chairman and Mr. John Rauscher was elected Treasurer.

1906 -- In January, Pastor Halfmann accepted a call to Brooklyn, New York, and again services lapsed. For the next several years, many of those wishing to hear the pure Word and to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus traveled to Concordia Lutheran on Chandler Street in Worcester. This was a time of history when the presence of what we now know as the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod was to be found in Worcester itself.

It was quite common at this time for Lutherans to receive Holy Communion only once or twice a year. Often this was associated with a church holiday such as Reformation, Christmas, or Easter. Although during the period between 1900 and 1917, the offering of Communion increased from twice a year to four times a year, few received this gift more than twice a year.

1911 -- Pastor G. Rademacher was invited to Clinton and met with a group of Lutherans in the home of Mr. Alex Schutz. Services resumed after this and were held on alternate Sundays in the homes of various members.

1912 -- Services began to be held in the schoolhouse at the corner of Chace Street and Berlin Road. The site of the schoolhouse, which no longer stands, is now the playground with the water park down the street from our campus. Some of our own current members had attended school in the same schoolhouse.


1913 -- The congregation reorganized and adopted a new constitution. The name of those signing the constitution were:

Mr. John Schutz, Chairman
Mr. Richard Lemke, Secretary
Mr. Johann Rauscher, Treasurer
Mr. Alex Schutz
Mr. Henry Rockel
Mr. Julius Schartner
Mr. Laurence Rauscher
Mr. Ad. Radetski
Mr. Ed Steinbrich

This time the faithful appeared determined, through the grace of God, to make this congregation work. As one of the first items of business Laurence Rauscher, Henry Rockel and Alex Schutz were elected as a committee to select a location for a new church building. They were able to purchase the property where the church now stands for the sum of $250.00.

In September, Pastor Rademacher offered his services to the new congregation on a full time basis, which the congregation accepted with thanks. They then authorized the three trustees to seek a contractor and develop plans for a new church building.

1914 -- On May 3, John Schutz, Johann Rauscher and Laurence Rauscher presented the plans for what we now consider the older part of the present structure, the portion of the building in front of the East and West wings. During the latter part of that summer, the members of the congregation, using hand tools, horse drawn plows and strong backs, dug the cellar hole for the building foundation.

In September, the cornerstone was set into place with Pastor Baum, of Worcester, officiating at the cornerstone ceremony.

The following items were placed into the cornerstone during the ceremony:

A short history and confession of the church;
Names of the members of the congregation;
Names of the members of the Ladies Aid Society;
Name of the President of the United States;
Name of the Governor of Massachusetts;
Names of the officials of the town of Clinton;
A German-English Catechism;

Copies of:

The Lutheran Witness
Zeuge und Anzeiger
Lutheran Pioneer
Lutheran Kinderblatt
Fuer die Kleinen
Young Lutheran
Lutheran Guide
Bote aus Bethesda
Lutheran Hospice
Lutheran Education Society
Weg zum Anfang einer Lutheran Universitaet Brosamen Rundshau
The Item
Erster Lesebuch
Namen der Beamten der Gemeinde.

Our History - Page 2

Our History - Page 3


Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Galatians 1: 3-5


Contact Pastor Paul Gramit:
Phone: 978-365-6888 or Email

Webservant email

Ev. Trinity Lutheran Church, 117 Chace St., Clinton MA Phone: (978) 365-6888
Member Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Unaltered Augsburg Confession
{Copyright (C) 2015-2017, Ev.Trinity Lutheran Church, Clinton MA All Rights Reserved}






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