Trinity Lutheran Church was former in 1869, build on the first block of East Franklin Street, the current site of Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company 3. The cornerstone of the current location was set in 1909. Trinity Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
A prominent feature of the Church is the organ, designed and built in 1996 specifically for this building, by the Schantz Organ Company of Orville, Ohio. It is a four-manual organ, meaning it has four manuals. or hand keyboards. This term distinguishes these keyboards from the keyboards played with the feet, called pedalboards. Organs usually have more than one manual; most larger organs two or three; elaborate organs may have four or more.
The Schantz organ has 3,265 pipes, and 58 ranks. The term rank describes a set of organ pipes that together produce one octave of a specific timbre (timbre describes the difference between two tones, for example the difference between the same note played on a piano and on a guitar.
The “Music at Trinity” concert series provides concerts for members of Trinity and the community at large. This series includes organ recitals, college and university choir concerts and programs featuring choir and orchestra. Concerts are free.
A Bach festival featuring the organ is held in March. Check the webpage, www.TLChag.org, for the date or call 301-733-2878. Come and enjoy organ music in a gorgeous setting, performed by accomplished organists and other musicians from Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Another prominent feature of the church is its stained glass windows. They were designed for the building by the Rambusch Company of New York. The windows flanking the nave (the central section of the church) depict sections of the Apostles’ Creed.
The Window in the back of the church illustrates the hymn “Te Deum Laudamus” (“Three, O God, We Praise”). The Te Diem window was installed in 1943.
The very fine reredos, the wood carvings that surround the alter, were added to the church in 1965, hand carved by Gregor Betz of Philadelphia. The design includes many symbols, and repeats the number three, for the Trinity; the number four for the four corners of the world descr
ibed in Isaiah; and the number six, for the Star of David. The four pinnacles of the reredos are carved in the form of a gothic cross flower, with a daisy between the leaves, to symbolize the innocent Christ Child. There are guardian angles, flying buttresses, a crown, acorns and four winged creatures representing the authors of the gosples.
The alter painting, “Come Unto Me”, by Charles Mente, predates the reredos. It was enlarged to fit the reredos by Thomas Gibbons of Baltimore in 1965.
The designs above the alter and the nave were designed and painted by Robert J. Welsmann in 1965. The scroll work designs painted on wither side of the alter represent stoles worn on the alter, and include patterns made up of vines and grapes. the gold leaf and shades of gray emphasize the supporting structures of the gothic arches.
The ceiling above the nave was originally painted sky blue.
The baptismal font, now located to the right of the sanctuary, was originally located at the front center of the sanctuary. It was moved its current location when its great weight began to compromise the structure of the church building.
The font is carved in marble c=from Carrara Italy, by the sculptor Thorwalsden, as a reproduction of a baptismal font in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Copenhagen.
The brass lectern at the left of the sanctuary is original to the church building. The eagle is the symbol of the Apostle John, because the eagle was believed to soar higher than any bird, and the gospel written by John emphasizes the divine nature of Christ.
The symbolism also appears in the reredos, which features carvings of the four authors of the gospels. The four winged creatures are located between the four guardian angels at the end of the flying buttresses.
The winged man represents the Apostle Matthew, whose gospel begins with the human genealogy of Jesus. The wings lion, a symbol of royalty, represents the Apostle Mark, who emphasizes the kingly nature of Christ. The winged ox represents the Apostle Luke, whose gospel represents the sacrifice of Christ. The fourth winged animal is the eagle, as described above, a symbol for the Apostle John.