The history of any congregation reminds us of the Parable of the Mustard Seed which though the smallest of all seeds when full-grown becomes a tree welcoming all who seek its sustenance and shelter. Trinity Lutheran Church is no exception. On June 15, 1910, twenty–one Swedish immigrants under the guidance of Pastor Augustus Olson met at the Bergenfield home of Erik Anderson to sign the charter for the official organization of the “Clara Evangelisk Lutherski Forsamling.” This was done with the encouragement of the New York Conference of the Augustana Lutheran Church. This tiny congregation first met in members’ homes and shared the facilities of other area churches until it was able to build its first church building on the corner of East Johnson and Taylor Streets in 1913. Pastoral service was shared with other area Augustana Churches until Trinity was able to call its first, full-time resident pastor, the Reverend Eskil Englund in 1928. In the same year the congregation logically built its first parsonage – an attractive 6-room home at 92 North Taylor Street.
In 1930 the congregation received the members of the Bethesda Lutheran Congregation of Englewood into its widening membership. Another factor for Trinity’s increased growth was the completion of the George Washington Bridge. The area served by Trinity Church began a steady period of membership growth. In the early 1950’s the congregation decided to relocate to its present location on the corner of Knickerbocker and Riveredge Roads in Tenafly NJ. Construction of its current facilities proceeded with deliberate pace. The Sanctuary in 1952, the Educational Wing in 1957, and the Parsonage in 1959 were built.
Various ministries have continued to play a vital role in serving our membership especially congregational programs in education, music and fellowship groups for all ages. Many community groups use Trinity’s facilities including Alcoholics Anonymous and Families Anonymous. Forty-two years ago Trinity established a pre-school kindergarten (The Tween Tot School) that while originally intended for members’ children now serves a widening part of our surrounding community. For several years Trinity has leased part of the educational space to the “Montessori House School.” Since 2004 the congregation also shares space with the CHOWON Korean Presbyterian Church.
Trinity partners with organizations such as Family Promise and the Center for Food Action in order to serve those in need in our community. Its leadership and members are always alert to new possibilities of learning, service, and outreach which will help hearty “seed of faith” continue to grow and the Good News of Christ be proclaimed to all peoples.