First Lutheran Church of the Trinity was founded in 1865 as the first Lutheran church on Chicago’s near south side.
It is the third oldest “daughter” to First Immanuel (1124 S. Ashland) established in 1854 and “granddaughter” to First Saint Paul (1301 N. LaSalle) established in 1847.
Currently the oldest Christian congregation in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, First Trinity was originally located on the southeast corner of 25th Place and S. Canal. After the railroad took possession of that property, the church moved to its current location at 643 W. 31st Street in the early 20th century.
The church started out as a German immigrant parish named “Ev. Luth. Dreieinigkeits” (Evangelical Lutheran Trinity), supported an elementary school, and earned the nickname “Mother Church of the South Side” by numerous branch schools that eventually developed into “daughter” congregations on the south side of Chicago.
Senior pastors of First Trinity were Ferdinand Doederlein (1866-1877), Louis Lochner (1877-1909), Arthur Both (1910-52), Harold Lachmann (1953-58), Albert Rolf (1959-62), Adam Dietrich (1963-67), Gerald Peppler (1967-78), Ronald Nitz (1979-86), Jonathan Breimeier (1986-95), William Hall (1995-97), and Thomas Gaulke (2009-2018).
First Trinity celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015.