Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 1010 Dequeen Street in Mena is celebrating its 120th Anniversary with several special services in the coming year! The first service will be this Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Ron Bacic, Pastor of First Lutheran Church, Little Rock as the guest speaker. This is a reenactment of the first Lutheran service in Mena! A congregational potluck dinner follows the service!
Our 120th Anniversary theme is, “In This Place”, based on II Chronicles 7:15-16, “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever. My eyes and My heart will be there for all time.”
Trinity Lutheran Church is known in the community for being the “Oldest Church in Mena Still in Use Today”. Very little has changed to the interior of the sanctuary during the 120 years the congregation has been in Mena!
In November 1899, Rev. W. J. Kaiser, who just arrived to serve as Pastor of First Lutheran Church in Little Rock, was encouraged by a former member, Elizabeth Lahr, of his previous congregation, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Huntington, Indiana; to visit her relatives living in the Mena community. Elizabeth Lahr was the great grandmother of current and past members of Trinity, Dorothy and Henry “H.G.” Sunderman, both who still live in Mena today.
Rev. Kaiser visited Mena to hold the first Lutheran service which was held in a public school building in January 1900. His second and third visits was in March/May of 1900 when he baptized several children and brought with him Rev. J. K. E. Horst of First Lutheran, Ft. Smith who held monthly services in Mena at the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoons.
Rev. Christian Frederick Rittman was called to be Missionary of Western Arkansas and the Indian Territory in the Fall of 1900. Mena was one of several communities he visited and was encouraged to focus his ministry there where he organized St. Trinity Lutheran Church and School in the Fall of 1900, with 14 baptized members! The church and school/teacherage were built in 1901 and dedicated to the glory of God on January 5, 1902.
Many Pastors have served the congregation over the years and is currently served by Rev. Timothy J. Henning. We give thanks to God for His grace showered upon our congregation in the past 120 years and seek His direction for the future as we share the Gospel with our friends and neighbors!