Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church
Our Society published an article "Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church" by Helen Boor in our Winter 2002 Journal of KORENY.
In 1948 at age twelve when I began my confirmation classes was the first realization I had that my church served its members in two buildings and that there were actually two groups of people. Until that time I knew only of the Methodist Church building which was shared. Because of the dual situation, one Saturday, classes were held at "my church" and the other week Anna, Milan, Paul, and I would converge at Elston and Lawrence Avenues to ride city transportation to the Chicago Avenue building. And so it went until our class of twenty-two members was confirmed on Trinity Sunday in June 1949 in the Chicago Avenue church.
Although I no longer am a member I thought the history of this church might be of interest. While the church has gone through many physical changes it never lost sight of the fundamental reason for its existence since 1893.
The following data is obtained from the 1993 commemorative Trinity Centennial Directory.
By the year 1880 immigrant Slovak Lutherans began to settle in Chicago and had reached significant numbers by 1892. On November 4, 1892 the Spolok Evanjelickjch Slovåkov (Slovak Evangelical Society) was founded under the leadership of Gustav Krno. The first meeting was held at Kolar Hall on Jefferson and Bunker Streets. The goal of the thirty-seven charter members was to foster conditions to establish religious services.
The Reverend Jan Micatek of Streator, Illinois was _in attendance at a subsequent meeting on January 8, 1893 during which it was agreed that Slovak services would be held once a month and that pastoral services would be provided by the
Streator Church. Various pastors fulfilled this challenge.
As the society's numbers grew a need for their own congregation was recognized. Plans were begun and on October 8, 1893 Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church was organized. Thus began regular Sunday services which were held in the German School on the corner of Bickerdike and Superior Streets. Hected leaders were installed on February 8, 1894.
The need for a pastor was a pressing problem and a request was sent to the "Mother Church" (Evangelical Lutheran Church) in Slovakia for help. A teacher Ladislav Boor accepted the Call with the understanding he would complete his theological studies in the United States followed by his ordination. He mived September 16, 1894. The Reverend Boor fulfilled his obligation and Trinity had its first stable pastor.
Through the years the congregation of Trinity worshiped in several locations. The first building on May and Huron Streets was purchased on September 1, 1901. However members living in the west and south sides of the city found this location difficult. So on October 13, 1901 it was decided by the "Konvent" to establish a second congregation, the Sts. Peter and Paul, which is now located in Riverside, Illinois. Monies donated for the May Street building by the members of the new church were transferred to them.
With renovations completed on Sunday, December 22, 1901 the May Street church was dedicated for Evangelical Lutheran worship. This structure served until 1911.
During this decade two factors became apparent. First, more space was needed for worship and member activities and secondly the church's need to remain close to its members who were now moving to other locations within the city. A church on Chicago and Noble Avenues was purchased. The altar from May Street was moved to the new location, various other renovations were completed and the new church was dedicated on October 8, 1911.. This building served until 1950.
However, the continual migration of members to the north and west sides of the city prompted the purchase of land in the Mayfair district at Wilson and Kilbourn Avenues in January 1923. A structure was built for $23,250 and the church was dedicated on November 23, 1924.
Both Slovak and English services as well as Sunday School
were held in both churches.
As more and more members continued to migrate in the same direction, plans were made to build one large church. The building in Mayfair was sold but World War Il forced the cancellation of building plans. From 1941 to 1950 those members from Mayfair shared the building of the Mayfair Methodist Church at Kilpatrick and Wilson Avenues.
After the war the new building was realized and on February 19, 1950 the new church at 5106 North LaCrosse Avenue was dedicated. Full ministries are provided and to this day worship is celebrated in both English and Slovak languages.
Images Below - Current Church at 5106 N. LaCrosse - Google Capture 2019
Present building dedicated February 19, 1950
Estimated Value $750,000
Organized: October 8, 1893
Incorporated July 1, 1897
Baptized membership: 1950
Confirmed membership: 1500
Affiliation: Non Syndocial
Rev. Ladislav Boor: 1894 - 1904
Rev. John Somora: 1905 - 1909
Rev. Samuel Lichner: 1910 - 1936
Rev. Jaroslav Pelikan: 1936-1963
Rev. Rudolph Shintay: 1967 -
Rev. Karol V. Molnar: 1933-1936
Rev: Dr. Jaroslav J. Pelikan: 1946 - 1958
Rev. Theodore P. Pelikan: 1959 - 1963
James Huenink, pastor, writer, historian, and photographer who lives in San Diego County, California (https://hueninkwrites.medium.com/chicago-lutheran-history-trinity-slovak-lutheran-church-1892-fe0fb52cbaf8) provides a good summary of the early history of Trinity Lutheran.
Huenink describes, in similar fashion the early beginnings of Trinity Lutheran. His posting includes an image of the early church and also lists that "Ladislauv Boor from Padbranc, Neuträer Comitat, Upper Hungary. He came to Chicago in September 1894." was the first permanent pastor. Huenink includes a picture of Ladislav Boor.
The Historical Marker Database has the image of marker, placed in 1968, in memory of the formation of Trinity Church in 1893. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=136423
Illinois' first Slovak Lutheran Church was not in Chicago. It was begun almost ten years before Chicago. Trinity Lutheran Slovak Church of Streator, Illnois.
"Holy Trinity Lutheran Church was established by Slovak immigrates in 1884 and is considered the first Slovak Lutheran church in America. Worship Services were in the language of the people, Slovak. In 1894 the building of the “Old #3” church was completed. The church was built near the Chicago, Wilmington, & Vermilion Coal Co. mine no. 3 in south Streator. The mine operated from 1884 through 1896. Today the “Old #3” church is used only for special Services. In 1902, Holy Trinity joined with other Slovak Churches in America to form the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1971, the SELC merged with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and remains as a non-geographic district of the LCMS.
Our primary Church is now located at 101 Trinity Dr. on the east side of Streator. The campus includes a woodland park with pavilion and playground. The main building houses our Church, Preschool, educational wing and fellowship hall."
Note: Ancestry has some records for Chicago's Trinity Lutheran Church.