By Trinity Lutheran Church & School
For the Hollywood Star News
September 11-13 will mark the start of a year-long celebration of the 125th Anniversary for Trinity Lutheran Church and School and mark the 110th year of Concordia University-Portland (2811 N.E. Holman St.). This special three-day-weekend celebration with activities and festivities at Trinity Lutheran Church and School and the Concordia campuses will offer the opportunity for the community to gather and reminisce their Tiger, Blue Jay, and Cavalier days. It’s also an opportunity to recognize their shared beginnings – Concordia began in 1905 as Concordia Academy in the basement of Trinity Lutheran Church and School.
It all began in the late 1800s with Pastor Edward Doering, a young pastor from Illinois who arrived in Portland in the summer of 1881. He made many hazardous and difficult trips throughout the Willamette Valley on horseback, making contacts with Lutherans in Salem, Albany, Eugene and Mt. Angel, but it was in Portland that Missionary Doering saw his work culminate in the founding of Zion Lutheran Church in 1889 and Trinity Lutheran Church on December 10, 1890.
Today, the horses are long gone from Northeast Portland except for a few tie-down rings found on the curbs, but from September 11-13 there will be activities to mark the journey of Lutheran education all weekend.
On Friday there will be two special chapels, tours, alumni choir practice, a Concordia University soccer game, and visiting at the Concordia Ale House. The next day will start early at 9 am at Trinity Lutheran Church and School with “The Luther Lap” a 2.28-mile walk/run with the Tiger Marching Band leading it off and ending with a final lap around the Concordia stadium cheered on by the CU Cross County team. After crossing the finish line, alumni are welcomed to the rehearsal for the Sing Again Alumni Choir in the CU Fine Arts Building from 11 a.m. to noon. Everyone is welcome to take a step back in time with a walk through display of history in the CU library and, of course, there will be birthday cake for all at the end.
The Education Sunday Service will accent the festivities at 10 a.m., and all alumni and friends are invited to enjoy special guest speaker, Northwest District President Rev. Paul Linnemann, an alumnus of PLS and Concordia University.
The Sing Again Alumni Choir will practice at 9 a.m. and will be made up of Trinity Tigers, Blue Jays from Concordia, LuHi, PLS, and Cavaliers. They will perform under the direction of retired music teacher, Dick Wrye (1972-99). The service will be followed by a potluck picnic at Trinity Lutheran Church & School at 5520 N.E. Killingsworth St.
Help rebuild the past by loaning your mementos for the walk through history display
Do you have letterman jackets, choir records, trophies, uniforms, newspaper clippings, academic awards, or anything else from your Tiger, Blue Jay, and Cavalier days that you would like to loan to the history display? Then contact Becky Sprecher, Concordia’s Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement at 503-493-6454 or ude.d1519360892naltr1519360892op-uc1519360892@rehc1519360892erpsb1519360892.
Q: What is a Lutheran?
A: The name Lutheran is based on the Theologian, Martin Luther.
Q: Who was Martin Luther and how did he change the world?
A: Martin Luther was a German monk and professor. He has been called the “Father of the Reformation.” He protested against the Roman Catholic Church and their sale of indulgences in 1517 to fund the building of St. Peter. These actions set in motion reform within the Church and the world. Martin Luther was the first person to translate the Bible from Latin to German for the ordinary man to feel closer to God. He then used the newly invented Gutenberg printing press to print the Bible to help spread the word of God.
Q: What does the leader Martin Luther have to do with the 1960s leader, Martin Luther King Jr.?
A: The great civil rights reformer, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born Michael King, Jr. His father had both of their names changed in honor of the great protestant reformer Martin Luther after visiting Germany.
Complete outline of Celebration Weekend
Opening Day: Friday, September 11
10:30 a.m. Special Chapel Service • Concordia University in the Fine Arts Building.
11:00 a.m. Tours of Concordia University
11:30 a.m. GRW 108 in the George R. White Library and Learning Center. Enjoy refreshments and remembrances in the Art & Carol Wahlers Center for Applied Lutheran Leadership room.
History Display: A Step Back in Time – Lutheran education in Portland.
1:00 p.m. Special Chapel at Trinity Lutheran School followed by tours of the remodeled facilities.
5:00 p.m. Concordia Stadium: Cavaliers Men’s Soccer against Linfield College
Special Highlights: Later in the afternoon or after the soccer game head on over to the Concordia Ale House and enjoy a “Martin Luther Discount” on their famous burgers all weekend long.
Saturday, September 12
9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Luther Lap Fun Run & Walk from Trinity Lutheran Church and School to Concordia University. The Trinity Tiger Marching Band will lead the way to the CU field and the CU Cross Country team will help out. This is a free event for the whole community.
The Luther Lap registration & t-shirt size forms can be found online at TrinityPortland.org and at CU-Portland.edu. Optional $10 commemorative t-shirt designed by TLS student, Annie Bahr.
Alumni are encouraged to wear Tiger, Blue Jay and Cavalier gear otherwise.
11:00 a.m. to Noon Sing Again Alumni Choir Practice/CU Fine Arts Building
Sunday, September 13
9:00 a.m. Sing Again Alumni Choir Practice
10:00 a.m. Education Sunday Service. Special guest speaker, Northwest District President Rev. Paul Linnemann an alumnus of PLS and Concordia University, student guests, and a Sing Again Alumni Choir performance under the direction of retired music teacher, Dick Wrye.
Potluck picnic at Trinity Lutheran Church & School at 5520 N.E. Killingsworth St. Contact Trinity for more information at gro.d1519360892naltr1519360892oPyti1519360892nirT@15193608922ecif1519360892fO1519360892
Excerpt from The Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and School 100 Year History 1890-1990 (The Birth of Concordia) by Don Sharadin
The history of Concordia College (originally Concordia Academy) is intricately woven into the history of Trinity and as such deserves a niche in this chronicle.
At the July, 1903 convention of the Oregon-Washington District of the Missouri Synod, some twenty-nine pastors, teachers, and laymen had assembled at St. Peter’s Church near Cornelius, to hear about the progress made by their church and the problems confronting it. One vital problem discussed at length was the difficulty in securing men to serve this vast wilderness area called by those in the East, the Oregon Country. Just barely past the frontier days, as civilization goes, with great sagebrush deserts in the east and limitless forested areas in the west this still appeared to be a region without a future. But the Mission Board of the youthful District saw otherwise and kept pressing Synod for more workers to take advantage of the many opportunities for the development of the church. Thus it was, at this convention that we first heard the now oft-repeated statement, “You must raise your own crop.” These were the words of a visitor at this session, Francis Pieper, the President of the Missouri Synod.
A number of problems remained to be overcome before classes could actually begin, but in one manner or another all were solved. Trinity Congregation offered the use of the church basement for a classroom, vacated when the new school was built at Rodney and Ivy two years previously.
A member of the congregation, Adolf Kuempel, offered to build an addition to his house where the students could room and board. This house still stands, at 522 N.E. Morris St.
The academy Board of Control, of which Mr. Kuhnau was a member for 26 years, had called a recent graduate, F.W.J. Sylwester, of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, to serve as professor at a salary of $40 a month. The first music teacher was paid $10 for a whole year’s instruction of one class a week.
Dr. Sylwester, the school’s first professor and president for 41 years, was installed at Trinity Church on September 10, 1905, and the next day seventeen students were at their desks. On December 20, 1907, after completion of a building at the present campus site, the students were able to move to their new home.
The property for Concordia Academy was part of a land grant to a William H. Payne on February 20, 1866. The 5-acre tract, part of the original 320 acre grant, was deeded to the Oregon and Washington District of the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States. May 31, 1907. The original owners were Charles Schnabel and his wife, Anne.
Accepting the property for the District was Rev. W. H. Behrens, Trustee for the Oregon and Washington District and the District President from 1906 to 1909. The Dedicators declared that the property “shall henceforth be known as Heidelberg.” Within a few years all of the area became known as Irvington Park.
The new building at the Concordia campus, serving as dormitory, cafeteria, offices and classrooms, was intended to house the school on a temporary basis, one that stretched out to 40 years. It was finally replaced with a modern dormitory, Centennial Hall, in 1947, and an administration building, Luther Hall, was dedicated in 1948.
The District was the sole support of the school for the first six years, after which Synod paid the salaries of the professors. In 1923 it was offered to Synod, debt-free, and became a part of the Synod’s preparatory system. Dr. Sylwester served the school until the Lord called him home on October 26, 1972.