Trinity

Record of work among the Lutheran people in Northwest Ontario began in 1907, although there had been some worship services conducted in the Waldhof (Gunne) area prior to 1907. Pastors and Missionaries came from various places to conduct worship services in Waldhof and Eagle River. In the summer of 1931, Pastor Hinricks began work among the Lutheran people in Dinorwic. Services were held mainly in German, but Ida Realini (nee Besselt) and Eino Hautela were baptized in an English ceremony in 1931. Due to the lack of manpower and money after Rev. Hinricks’ departure in 1931, all work in the area was halted. In 1935, Pastor Juettner of Winnipeg began work in Waldhof and made the occasional visit to Dinorwic.

In the winter of 1938, a candidate, Arnold Vehling, was sent to the area to live in Dryden. He entered Canada on December 3, 1938 and settled at the Dixon Boarding House in Dryden. He was sent just as a missionary to survey the area and look for prospects. In the spring of 1939 he was called by the Minnesota District to be the first full time resident Lutheran pastor in the Dryden area. After being married in 1939, he returned to Dryden to live in a house on the north side of the track. Worship services were now being conducted in Dinorwic, Dyment, Vermilion Bay, Waldhof, Eagle River and in the pastor’s home in Dryden.

Trinity Lutheran Church was built with hand sawn lumber in 1939 and 1940 on land donated by Wm. Bartz on Highway 17. The congregation officially organized and dedicated its church, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, in 1940 with 40 charter members. Among the early families and builders of the church were two unrelated Schultz families, the Bartz, Feco, Lippert, Besselt, Jeske, and Gergans families. A mixed choir was formed. The constitution was adopted in 1941. Gus and Lillian Paesel were the first couple married in the church.

Rev. E. P. Roth was installed in Dinorwic in June 1942. He held services at points of worship every second week, also extending to Lutherans in Quibell and Upper Falls. The Department of Health granted Rev. Roth and Trinity approval for the cemetery that still exists on church grounds. Mrs. Fred Gergans was the first person to be buried in the church cemetery. Below is a picture of Pastor Roth’s wife that was taken in 2007.

For a time services were held in both German and English. Dryden and Dyment were also being included with services, although later Dyment agreed to worship at Dinorwic. During the Second World War the congregation was directed to hold its services in English only by local authorities.

With the exception of minor changes, e.g. painting, foundation repairing, change from wood heat to oil heat, hydro, wall to wall carpet and cement handicap ramp, the church looks much the same as it did when built (there is no indoor plumbing).

On January 1, 1989, Trinity Lutheran joined Lutheran Church-Canada, and became a part of the Man.-Sask. District.

Because of the movement of people away from the area in recent decades, closure of the church was discussed and decided upon. Members now worship at Our Saviour in Dryden or at St. Mark in Vermilion Bay.