Trinity Lutheran Church has been living out the Christian faith since its founding in 1957. Our first worship service took place on Trinity Sunday, June 18, 1957 at the Vermilion-on-the-Lake Clubhouse. Whether worshiping at the clubhouse, in a storefront, or our present location, we have been a faith community dedicated to providing a welcome space for ALL who seek Christ.
Today we are a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church In America, denomination committed to doing God’s work with our hands . Our most basic theological teachings are: Grace alone, Faith alone, and Scripture alone.
We are saved by the grace of God alone-not by anything we do;
Our salvation is through faith alone—a confident trust in God, who in Christ promises forgiveness, life, and salvation;
The Bible is the norm for faith and life.
Trinity is part of the largest Lutheran body in North America, founded in 1988 when three North American church bodies united: the American Lutheran Church, Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and the Lutheran Church In America.
ALL are welcome here—we are truly ONE BODY gathered in the free gift of God’s grace.
In 1957 a group of ten families gathered to discuss the possibility of establishing a mission congregation to serve those in the Vermilion area. David Riley, a seminarian at Hamma School of Theology in Springfield, Ohio was invited to come and conduct a survey of the village's religious needs.
The first services of the mission congregation were held at the Vermillion-on-the-Lake Clubhouse on Trinity Sunday, June 18, 1957.
A year later the Reverend Richard Faust was called by the Board of American Missions to be the mission developer. The congregation was formally organized May 24, 1959, with 51 confirmed members and 58 child members listed on its rolls. With the establishment of the official parish, Pastor Faust was extended a call and became the first pastor of the congregation August 16, 1959. While still located in the clubhouse, the church received the gift of its first organ, a small home organ, the donation of a prominent Cleveland industrialist who wished to make organs available to small churches.
Pastor Faust accepted a call to a parish in Lucas, Ohio in February of 1961 and was followed by the Rev. William Pletcher in January of 1962.
During the time the congregation worshiped on the lake front, the Vermilion-on-the-Lake Clubhouse changed ownership, and the church moved its worship services to a store front in the South Shore Shopping Center. The young congregation saw its location as an opportunity to reach out more actively into the community and meet people where they lived, where they worked and where they shopped.
The church soon outgrew its storefront surroundings, however, and the congregation, under Pastor Pletcher's leadership broke ground for a new nave, sanctuary and fellowship hall on April 7, 1963. The new building was formally dedicated on October 6, 1963.
Pastor Pletcher resigned his position at Trinity Lutheran Church in February of 1967 to become a military chaplain. He was followed by the Rev. Gordon Glink who served from 1967 - 1969. During Pastor Glink's tenure the congregation made strides in undergirding its financial well-being.
The Rev. Warren Powell became the church's fourth pastor on March 1, 1970 and remained until his retirement in December 1980. While Pastor Powell served at Vermilion, the congregation became self-supporting. The church remains grateful for the initial support given to it by the Board of American Missions. Under Pastor Powell's leadership, the Lutheran Book of Worship was formally adopted by the congregation for use at worship.
The Rev. Eugene Loehrke became the church's fifth pastor on March 15th of 1981. During Pastor Loehrke's tenure a new nave and sanctuary were built and dedicated in June of 1986. A Dedicatory Recital for the new Rodgers Electronic Organ was held as part of the festivities. The growth at the church as a structure was matched by its development as a congregation reaching out to the entire community. Pastor Loehrke retired in June 1987.
The Rev. Darrell Ovak served the congregation as full time pastor in years following Pastor Loehrke's retirement. He served in this capacity, assisting the congregation in all aspects of congregational life. Pastor Ovak ended his service to Trinity in February of 1995.
The Rev. Dr. Terrance Parker began his Vermilion ministry in September of 1995. The last of the Sanctuary Stained Glass windows were installed and dedicated. The first of a series of Trinity Summer Day Camps, provided through the staff of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries commenced in 1997. The number and variety of worship opportunities from traditional to contemporary in style flourished. With other ongoing part-time staff the congregation continues to fulfill a variety of functions in education, worship, and service for the community. Pastor Parker retired from full time ministry in 2011.
As part of the congregation's 50th Anniversary Celebration, a new pipe organ was installed in the sanctuary.
After an interim period, Trinity extended a call to The Rev. Richard J. Leseganich of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod in September 2012. Reformation Sunday was the occasion for the first opportunity for Pastor Leseganich and the congregation to worship together under new pastoral leadership. Pastor Leseganich resigned his position in July 2018 to receive a call in the Florida Bahamas Synod of the ELCA.
In October 2018, The Rev. Sherman Bishop began an intentional interim ministry in Vermilion. We continue with traditional and contemporary worship opportunities, with Christian education and youth engagement being a primary focus of our community during this interim period. An active Call Committee is working in conjunction with the Northeast Ohio Synod of the ELCA to call our next full-time pastor.