Trinity Lutheran spruces up

January 12, 1997


Staff Writer

Five years ago, the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church of Hagerstown made the decision to stay downtown.

Landlocked at 15 Randolph Ave., the church couldn't expand. Instead, the congregation decided to improve the existing building to better serve its members and the community.

All that work is now nearing its conclusion and a rededication ceremony has been set for Sunday, Jan. 19, at 10:45 a.m.

At the same time, a new stained glass window and the new organ will be dedicated, according to Bill Price, Trinity's administrator.


Remodeling isn't new at Trinity, but this latest effort was by far the most extensive.

Two years ago, the outside of the building was overhauled, Price said.

During this round, the inside of the church was addressed for the first time in 30 years.

All the wainscoting, chancel rail and other ornate wood trim was either cleaned and refinished on-site or shipped to the Francis Gibbons Company in Baltimore, Price said.

"We sent about 80 pews and the pulpit to Baltimore to be cleaned and refinished,'' Price said.

The Gibbons Company, which specializes in church restorations, also cleaned all the stained glass in the church.

A new stained glass section, located on the south side of the front of the church, was created by the Rambusch Company of New York for $37,500, Price said.

"It depicts John baptizing Christ, so we moved the baptismal font over in front of that scene,'' Price said.

A painting of Christ above the altar of the church was cleaned and partially repainted and enhanced, Price said.

New carpet was laid, some hardwood flooring was added, the electrical system was upgraded and the interior walls were painted.

Backgrounds of liturgical red were added to the ceiling details above the altar area and throughout the sanctuary, Price said.

The bill for that interior work came to about $400,000, Price said.

The 58-rank organ, which contains some parts of the old Moller organ, was built in Orrville, Ohio, by the Schantz Company, which now bills itself as the largest maker of pipe organs in the world - a title which used to belong to the now-defunct Moller Organ Works in Hagerstown.

The price tag for the organ was $470,000, Price said.

"This is the third time the church has been rededicated in its 85-year history,'' said Pastor David Buchenroth. But he added that the Jan. 19 event is just the beginning of a year of celebrating.

An organ recital is planned for the near future to properly introduce the new organ.

Now that the work is nearly completed, the congregation has decided to give a sum representing 10 percent of the cost of the capital improvement project as a mission tithe, Buchenroth said.

That money will be used for outreach programs, he said.

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