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First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Pa. Records

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The entire collection is available online.

What's in the entire collection?

The records of the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, contain minutes, church registers, publications, and baptismal, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from 1837-1975. Series I contains minutes in both German and English languages.

The marriage records in Series II contain returns of marriages consisting of five volumes which list the full name of the husband along with his occupation, residence, birthplace, and age when married. The returns of marriages also list the wife's maiden name, residence, birthplace, and age when married. The returns list the date and place of marriage, the race of the couple, and the name of the person performing the ceremony along with his residence and date of return. The authorizations to solemnize marriages from the County of Allegheny Orphan's Court contain the names of persons to be married, the date of authorization, and the signature of the Clerk of Orphan's Court.

An important note regarding burial records in Series III indicates that the remains in the graves which were in a cemetery behind Pitt Stadium were removed and reburied in the mid-1970's in Mt. Royal Cemetery, 2700 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw, Pennsylvania.

The church register in Series III contains information regarding the officers of the congregation and communicants records as adults, communicants released at their request, and contain the baptismal, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from 1937-1975.

About the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

The First German Evangelical-Lutheran Congregation of Pittsburgh was organized on January 22, 1837. Led by The Reverend "Father" Heyr, the first Divine Services were held in a Unitarian meeting house on Smithfield Street in downtown Pittsburgh. From 1838 to 1839 the congregation worshiped in a school house and the the old courthouse. On July 7, 1856, the Church Council voted to unite with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Three different downtown churches served the congregation from 1840 to 1925. The church built in 1840 at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Grant Street was the first Evangelical-Lutheran church building erected in Pittsburgh. The second building at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Wylie Avenue, built in 1848, was undermined by a railroad tunnel. The third downtown building, Trinity Church, located on Sixth Avenue between Wylie and Fifth Avenues, was sold in 1925. This building had a seating capacity of 1,600 and was distinguished by a 180 foot steeple. It was subsequently demolished and a parking garage built on its site. With the decommissioning and sale of the third downtown church building, the congregation moved to Oakland, which was then the suburbs, but is now a section of the City of Pittsburgh. Construction of the present Trinity Church began in 1926 with completion and dedication in 1927. The church was designed in the fifteenth century Gothic style by Corbusier and Lenski, famed architects from Cleveland. The builder was Edward Wehr of Pittsburgh. Total cost of the new building was approximately $400,000. First Trinity is constructed of Bedford, Indiana limestone, suggesting the classical medieval cathedrals of Europe. The congregation changed its name to First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church in 1930 as the German language gave way to English among the members.

The mission of First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to the people of Pittsburgh in accord with the Great Commission, to preach and teach the true Word of God and administer the sacraments that all who hear it and receive them may live and grow in faith in Jesus Christ, and to act in faith with love and mercy toward others, especially members of First Trinity parish and those in the Pittsburgh area.

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