Trinity Lutheran Church was formed in 1890 by German immigrants emmigrating from Lower Manhattan. As the ferries and bridges started to open and connect Astoria and Long Island City with Manhattan, Trinity prospered. Services were originally conducted in German but switched to English by the 1920s. Every Advent, a special German Christmas service is held at Trinity in honor of our roots.
The current church building opened in 1927 and is listed on the National Register for Historic Places. Containing a historic Skinner organ, beautiful wood carving, and elaborate stain glass windows, Trinity, as a building, is a gorgeous neo-Gothic building.
But our congregation is more than just a historic building. We are a congregation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with an extremely diverse membership that reflects our multicultural neighborhood! Our congregation contains members from many different countries, ethnicities, racial groups, and sexaul orientations. Young families baptize their children here, twenty and thirty year olds form lasting friendships, and long time members serve as a foundation to our welcoming community.
Blessing of the Animals, October 2013
Trinity in the Snow, February 2013
Trinity Christmas 2010
Passing the Peace September 2010
The Rev. Paul B. Milholland
Pastor Paul became the spiritual leader of Trinity on May 9, 2010. The son of a Lutheran minister, he is a native of North Carolina, and served parishes in North Carolina, Virginia, and in Florida prior to coming to New York. For the past 8 1/2 years he was pastor of St. John's Lutheran of Lindenhurst, in Western Suffolk County.
Pastor Paul was educated at Lenoir-Rhyne College, a small Lutheran liberal arts college in North Carolina, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with significant course work in Sociology and Theater Arts. He received his Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg PA with special emphasis in Luther studies and Ecumenism. He engaged in Clinical Pastoral Education (hospital chaplaincy training) at the Lutheran Medical Center in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn, NY. He also took coursework at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Virginia, though no degree was conferred.
In 1982 and 1983, Pastor Paul became acquainted with the New York area when he served as a Youth Staffer for the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. In this capacity, he provided leadership to the synod's Youth organization, led retreats, developed youth groups, trained adults working with youth, and helped plan several region-wide youth events. Pastor Paul has written and directed several plays for children, young people, and adults, which have been performed in his parishes. He enjoys retreats and conferences, as well as summer camp experiences for people of all ages. He also loves to travel, and each year provides an opportunity for church folks and friends to enjoy exploring our world. Recent trips have included: Germany to Luther Country and the Oberammergau Passion Play in 2010; Hawaii in early 2011; and Footsteps of St. Paul in Greece and Turkey in 2012. At the request of Trinity members and friends, he is contemplating leading a pilgrimage to Israel.
Pastor Paul is especially attracted to Trinity because of the diversity of the congregation and the surrounding Long Island City and Astoria community. He desires to work with the congregation to make Trinity known as The Welcome Place where all are encouraged to engage in a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through the loving gathered community of believers and searchers at Trinity.
He loves to be in conversation with persons about their faith journey. He loves discovering the wonders of God's love through the study of the Bible - in fact, he has been teaching Bible study throughout his entire ministry.
Another ministry of Trinity's that is exiting for him is the emphasis upon social ministry and social justice. Pastor Paul was deeply involved in HELP, Hampton Ecumenical Lodgings and Provisions in Virginia when he served as pastor there, serving as president of the board and providing pastoral counseling to individuals and families in both the emergency shelter and those in transitional housing.
Pastor Paul says, "What an honor it is to have been called as the pastor of Trinity. We have a rich heritage of reaching out to the community, a gorgeous building and a vibrant worship life. I look forward to welcoming you into our fellowship of seekers and believers as we discover the amazing, accepting love of our God, expressed most fully in the embrace of Jesus Christ. Let's sit down in the office, during fellowship time after Worship in the undercroft, at my "children's desk" in the undercroft (stuffed animals and candy available upon request!), or over a cup of coffee or bite to eat in our community. I'll even visit you at your place of work and talk about how you see God using YOU in your everyday life. I want to walk with you and explore together God's love. We are growing both spiritually and in numbers and I am amazed at the rich diversity of people God is calling to be with us here at Trinity."
Pastor Paul lives in the rectory right behind the church. He has a daughter, Kelly, who lives here in the metropolitan NY area as well. Pastor Paul can be reached in several ways:
Office phone: 718/278-0036
Cell phone: 631/991-0491
William Easterling has been the Organist and Choir Director since October 2007.
William, or Bill, holds degrees in Organ and Vocal Performance from Baylor University, and a Master's Degree in Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. He comes to us from Christ Church United Methodist in Manhattan, where he held the post of Organ Scholar/Assistant Organist.