Altona church celebrates 140 years


First Trinity Lutheran Church of Altona celebrated 140 years of God's Grace and Blessing on June 13.

Church history states that "on Trinity Sunday in 1881, the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran congregation was organized under the leadership of the Rev. G. Bullinger at the home of Carl Erxleben, one and one-half miles east and two miles north of where the present church is located.

"Following were the charter members: Carl Erxleben, Christian Bastian, Wm. Wieland, Wm. Thies, Herm. Brundieck, Herm. Luehrman, Henry Pflueger, John and Philipp Greenwald."

During the celebration service, the Rev. Terry Macklin, a former pastor of First Trinity, now living in Freeman, South Dakota, was guest speaker and lector. The Rev. Timothy Booth was liturgist. Guest musicians were Riley Hlavac, pipe organ; Dusty Butler, trumpet; and Joanna Leckband, violin.

A catered dinner was served after the service at no cost to those attending. Decorated anniversary cake and cupcakes were served for dessert. Banners from past anniversary services were displayed in the church. A historical display was featured as well as a table with items for sale, such as church plates and t-shirts and anniversary booklets from past celebrations. Several free items were also offered.

A large number of former members and other guests from Nebraska and several states were in attendance. Services are held each Sunday at First Trinity Lutheran Church at 8 a.m. with the congregation's motto, "To God Be the Glory."