A brief History of

Trinity Lutheran Church, Hoffman, IL



The seeds for this the first Evangelical Lutheran congregation in Clinton County were sown by St. John’s New Minden as they helped develop a preaching station in Hoffman (then known as Osnabrueck) shortly after the New Minden congregation was formed in 1846.   On June 14th, 1874  the congregations first church building was dedicated, and six months latter the Rev. Julius Duensing became the congregation first full time pastor.    When the congregation ratified its first constitution in 1875 its new name officially became  “The German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation, unaltered Augsburg Confession, at Osnabrueck, Clinton County, Ill.  


The congregation also started a school immediately after the first Pastor arrived.  (His annual salary: $250.00).  The School was taught by the pastor and was held in the church.   In 1884 the first teacher Mr. Volkmann was hired to teach school during four months in the winter for $100.  In 1889, a resolution was passed to engage a lady teacher, who could teach English, for a period of three months.  


At the cost of $4600 the second of the three congregational church buildings was dedicated on May 14th, 1893.  According to congregational minutes $329 was collected from St. John’s New Minden to help with this building project.  By the turn of the century there were 95 voting members and 89 families in the congregation.


In 1907 Pastor Brockmann , who served Trinity from 1890-1908,  was elected to serve as the first Southern Illinois District President.  However he was unable to serve because shortly after this election he received and accepted the call to serve at Bethlehem Lutheran Church near Altamont, Ill.   He initially turned down this call twice, and even after representatives of the District appeared at a congregational meeting to try to persuade him that he was needed in the District, on November 1, 1908 he asked for and received a peaceful dismissal.      Shortly after this “Teacher F.E. Redeker” accepted the call as principal and teacher at the school.  For 35 years he remained at that calling here, and to this day the name “Teacher Redeker” is synonymous with this school. 


In 1912 the school was enlarged, and a second teacher was added.   A new school was built in 1951, with additions of classrooms in 1960, and a gym in 1982. 


In July 1918 the congregation resolved to begin English services “occasionally”.  It was not until 1931, however, that regular monthly English services were held in the morning.    Regular German services were ended in 1954.   This caveat was noted in a July 1955 voter’s meeting.  “German services were again brought up at this meeting, but were defeated.  It was decided that anyone who desired to have German communion could receive it at home or at the parsonage.”  


The third church building was dedicated on May 24th, 1970 at a cost of $187,000.  The sale of the old lumber and furniture from the second church was $4,400.  It was almost the same amount that it had cost to build it 75 years before.


Twelve Pastors have served Trinity, Hoffman in its 133 year history.  The Rev. H.K. Scharlemann had the longest tenure, which was 35 years (1955-1993).     


At the 125 anniversary of the congregations there were 650 baptized members, 535 communicant members, and 98 students in the school.  Since the 1950’s those numbers for the congregation and school have remained steady, with minor fluctuations.     Thanks be to God that for over 130 years God has used his Word and Sacraments to instill and enliven faith among the dear saints at Trinity Lutheran in Hoffman.