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History of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

God's blessings today

After over 40 years of God's grace, Holy Trinity continues to look forward to a bright future. Over the years the Lord has blessed our congregation with growth, both in the number of people who worship and grow together, and in the intangible blessings of his Church, as Christians learn and grow and serve together, gathered around God's word and sacraments. In 2007 our congregation's membership numbers over 530 souls, including nearly 400 communicant members. Over 120 precious lambs of Christ attend the elementary school. We continue to grow through participation in worship, Bible study, youth group, Sunday school, service and fellowship.


The first worship service was held on October 7, 1962, in the gymnasium of Sunny Terrace School, near Burien, Washington. The service was conducted by Pastor A. Zimmerman with 37 in attendance. Services were then moved to the Riverton Heights United Club, where they continued until September, 1964.


The formal organization of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church took place on January 13, 1964. In June of that year the congregation was accepted as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod at the Pacific Northwest District Convention at Omak, Washington.

First Pastor

Pastor David Bode was assigned to Holy Trinity from the seminary. On July 19, 1964, he was ordained and installed. In September, worship services were moved to the Woodmont School gymnasium. In November the present church site on South 260th Street was purchased.


On October 30, 1966, Reformation Sunday, the congregation broke ground for a new church. Dedication of the first church, an A-frame structure that seated about 200, took place on June 25, 1967.

New Pastor

At the end of 1971 Pastor Bode accepted a call to Tacoma. On February 6, 1972, Pastor William Warnke was installed. In January of 1977 the congregation voted to become self-supporting.

Assistant Pastor

In 1978 the congregation began holding two services on Sunday mornings. In the summer of 1978, Pastor Hugo Warnke, the father of Pastor William Warnke, accepted the call to become assistant pastor. In November Pastor William Warnke accepted a call to California, and in December Pastor Hugo Warnke also accepted a call.

Pastor James Oldfield of Renton served as vacancy pastor.

New Pastor

Pastor John E. Henning, formerly of Spokane, Washington, was installed as the new pastor in February of 1979.

Christian Elementary School

In the summer of 1979 the congregation voted to establish a Christian elementary school. Mr. John Rittierodt was the first principal, Mrs. Rita Bartsch the lower-grade teacher, and Mrs. Sue Rittierodt the kindergarten teacher. School was held in the church basement with an enrollment of 32 children. Since that time the school has had several teachers and principals. The current principal, Mr. Stephan L. Rodmyre, has served Holy Trinity since 1988.

New School Building

In 1982 a golf course clubhouse was moved onto the church property and remodeled. This building provides three classrooms and necessary space for administration.

Evergreen Lutheran High School

The high school, a separate entity from Holy Trinity, moved onto the congregation's campus in 1988 after losing its lease in DuPont, Washington. Portable units were used by the school as the church went through the process of building a gymnasium/classroom building during 1989 and 1990. The building was dedicated in January 1991. Evergreen continues to lease Holy Trinity's facility, but the high school is developing plans to move to its own location in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Assistant Pastor

Pastor Carl Rosenow was installed as an assistant pastor in November of 1990 to serve during Pastor Henning's recovery from liver transplant surgery. He served until retirement in May of 1994. Pastor Rosenow was the first pastor who has served Holy Trinity to depart this life. The Lord called Pastor Rosenow home to heaven on Palm Sunday, April 5, 1998.

Pastor Jon D. Buchholz

In May of 1994 Pastor Jon D. Buchholz, formerly of Waukesha, Wisconsin, accepted the call to serve as Holy Trinity's associate pastor. An arrangement with the high school allowed him to teach several classes at Evergreen while serving Holy Trinity in the special areas of outreach and youth ministry. In 1994, when he accepted the call to serve as Minister of Youth and Outreach. In 1995 the congregation extended him the call to serve as full-time pastor.

In April 2005, Pastor Buchholz accepted a call to Emmanuel, Tempe, Arizona.

Pastor Steven Lockman

In June of 1997, Pastor Steven Lockman, formerly of Cutter Ridge, Miami, Florida, accepted the call to serve as Holy Trinity’s associate pastor.  He served Holy Trinity in the special areas of in-reach and spiritual growth.

Pastor Mark Schewe

In November 2005, Pastor Schewe accepted the call to serve at Holy Trinity.

Pastor Schewe was born in Portland, Ore. His family lived in Mobridge, SD during his grade school years and then in Wisconsin for the rest of his upbringing and schooling.  Pastor and his wife Vicki enjoy playing and singing music, and also sports of all kinds.  They have been blessed with four children.

Pastor Mark Schewe enjoys serving the members of Holy Trinity. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and has been serving in the ministry  for 14 years. Pastor Schewe served asan instructor at Luther Preparatory School for three years, then at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Green Bay, Wis. for 10 years. In November, 2005, he accepted the call to serve at Holy Trinity.
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