Trinity Lutheran, a small, nondenominational church near the Michigan-Wisconsin border, is among a small group of churches opening up to the public in Michigan.
Trinity Lutheran’s membership is growing fast, with more than half of its congregations in the Twin Cities metro area and nearly a quarter of its churchgoers attending services in Wisconsin.
It was founded in 2015 in Michigan and is now open to the general public.
It is one of the first Lutheran churches in a state where there is no statewide church of any denomination.
The church is currently seeking an additional member for the coming year.
Trident Lutheran founder and pastor Wayne Thomas was the first pastor in Michigan to hold the leadership position at the U.S. Lutheran Church in America, a denomination founded in 1857.
He also served as president of the Michigan Conference of the U, which is a statewide organization for Lutheran-affiliated churches.
Trinitist Lutheran pastor WayneThomas in a photo from the church’s website.
Trinitarian Lutheran pastor Stephen J. Whelan, one of three co-pastors in the church, said Trinity Lutheran is expanding its reach to include the Twin City area.
“We’ve always tried to stay away from the larger communities of worship, but we’re open to all,” Whelans said.
Trimmed to fit in with the Twin Lake area, the church opened a coffee shop and cafe in its new space on East Lake Street, which has the same name as the Trinity Lutheran church.
Wheson said that since the church was founded, the Twin Lakes area has seen growth.
“In the past, there were a lot of folks who would go to churches, but now we’re seeing a lot more people,” he said.
The church has begun offering its services on the local television news station, WJBF-TV, as well as other local outlets.
Withers said the church is not yet available on WKOW-TV in Michigan as the broadcast company has not yet agreed to broadcast the show.
Tridian Lutheran’s services are typically held in a chapel and its music is a mix of Christian rock and classical music.
The service starts at 6 p.m. and is followed by a Bible reading, a hymn and a worship service.
Wreson said the first service was held on May 2.
Withers and Whelons said they plan to have the church open to members of the public for services later this year.
He said the number of members will likely increase in the coming years.
Traditionally, the Trinity community has been split into two distinct groups, Witherson said.
“We’ve had a tradition of saying that we’re the smallest church in the world, but that’s not the case,” he added.
“The fact that we have a congregation of more than 10,000 people and a chapel full of music is just incredible.”
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