(Source: “As Time Goes By”, Odebolt, Iowa
printed by The Odebolt Chronicle May, 1977, pp. 134 - 135)
Preliminary work in organizing Trinity congregation began when six men, Carl Hansen, Vern Roth, Harold Weifenbach, Julian Paulsen, Herman Witt and Maurice Johnson, pooled their efforts and money and bought the old abandoned German Reformed Church in Clinton Township which was sold at public auction February 16, 1946 for $660. Pastor Herbert Boerner of Peace congregation, Wall Lake, Iowa, then President of Iowa District West, guided the men and the newly formd group in preliminary meetings and organization work.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Odebolt, Iowa, was officially organized April 17, 1946. The original charter was signed by seventeen families [only sixteen families listed in this account], namely: Carl Hansen, Vern Roth, Harold Weifenbach, Julian Paulsen, Herman Witt, Maurice Johnson, Fred Schramm, Willard Albers, William Stehr, Clifford Albrecht, Charles Bugge, Marvin Hansen, Wayne Kutz, Delbert Nordell, Karl Rossow, and Louis Weitzel. These few families held their first worship service July 21, 1946, in the American Legion Building in Odebolt. Rev. G. H. Schaefer had been called by Immanuel congregation, Cook Township, to serve both Immanuel and the newly organized congregation. There were 48 persons present at this first service. Mrs. Marvin Hansen served the congregation as the first pianist.
The old church was moved to its location at 4th and Locust streets in Odebolt, October 23, 1946. The cornerstone was laid on November 10, 1946. The basement was completed to such an extent that the congregation was able to hold its first service with the children’s program, Christmas Eve, 1946.
June 8, 1947 marked the dedication of Trinity’s new house of worship. Besides the initial $660 donation, and many personal donations as well as many hours of donated work, other necessary money was borrowed from the District Church Extension Fund. This debt was liquidated after a Thanksgiving offering in November 1951.
In 1952 Trinity started work on a new parsonage on the lot beside the church, intending to have a resident pastor. Work was completed on the parsonage and it was dedicated May 23, 1954. By 1952 the congregation had grown to such proportions that it began calling its own resident pastor. On February 10, 1954, a call was extended to the Rev. Wm. H. Albach of Bend, Oregon. The Lord graciously heard the prayers of the congregation, and in March, 1954, Pastor Albach accepted the call and began his duties in Odebolt, June 1, 1954.
It was March 24, 1957, that Trinity dedicated its first organ, a Baldwin Orgasonic spinet.
By 1958 the congregation had grown to such an extent that it was decided to begin a building fund for larger facilities. A 400’ by 220’ lot was donated to Trinity at Dewey and Sixth Streets (the present location) by George Lundgren, Odebolt, Iowa. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on April 5, 1964, and construction was started the next day. The present corner stone was laid October 11, 1964. The new church was dedicated February 28, 1965. The building committee consisted of LaDon Thayer, E. P. Hackbarth, Arnold Kies, Donald Bettin and Melvin Rabe.
The fall of 1965, Pastor Albach accepted a call to Hope Lutheran Church, Green Acres, Spokane, Washington, The Rev. O. E. Weiss, of Peace Lutheran, Wall Lake, Iowa, faithfully supplied the congregation from October 1965 until March 1966. After these months without a resident pastor, the Holy Spirit moved the Rev. John Ramsey to accept the call to this parish. For their new pastor, the congregation rented a home on Lincoln Ave.
Hardly a year passed after the dedication of the new church before bids were let for a new parsonage to be built beside the church. The new parsonage was completed and the congregation moved their new pastor and his family November 14, 1966.
January, 1972, Rev. Ramsey accepted a call to Country Club Hills, Illinois. Only two month had passed and the church again was blessed with a pastor. Rev. Edward Steyer of Beach, North Dakota, graciously accepted the call. He was installed on April 9, 1972.
In May 1972, the congregation dedicated the new Temple Pipe organ.
Rev. Steyer accepted a call to Hamilton, Texas in July, 1974. The Rev. O. E. Weiss, now retired, again served Trinity as supply pastor from the fall of 1974 through December 1975. The Rev. Albert Buelow was installed January 4, 1976.
There are 370 baptized souls in Trinity congregation at this writing . The congregation maintains a Sunday School, Adult Bible Class, confirmation instruction program, an adult information class, Lutheran Youth for Christ, Ladies Aid, Fellowship Club, Dartball team, junior choir and senior choir.
Mrs. Allen Volkert
Trinity Lutheran Church
612 S Dewey St
Odebolt, IA 51458;
(Transcribed by B. Ekse)