The history of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church is
inseparably connected to the town of Ebenezer and the
arrival of the Salzburgers. In 1734, refugees from
religious persecution in the Salzburg region of Germany
arrived in Georgia seeking the freedom to worship as
Lutherans. From this group, the
Lutheran Churches of
Effingham County arose. In the early 1800’s a church
called Bethel was established just north of Springfield.
Soon a parish arrangement was formed that included other
churches in our area.
In 1900, the Rev. T.W. Shealy, pastor of the Bethel
parish became concerned that there was no Lutheran
church in the town of Springfield. His concern blossomed
into a plan to purchase land and build a church on
Laurel Street. First called “Lutheran Memorial Church”
then “Salzburger Memorial Church”, the name became
officially Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church with
the laying of the cornerstone in 1909 that read “Holy
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church erected 1909 in
memory of the Salzburgers who settled at Ebenezer in
Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was
chartered officially on June 9, 1912. Holy Trinity has
been served by 14 pastors and has been a vital part of
this community for almost 100 years.
A Timeline of Significant Events
- An organizational meeting of the congregation
took place in June of 1912 and this date is the
official beginning of Holy Trinity’s life together
in service to God.
- Pastor Shealy became the congregation’s first
pastor in 1912 and remained its pastor until his
death in 1936.
- Esther Shearhouse became the superintendent of
the Sunday school and the first female member of
Church council in 1940. This year also saw the
beginning of the tradition of Vacation Bible school
that continues today in cooperation with the other
Lutheran churches in the county.
- In 1950, the Sunday school building was
- Grace Lutheran Church of Stillwell merged with
Holy Trinity in 1964. This congregation was
established in 1902 and many of our members still
remember fondly the days of Grace Church but have
made a home here at Holy Trinity.
- A Family Outreach Center (FOC) was purchased in
2000. This building which at one time served as the
City Hall building is now used for youth and adult
Living History: Jackson Zipperer
Mr. A. Jackson Zipperer became a member of Holy
Trinity just before he was 9 years of age. His father, a
charter member of Holy Trinity, a Newberry College
graduate and schoolteacher, had taught him the catechism
(instruction in the faith) and he was confirmed by the
Rev. Dr. Shealy. The young lad was hired by Holy Trinity
and paid $1.50 a month to unlock the doors, get wood,
and make a fire in the stove furnace in winter, and open
the windows in the summer. He was also responsible for
hand pumping the organ for Sunday morning services.
The history of Holy Trinity is built upon the
examples of faith we have had throughout the years. We
give thanks for all who have built up the church,