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 Early years of Holy Trinity Church in SpringfieldLutheran 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 1743.”

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 completed.
  • 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 meetings.

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, including Jackson.


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