Saturday, March 10, 2012
Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA), Brookfield Township (Rural Hector), MN
On one of my several trips back and forth between Nebraska and St. John's, I noticed a steeple on the horizon just outside of Hector, Minnesota. I had the time, so I decided to investigate. I found that this steeple belonged to Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Brookfield Township.
Unfortunately, I know very little about the history of this congregation or its church. From what I've gathered, the congregation was founded in 1897 with the current church dating from 1901 and renovated in 1948. The above photo was hanging in the back of the church and likely dates from the early 1970s. If any readers have information on the history of this church, please feel free to email me.
Another photo hanging in the back of Trinity Church depicts the structure in the context of its native surroundings. The adjacent parsonage is no longer standing.
A well-worn set of double doors greeted me upon entering the church along with the requisite bulletin board and pamphlet rack.
I found in the interior of Trinity Church the quintessential prairie Lutheran church: a well-proportioned Gothic Revival structure clad in wainscot and acoustic fiber board (likely from the 1948 renovation), small pipe organ left of the sanctuary, locally-crafted banners on the side walls, and wood-stained altar, pulpit, and baptismal font in the sanctuary.
A view from the altar facing the church entrance. The church does have a small balcony, but it appears that it's mostly used for storage now.
A closer look at the sanctuary better shows the church's furnishings in relation to each other. The structural protrusion behind the pulpit is actually a very small vesting room for the pastor.
Light glances off of the ornate details of the pulpit. While the church's furnishing are not overly elaborate, they are very nice pieces that represent the era of construction very well.
The altar of Trinity Church features plaster reproductions of two famous pieces of artwork: Michelangelo's Last Supper and the Christus statue by Bertel Thorvaldsen. The altar itself has been very well preserved and compliments the architecture of the structure itself.
A closer look at the baptismal font and very fine presider's chair featuring Prairie-style detailing.
An attendance board hangs on the side wall, near the pipe organ. Hopefully, these numbers don't reflect the actual status of the congregation. The ELCA website reports healthier statistics for Trinity.
The windows are comprised of very simple colored glass set into wooden frames.
A closer look at the clear glass planes reveal an elaborate etched design.