Friday, July 3, 2009

former Trinity Lutheran, Toledo (New Bethel COGIC)

Trinity Lutheran, now on Glendale in south Toledo, was organized in 1874 to serve the German community in what would eventually come to be known as the Lenk's Hill central-city neighborhood. The history page on their website bears this old photo (already their second church building at the time), along with a brief description of the building:
With a rapidly expanding membership, new facilities were constructed in the area bounded by Vance, Ewing, and Blum streets (Lenk's Hill area). This included a brick two-story four-room school with four teachers, an expanded sanctuary, and a parsonage. No date is given for when the church was actually built, but late 1800's is assumable:
Trinity relocated to their current location in 1958. Knowing that so many of these little old urban churches, formerly belonging to congregations that moved outward, have sometimes been demolished or fallen into disrepair, I started to wonder if perhaps this one was even still there. One sunny early spring day, I went looking -- and it sure was (these two photos by Jeffrey Smith):

The old building is getting a siding job ...

I was rather surprised to see how large the school building really is ...

It's now home to New Bethel COGIC (Church of God in Christ, a historically African-American Pentecostal denomination).
The Lutheran rose has been greeting these Pentecostal brethren all these years ...
The stained-glass windows are just gorgeous, and if those bars help keep them that way, more power to 'em ...

I'm speculating that these windows may have been installed in the 1920's sometime. So much of the detailing in these windows is so similar to the ones at Bethany, my home church (compare to the details in the title bar image at the top of the page, and the image at the bottom of the sidebar) that they may well have come from the same company, although I could find no information at Bethany as to what company manufactured their windows and I'm sure I won't be finding out anything more about these.

I would just love to see these from the inside!
That was a four-room schoolhouse??! Looks like it easily could have been twice that size! But it's just deteriorating now (unlike the church, thankfully). It doesn't appear to have been used much if at all, ever since Trinity moved out ...


  1. Looks like you snagged a self-portrait in the door shot...:)

  2. Ah, the hazards of shooting glass doors!