Making a Difference …
Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was established in 1922 in Narberth, Pennsylvania. During their first few years, the congregation of 90 members met for worship at the local YMCA, until a building was constructed at the corner of Woodbine and Narberth Avenues and dedicated in 1924. The Reverend M.E. McLinn served as the church’s founding pastor, and continued to lead the congregation until his resignation due to illness in 1927.
In 1927 the congregation called Reverend Cletus Senft as their pastor, and he served faithfully until his death in 1963. Under his guidance and leadership the congregation grew in size and became heavily involved in the local community of Narberth. Many members (including Reverend Senft) served on various civic organizations, and multiple seminarians were trained during this time.
Beginning in 1963, Reverend Kenneth Frickert served as pastor at Holy Trinity. Congregational members continued to be leaders in Narberth, and the church participated in multiple ecumenical Bible studies and launched a Christian nursery school. Reverend Frickert remained at Holy Trinity until his resignation in 1969.
After this resignation in 1969, the church called Reverend Orion Eichner to lead and serve the congregation, and he did so faithfully and capably until his death in 1992. During his ministry at Holy Trinity, the congregation established a day care center in their building and purchased a house next door (referred to as the Annex) to use for Sunday school and other educational activities. Holy Trinity also partnered with the Lutheran Refugee Settlement Program by later outfitting the Annex to house refugees in need. Reverend Eichner passed away in 1992 and is still remembered as a kind and loving man who led Holy Trinity with wisdom and passion.
Reverend Lloyd Shenaman next served as Holy Trinity’s interim pastor until the congregation was designated a ‘redevelopment’ church by the ELCA. At that time the synod appointed Reverend Caleb Harms to serve as pastor, and he remained at Holy Trinity from 1994 to 1999. It was during this time that the church began to call themselves “the Welcome Place,” and identified their call to welcome guests and visitors as a key part of their ministry and mission.
Following Reverend Harms’ departure from Holy Trinity, the synod appointed Reverend William deHeyman to serve as interim pastor during the transition. In 2000, the church called Reverend David Percy as their pastor. Reverend Percy served Holy Trinity until 2013, and during that time some big changes occurred, including the decision to call Reverend Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath as the director of Christian education. Holy Trinity also established a Memorial Garden on site to serve as a resting place for the cremated remains of church members and friends.
In 2013, Reverend Kris Peterson came to serve as interim pastor during another time of transition and change. Her
presence and leadership were an incredible gift to the congregation, and over the past few years the community at Holy Trinity has experienced new life and vitality. Seeking to once again become more rooted in the surrounding community of Narberth, the congregation planted the Holy Trinity “Giving Garden” in order to raise fresh produce for clients at the Narberth Community Food Bank. Under Reverend Kris’s guidance, the congregation revived their Youth Ministry and developed a new mission statement: “God’s people growing in faith, making a difference, and open to all.” All of Holy Trinity’s resources and energies are used to further that mission by providing opportunities for spiritual growth, serving the local community, and creating a safe place where all people are welcome and affirmed.
Reverend Heidi and Reverend Kris departed from Holy Trinity in 2014, and both are remembered fondly and with thanksgiving. In July 2014 the
congregation has been served and led by Vicar Josh Ferris, who in October 2015 was ordained Holy Trinity has called as our current Pastor! During this time Holy Trinity has continued to thrive, offering more opportunities to grow, serve, and welcome.
God has been faithful to our congregation over these last 93 years, providing us with all we needed to share Christ’s love and light with our community. We’ll soon be celebrating 100 years of ministry, and are excited to see where God leads and calls us next.