Our Story


A History of

Trinity Lutheran Church

Prescott Valley, Arizona

Prescott Valley, formerly Lonesome Valley, was founded in 1966 but the little prairie village didn't become a viable community until several years later.  Developers had bought 3600 acres of land from the Norman Fain ranch with the intent of creating a town from scratch.  In the beginning Prescott Valley had a motel, a few other buildings and 10,500 lots.  By the early 1970's Prescott Valley had a population of nearly 1000.  In 1973 9,000 of the 10,500 lots had been sold.  Nine out of 10 lots were sold to out of state people, primarily from the Midwest.   Trinity Lutheran Church of Prescott Valley started in 1971 when a group of interested area residents met at the home of Emil Krumwiede in Prescott Valley.  These people discussed the possibility of a church:  Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Kuhlman, Mr. and Mrs. Holger Nilson, Ruth Peterson, Florence Holland, Florence Strickland, Louise Meyer, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Kuhlman, Betty Lassila, Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Skow, Rev. and Mrs. Marius Haakenstad, and Mr. and Mrs. Emil Krumwiede.  Also in attendance was Rev. Eugene Beyer of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Phoenix and Rev. Harold B. Tietjen, Executive Secretary of the Mission Board or Southern California District.  There was a discussion on whether or not a mission was warranted here. Pastor Beyer promised to help.

First services were held on January 8, 1972 with Rev. Marius Haakenstad officiating and Florence Holland as pianist.  Less than 20 people were in attendance but joy and determination prevailed.  These services were held at the community A-frame building.  From early on Trinity was sponsored by Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Phoenix and served by their Pastor, the Rev. Eugene Beyer.

Officers of the mission congregation were selected in early 1972. Chairman-Dave Kuhlman, Vice Chairman-Paul Lassila, Secretary-Linda Kuhlman, Treasurer-Orville Woiwod, Trustees-Holger Nilson and Orville Woiwod, Elders-Wilbur Kuhlman and Emil Krumwiede and Sunday School Superintendent-Betty Lassila.  In January 1972 Florence Holland called the first Lutheran Ladies Auxiliary together in her home with 12 ladies present.  The first Sunday school classes were held at 2:30 p.m. and Worship Services at 3:30 p.m.  First teachers in the Sunday School were Sandy Kuhlman, Todd Bulock, Faye Nilson and Vi Krumwiede.

In the Spring of 1972, the congregation received the good news from Pastor Beyer that a student at the St. Louis Seminary had agreed to begin summer assignment in Prescott Valley.  Vicar Randy Brodhagen arrived for the summer and services were held in the Coachlight Inn.  During this time Pastors from Phoenix came up once a month to administer Communion.  Vicar Brodhagen occupied the mobile home belonging to Nellie Hoffman during the summer and worked five days a week at the Prescott Country Club Golf Course.  During this time the first Vacation Bible School was held, with 61 enrollments and 11 teachers and helpers.

From September to December1972, Rev. E. Umbach and Rev. E. Rasmussen served the congregation while Rev. Eugene Beyer made efforts to obtain a new vicar for the congregation. In October, the first confirmation class began meeting with Vi Krumwiede as teacher.

Pastor Beyer's requests for a vicar were answered. Vicar Lance Jennings and his wife Marie arrived in Phoenix where they made their home in December 1972.  Since Trinity was sharing a vicar with Mount Calvary, Trinity was considered the "daughter" congregation.  On December 17th Pastor Beyer inducted Vicar Lance Jennings at Trinity.  Since the Coachlight had changed hands, services were being held at L & H Lumber Company in Prescott Valley.  Members were calling it "The Church of the Carpenter!"

In February 1973, serviced were again conducted in the community A-frame.  Vicar Jennings and his wife came up to Prescott Valley on the weekends.  A Youth Group was formed and met each week in the Vicar's home. A mobile at 1759 Tracy, owned by Edward Osenga.



On March 5, 1973 at a special meeting at the Woiwod home, members decided to take a leap of faith and purchased a tract of land in Prescott Valley for $15,000.  At this time the members were not sure how they would finance the purchase, but they were determined.  Later, half the land was sold to Open Door Chapel of Prescott Valley.  On March 6 the congregation adopted its first constitution.  Incorporation proceedings were also initiated in 1973.  In August 1973 Kristi Lynn Wentz, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. GordonWentz was the first child to be baptized in the congregation.  OnOctober 21st, the first class of confirmants was received into membership and a potluck dinner was served as a celebration.  A second successful Vacation Bible School was held that year with an average attendance of 43.  A farewell gathering was held at the Woiwod home for Rev. and Mrs. Lance Jennings who were returning to the seminary.


In November 1973, the congregation strengthened when they learned that a recent graduate of the Springfield Seminary would be assigned in December as a full time worker and that the congregation would be recognized as a new mission congregation of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and that it was to be subsidized as such.

Pastor Paul Adams was installed at Trinity on December 2,1973.  While Pastor Adams served the congregation, the first church facilities were built.  The building committee members were Orville Woiwod, Wilbur Kuhlman, Dave Hommel, Dave Kuhlman and Edna wood. A groundbreaking service was conducted on December 22, 1974.  The original church building was dedicated on April 27, 1975.  The Rev. Harold B.Tietjen was the dedication speaker.  Also during Pastor Adams' tenure a preaching station was started in Black Canyon City.  Later the English District adopted Grace Lutheran as one of their mission congregations.


The Rev. Richard Schinnerer was called as Missionary at Large and installed on April 30, 1977.  He served the congregation until August 31, 1979.  While Pastor Schinnerer served Trinity a preaching station was started in Prescott.


Trinity's third full time Pastor was called in November of 1980.  Rev. Larry Courson was installed on February 15, 1981 as Missionary at Large.  By the start of 1982 the preaching station in Prescott became a daughter congregation.  This new congregation was named "Shepherd of the Hills".  Pastor Courson served both Trinity and Shepherd of the Hills as dual parishes.

A second building committee was appointed in July 1981 for the expansion of the church building.  The members of the building committee were Orville Woiwod, Gordon Wentz and Wilma Nunally.  The plans for expansion were approved and the congregation voted to begin construction on April 25, 1982.

From November 1982 through the fall 1983 Vicar Tim Rehwaldt and his wife, Judy, aided in ministering to Trinity and Shepherd of the Hills.  Before the building expansion was completed Pastor Courson and Joan Carouso were united in marriage at Trinity on January 29th, 1983.

On April 10, 1983, the members of Trinity voted to complete the expansion project and become a self-supporting congregation.  Pastor Courson was called by the congregation to serve as full time resident Pastor on August 30th.  A special "Service of Praise, Thanksgiving. Installation and Dedication" was held on September 25, 1983.  In 1983 Rev. Denis Wittenberger was called to become Missionary at Large at Shepherd of the Hills.

In October 1987, Rev Dennis Morner was called as Pastor of Trinity with his wife Jacque joining him. Following requests by a number of Trinity's members living in the Cordes Lakes area, Pastor Morner was given permissions to start a preaching station in Cordes Lakes in April 1988.  The Cordes Lakes faithful initially met in the Community Hall.  That first spring and summer they met twice a month on Sunday afternoons.  In the Fall of 1988 they began worshipping every Sunday.  By the fall of 1990, a constitution had been written and the name "Mountain of Faith Lutheran Church" was selected.  From November 1990 on Mountain of Faith has been served by a number of Pastors, and has been adopted by the pacific Southwest District as one of their mission congregations.

 Early in the spring of 1989, Nelson Beck, Donna Voss and Alyce Blank met to discuss the possibility of Trinity beginning a "Latch Key" ministry.  Later that summer Patti Merchant was hired as director and Gayle as assistant to begin after school care in September.  The name "God's World" was chosen for our new ministry.  After limited success, the staff, board and congregation engaged in much prayer, finally deciding the Lord wanted us to expand our ministry to all day care, morning Pre-school, and before and after school care.  We "re-opened" our doors the last day of October 1989.  God's World first elected board consisted of Darlene Vosberg, Orville Woiwod and Karen Gatzemeyer.  During the period of 1989 -1994 enrollment at God's World continued to grow.  It became apparent that the facility in Trinity's basement was too small to accommodate more children. A new God's World planning board was formed in 1994 to address the problem of limited space.  This board consisted of Dennis Voss, Vicki Drake, Matthew Voss, Bob Mogler, Orville Woiwod, Marge Melchoirs and Richard Jefferies.  Not only did we need more space but also the growth potential for Prescott Valley was increasing by the month.  After much prayerful thought and planning a resolution was brought before the congregation to move forward with the construction of a new facility.  The resolution was passed and ground breaking was scheduled for June 1995.  A great deal of personal time, talents, contributions and prayers were given in the construction of the new building. Parishioners worked alongside professional tradesmen on the job with dedication of the new facility in February 1997.

 In 1996 Trinity provided use of church facilities on Saturday afternoons for the "Worldwide Church of God".  A room in the basement was allocated for "Neighbor to Neighbor" and their mission service to the community.

 A second service was offered in 1996.  Early service offered traditional Lutheran worship with a choir.  Second service offered an "upbeat" Praise Worship with a Praise Team.

 A kindergarten class was started in the fall of1998.  God's World then had an enrollment of 155 children.  Trinity has come a long way, with the Lord's help, since the early days of our childcare center.  By 1998 Trinity Church had also grown from the original dozen or so members to a baptized membership of over 300.

 August 12, 2001, after nearly14 years with Trinity,Rev. Dennis Morner answered a call to Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Anchorage Alaska.  The congregation bid farewell to Pastor Dennis, his wife Jacque and their children, Beth (13 yrs,) Matt (11 yrs) and Josh (5yrs) at a wonderful dinner in Trinity Hall.  Most of the membership turned out as well as many others in the community during the 4-hour festive occasion.  Pastor Dennis accomplished many things at Trinity and saw the church bloom!  He is a wonderful friend that will be missed. 

 August 28, 2001:a consortium of voters chose to hire an Interim Pastor for the next 6 months to guide the church through the call process.   Trinity Lutheran Church has a strong congregation who believes God is in the church so here we are to keep His work going.

 November 4, 2001:Pastor Norman Walter from Peoria Arizona starts his Interim pastor duties.  His first Sunday with Trinity was a success. He was welcomed by all.  We look forward to working with him in the call process we will under go in the next few months.

 Summer 2002: Pastor Norman Walter is staying in Peoria to recover from health problems.  Pastor Herman Jonas, from Cave Creek AZ., has taken over the "interim" Pastor duties.  He has been wonderful for this congregation.  He has started Pastor classes so we had several new members join the family of Trinity.

 During the next few months we called three men in three separate call votes.  All very good men.  We had the opportunity to meet the second in the Fall of2002, he declined due to family health emergency. March 2003- The current called Pastor visited this week and we will kept him and his family wholeheartedly in our prayers that God will guide them to us.  We certainly would be blessed to have him among us!

 In March Pastor Timothy Blau accepted our call!  Pastor Tim will be installed as Trinity's Pastor on May 18th 2003 during a special afternoon service. Pastor Tim is from Salem Lutheran Church in Orange California.  Pastor Blau was welcomed with open arms!


"Lord, Our Father In Heaven, please continue to bless us and guide us through our upcoming tasks as we rejoice in the many blessings and benefits You have given us.   Amen"


updated 04/18/2018 JV