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History of the Trinity Lutheran in Outline



First Lutheran service in the area was held November 5th in West Paris by Pastor Alpo Salminen, with "large number of people being present." Other services followed at infrequent intervals with Pastors Alfred Haapanen, Gabriel Lipsanen, M.I.Kuusi, and others officiating.


On January 7th a group met at the farmhome of Abel Huotari, and organized the "Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church"' of independent status. First officers elected were: chairman Oscar Tikander, secretary Juho Komulainen, Sr., treasurer August Komulainen (later Cummings), auditors August Niskanen and Mrs Amalia Huotari.


Decision made on September 14th to apply for admittance into the Lutheran Church - Suomi Synod. Accepted into the Synod in September of 1915.

To provide for Christian instruction for children and the youth of the church a Sunday school was formed, with first teachers of the children being John V. Komulainen and Kustaava Komulainen. With only few minor interruptions the Sunday school has functioned to this day, with John A. Cummings (son of John V. Komulainen) the superintendent for past fifteen years or more.


Congregation secures the services of Pastor S.H.Ronka, of Lanesville, Mass., who came once a month to conduct worship, serving the church for two years.


Land, ab. half acre, for cemetery was acquired on King Hill from C.W.Shaw and August Cummings. Since enlarged the cemetery still is owned and used by the congregation. First cemetery board was composed by Oscar Tikander, Charles Whitman, August Cummings, John V. Cummings, and August Niskanen.


About one acre of land at the foot of Sing Hill near Buckfield Road was purchased from F.J.King for the sum of $25.00. At same time building fund established with $559.00 in cash and pledges.

For the first time congregation voted to send a delegate to the annual convention of the Eastern Conference of Suomi Synod, held then in Lanesville, Mass.


The church building, construction which was started the previous year, was completed. Dedication services were held Sunday, August 17th, with Pastor S.H.Ronka officiating and assisted by Pastors Paananen, Maattala, and Ilmonen.


The congregation incorporated on April 25th in accordance with the laws of the State of Maine. The pastor (interim) was Bruno Wuornos the general Home-missioner of the Synod for New England area, who served in that capacity for nearly 15 years.

Agreement made with the Lutheran congregation congregation in Harrison to form a parish together, both congregations to avail for themselves the services of same pastor.


Important year for the congregation, for now for the first time she had a resident pastor when Pastor George Autio accepted the call, and moved here from Wisconsin.


Members who lived in Hebron-West Minot mainly for practical considerations withdrew from South Paris congregation, to form their own church the "Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hebron - West Minot". Sunday school work and monthly worship services had been conducted there for years.


The official incorporate name of congregation was changed, to be known henceforth as "Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church".

The church building was moved from former location into village of South Paris, land for the purpose having been purchased previous year from Alving Downing for $750.00. Church located now on Brook Street.


Having served the parish of South Paris-Harrison-Hebron for six years, Pastor George Autio moved away and nine years later accepted a second call from the parish in 1945 and faithfully served until his death on January 31st, 1954. The parish was to feel the loss of this dedicated servant of God, being without a resident pastor for over two years. Pastor Autio's remains were laid to rest in the Lutheran Cemetery in Harrison.


Parsonage was purchased, located at 101 High Street. The building was formerly owned by the South Paris Baptist Church, as residence of its pastor, and sold it when another residence was secured next to their church.

The first occupant of parsonage was Pastor Wayne Yoman (Ylonen).


From the first Sunday in October the present pastor began serving the parish on interim basis, coming from Thomaston, Maine, and the following June (1959) assumed duties on regular basis having been given a call and accepted same.


Memorial Fund was established "to honor the Lutheran pioneers of Oxford County and environments". The initial use of the fund will be used to erect in the church a Memorial Chancel.


Together with congregations of Suomi Synod, the Trinity Lutheran voted in February whether the Synod should merge with three other Lutheran church bodies to form Lutheran Church in America. The vote was overwhelmingly favorable to merger, with only one dissenting vote. Similar proposal in the 1930:s, to merge with United Lutheran Church in America, was unanimously defeated.


Looking forward and preparing for the future while serving in the present, that is the position of the congregation as of now. The Trinity Lutheran is an American church, not limited to any single group of people but seeking to serve all people and in the language all understand. She seeks no glory for herself, only seeking to glorify her Lord, Jesus Christ by preaching the Gospel of the saving grace of God in His Son. "By grace alone, by faith alone."

Published in Our 50 Years. 1912-1962. Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church. South Paris, Maine.

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