top of page


Welcome to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Congregation

We are pleased to have you join us for worship on Sunday.  Whether you are searching for a new church, or visiting from out of town, we know that attending a different church the very first time can be a challenge.

We hope the following information addresses any concerns you may have.  This brochure summarizes the life of the congregation.

We want to make your first visit with us one that is enjoyable and spiritually enriching to you and your family. You will find that Trinity makes available various opportunities for growth, life together, and service for all ages.  We are here to offer the help and support we possibly can… and we welcome you with open arms to God’s house to hear His Word.

We look forward to meeting you.

Our Story


The Rev. A.E Kurtz did missionary work in the Palo Alto and San Mateo areas in 1925.  He held services at the Women's Club House at Homer and Cowper in Palo Alto.


Later that year, the Rev. Paul H.D. Lang was called by the California-Nevada District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to serve the Stanford University campus and the Palo Alto mission.  Upon graduation from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1925, he had initially been assigned to do mission work in China, but that mission field was closed due to the outbreak of civil war there.  Pastor Lang was installed as the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church on December 6, 1925 at the Women's Club House.


A new church building for Trinity Evangelical English Church was designed by Charles Sumner, a well known San Francisco architect whose home was in Palo Alto.  Ground breaking was held August 19, 1928, first at the Women's Club House and then at the new site at 651 Hamilton at Byron.  The church was built by the Minton Company for an estimated $10,000. The cornerstone was laid on October 21 and the church was dedicated on December 2, 1928, the second Sunday in Advent. The first anniversary was celebrated on December 3, 1929, with the Rev. A.E Breihan preaching at the morning service and the Rev. T.C. Pieper preaching in the afternoon.


The wood panels on the altar were carved by Pastor Lang and were dedicated on October 27, 1940.  A new pipe organ was dedicated April 26, 1941.  The stained glass windows on the south side were dedicated on June 10, 1945 at the 20th anniversary celebration of the founding of the congregation.


The rite of blessing a new church site was May 17, 1953. Worship began at the new site on August 2, 1953 before the building was moved!  On Thursday, August 27, 1953, the church building was moved from Hamilton Avenue to its present location at the McKenzie Estate.  (Many long-time Palo Alto residents remember the building sitting on Middlefield Road when the moving platform broke down.)  The church building was rededicated on December 6, 1953.


The windows on the north side of the church were dedicated on May 28, 1961.


Pastor Taddey was called as Assistant Pastor in 1964.  When Pastor Lang retired in 1965, Pastor Taddey accepted the call as Pastor and was installed as Pastor on Transfiguration Sunday, 1966.


The three-story house on the estate served effectively as a fellowship, meeting, administration, and education facility until 1967.  The house was condemned by the City of Palo Alto as unsafe and was demolished on Saturday, July 1, 1967.  The present office, education, and fellowship buildings were designed by Carroll Rankin and built by Ira Ota.  These buildings were dedicated on May 27, 1968.


On October 21, 1993, an unknown arsonist started a fire in the Church Sacristy. Through God's grace, the fire was discovered almost immediately by Vicar Wiley Smith, and was promptly extinguished by the Palo Alto Fire Department.  In one way it can be said the fire was a blessing: many repairs and improvements were accomplished which might not have been made otherwise, including an expanded Sacristy with a new roof line, handicap access to the chancel, new heating and electrical systems were installed, along with fire and burglar alarms, and there was much painting and many repairs.


Trinity congregation has much to thank God for, not the least of which is being able to return to its house of worship.

Trinity's Pastors
Rev. Paul H.D. Lang Pastor, 1925 - 1965
Rev. William Klaustermeyer, Assistant Pastor, 1947 - 1957
Rev. Norman Theiss, Assistant Pastor, 1959 - 1964
Rev. Martin Taddey, Assistant Pastor, 1964 - 1965
Rev. Martin Taddey, Pastor, 1965 - 1996
Rev. Stewart Crown, Assisting, 1995 - 1996
Rev. Stewart CrownPastor, 1996 - present

Trinity's Vicars
Rev. Oscar Gerken, 1946 - 1947. In glory
Rev. Paul Schroeder, 1948 - 1949. In glory
Rev. Alan Rehwaldt, 1985 - 1986. In glory
Rev. Alan Klatt, 1986 - 1987. unknown
Rev. Stewart Crown, 1987 - 1988. Trinity, Palo Alto, CA
Rev. Todd Biermann, 1988 - 1989. Faith, Grand Blanc, MI
Rev. Peter Cage. 1989 - 1990. St. Paul, Fort Wayne, IN
Rev. Ernest Bernet, 1990 - 1991. St. Mark, Mineral Wells, TX
Rev. James Bushur, 1991 - 1992. Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne
Rev. Robert Weller, 1992 - 1993. Shepherd of the Valley, San Jose, CA
Rev. Wiley Smith IV, 1993 - 1994. Christ the King, Redlands, California
Rev. John Paul Salay, 1994 - 1995. Loyola University (Chicago), IL
Mr. Kevin Walker, 1999 - 2000. a translator of technical texts and Early New High German texts (Luther’s Works)
Rev. Daniel Grams, 2000 - 2001. Ascension of Christ, Beverly Hills, MI
Rev. Robert Mayes, 2001 - 2002. Zion & St. John, Wisner / Immanuel, Beemer, NE
Rev. Eric Brown, 2002 - 2003. Trinity, Herscher, IL
Rev. Derek Roberts, 2003 - 2004. Praise, Maryville, TN
Rev. Joshua Haugen, 2004 - 2005. Trinity High School, Seymour, IN
Rev. Peter Gregory, 2005 - 2006. Our Savior, Westminster, MA
Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz, 2006 - 2007. Beautiful Savior, Milton, WA
Rev. John Sias, 2007-2008. LCMS Secretary
Rev. David Solum, 2008-2009. Immanuel, Michigan City, IN
Rev. Stephen Preus, 2009-2010. Trinity, Vinton, IA
Rev. Timm Heath,  2011-2012. Zion, Owego, NY
Rev. Tyrel Bramwell, 2012-2013. St. Mark, Ferndale, CA
Rev. Christopher Suggitt, 2013-2014. Good Shepherd & St. Paul, Pigeon, MI
Rev. Noah Rogness, 2014-2015. Alexandria, VA
Rev. Kevin Belter, 2015-2016. Messiah, Danville, CA
Rev. William Maggard, 2016-2017. Grace, Rialto, CA

Trinity's Directors of Christian Education
Mr. Paul Frase, 1968 - 1973
Mr. Timothy Halter, 1974 - 1977
Rev. Robert Mitchell, 1977 - 1984

Trinity’s Deaconess Intern
Song Bennett, 2016-2018

bottom of page