History of Trinity
During the early 1920’s, thousands of people moved to South Florida. Among them were Bertha Radke,
Emma Reblin, and Herman Thiele. With a view toward founding a congregation of
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), they approached the Rev. H. W. Niewald of St. Matthew's
Lutheran Church in Miami. On Friday evening, February 12, 1926 Pastor Niewald gathered with a group
of 24 people at the Fort Lauderdale Women's Club to conduct the first worship service for what would
become Trinity Lutheran Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The members soon needed a full-time pastor to lead them in the work God was entrusting to them.
Installed on Sunday, September 5, 1926, Pastor Dallas Gibson came in answer to their call. Less than two
weeks later, a hurricane devastated South Florida, challenging the members under Pastor Gibson's
leadership to help their neighbors rebuild their lives. Not until January 9, 1927 could the congregation
formalize their organization. By God's grace, members of Trinity have enjoyed a rich history of activity in
the Ft. Lauderdale area and beyond.
Pastor Gibson led Trinity to found a Sunday school in 1927. That year, he married Susan Hooks of
Alabama. In 1933, Mrs. Gibson led the way in founding Trinity Lutheran School, which continues to serve
students and their families today in worship, education and child care facilities located along South
Pastor Gibson and Trinity worked to help other congregations get started: St. Mark's Lutheran Church in
Hollywood; Grace Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran Church in the Ft. Lauderdale area. After 29 years
of service to Trinity, Pastor and Mrs. Gibson left to help the members of Faith Lutheran
as their new Pastor and Sunday School teacher in 1955.
In August, 1955, Pastor Dean Kasischke came to Trinity to fill the void after Pastor Gibson
left in 1954. Soon other congregations formed at Trinity's initiative: Hope Lutheran Church,
Pompano; Prince of Peace, West Hollywood; Good Shepherd, Ft. Lauderdale; Miramar
Lutheran, Miramar; Our Savior Lutheran, Plantation; and Gloria Dei, Davie.
After 29 years of service to Trinity, Pastor Kasischke transitioned to part-time service in a
congregation in Lake Worth, Florida. He was followed by the Rev. Ralph G. Schmidt, who
served Trinity from 1984-1986; the Rev. Louis H. Abel, 1987 - 2005; Rev. Thomas S. Hackett,
2006 - 2015 and the Rev. Jeffrey Carlson 2015 - 2017.
Members of Trinity also led the way in:
- Forming Lutheran High School, in Davie, FL - a first among LCMS congregations in Florida
- Serving as the site where the Lutheran Women's Missionary League was organized in 1945
- Providing financial support to the Florida-Georgia District of the Lutheran Church Missouri
- Having a part in the development of the Cooperative Feeding Program of Broward County
As the current members of Trinity look to the future, they see a renewed effort to serve
children and families in the area through Sunday school, The Learning Space Academy, and
Trinity Lutheran Academy. They envision partnering with others to benefit all people, as they
carry on their tradition of worship enhanced by ministry and music. They believe God still
has work for them to do in Ft. Lauderdale and beyond from their facilities in the downtown