History

of Trinity Old Lutheran Church

 

TOL is deeply rooted in Lutheran-American history. This page offers a compilation of resources highlighting the heritage of our congregation and the story of TOL's first Pastor, J.A.A. Grabau.

TOL's first building, located at Maple and Goodell Streets in Buffalo, NY.

Celebrating 150 Years!

In 1989, TOL celebrated its 150th anniversary.  To commemorate this milestone, the congregation published a brief text on the history and founding of TOL.

"THE STORY OF TRINITY OLD LUTHERAN CHURCH,

150 YEARS UNDER GOD'S GUIDANCE"

"DIE GESCHICHTE DER DREIFALTIGKEIT-ALT-LUTHERISCHEN KIRCHE, 

150 JAHRE UNTER GOTTES FÜHRUNG"

Übersetzung ins Deutsche / Translated into German

by Kay-Uwe Kleine, Erfurt, Thüringen, 2013

The Pastors of TOL

Click here to view the timeline of pastors who have served the congregations of TOL and Sheridan Drive Lutheran Church (merged with TOL in 1960).

TOL's location on Brunswick Blvd in Buffalo, NY.

Sheridan Drive Lutheran Church, on the current site of TOL.

Pastor J.A.A. Grabau

March 18, 1804 — June 2, 1879

Our founding pastor, the Rev. Johannes Andreas August Grabau.

Johannes Andreas August Grabau was an influential German-American Old Lutheran pastor and theologian. He is usually mentioned as J.A.A. Grabau. Grabau was born in Olvenstedt, Prussia. He was the son of Johann Andreas Grabau and Anna Dorothea Jericho. Grabau was educated at the grammar school in Olvenstedt, the Magdeburg Gymnasium and at the University of Halle. After three years as a teacher in Magdeburg and Sachsa bei Nordhausen, Grabau was ordained and installed as pastor of St. Andrew’s Church in Erfurt in June 1834. Grabau was jailed twice for refusing to use the Prussian union Agenda and was permitted to immigrate to America in the summer of 1839 with members of Lutheran congregations in Erfurt and Magdeburg. They settled in Buffalo, New York where he served as pastor of Trinity Old Lutheran Church for 40 years. On July 15, 1845, along with four pastors, Grabau founded "The Synod of the Lutheran Church emigrated from Prussia" which became known as "the Buffalo Synod". Grabau also founded the Martin Luther College in Buffalo. Grabau retained control of the Martin Luther College and remained as its rector.

The Life of the Reverend J.A.A. Grabau

Click here to view the Wikipedia article on J.A.A. Gabau

Click here to read more about the Old Lutheran movement in the Kingdom of Prussia during the 1830s and 1840s.  The unintended impacts of this movement led to many Old Lutherans emigrating to Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Text provided by the Reu Memorial Library, Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa - Call No. BX8080.G72 G7.  Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks.  Edited January 14, 2006

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3445 Sheridan Drive   Amherst, NY   14226   |  716-836-4868

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