Our Story

Church and School History

Pastor Frederick Meuschke, 1920-1921

Shortly after the end of World War I several Lutheran families arranged to meet weekly for worship services in Williams Funeral Home in Norfolk. On May 30, 1920 the church was organized by 10 men signing the original constitution (no voting rights for the congregation’s women in those days).  Since that day also happened to be Trinity Sunday in the church calendar, Trinity became the name of the congregation.

Pastor, Rev. Louis J. Roehm, 1921-1931.

During his service, the church purchased a house and lot on 34th and Omohundro Ave. in Norfolk in 1921 at a cost of $17,000.  This home served as a parsonage and place of worship. After five months, Pastor Meuschke accepted a call to Long Island and Pastor Roehm was installed on July 10, 1921.

On February 14, 1923, construction began on a small chapel on the lot next to the parsonage.  The cost of the chapel was $1,800 of which $1,200 was contributed by members and $600 was received from fellow Lutherans, mainly from Bethlehem Church in Richmond. It served as the primary location for services through 1945.

In October 1928, Pastor Roehm began work in the growing city of Hopewell, VA and this resulted in the birth of Nazareth Lutheran Church.

Pastor Roehm received a call in 1931 from St. Mathews Church in Hudson, NY.  In October 1931, Candidate Paul Plawin arrived to fill the vacancy.

Rev. Paul A. Plawin, 1931-1966.

Pastor Plawin continued along with the help of Trinity member, Mr. John Ernst Wunnenberg, to serve the Hopewell mission until 1938 when a building was completed.

In December 1939, Pastor Plawin began to hold services in the Wythe Community Hall in Hampton to accommodate those living on that side of Hampton Roads.  As a result, Emmanuel Lutheran Church was established.

Under Pastor Plawin, a majority of Trinity’s construction projects took place, beginning with the purchase of the current church site at Granby and West Belvedere in May, 1940 at a cost of $2200.  However, as it was wartime and there was a scarcity of building materials, and problems obtaining funds from District, the building was not started until 1944.

1942-1943 – Redeemer Lutheran Church in Portsmouth was sponsored and served by Trinity.In Sept., 1944, construction began on the main building and it was completed one year later.

A dedication of the new building was held on September 9, 1945. The cost of the building plus furnishings was $60,000. Also in 1945, the school’s kindergarten was organized. Daily sessions for 5 year olds began under the direction of Pastor Plawin. $1 per week was charged to help cover materials. 28 children made up the first Kindergarten class. The staff was made up of women from the congregation.

Nov 11, 1945- The church celebrated its 25th year in existence.

In 1948 the old parsonage was sold for $11,000 and a new parsonage was built on W. Belvedere Road at a cost of $18,000.

1950- Mrs. Helen Everett joined the school staff as head teacher under the direct supervision of Pastor and Principal Plawin.

1952 – Faith Lutheran Church in Norfolk was sponsored and served by Trinity.

April 27, 1952- Pastor Plawin has a dedication service for the breaking ground on the new education wing of the building.  Belvedere Hall and the North Transept were constructed, followed in 1954 by the South Transept and the purchase of more property to make more parking.

1956- Trinity Lutheran was air conditioned at a cost of $13,600.

1960- The church was celebrating its 40th year and had grown from 10 charter members to 808 members.

1961 – Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach was sponsored and served by Trinity.

May 19, 1963- The new educational building/annex had been finished for a cost of $290,000 and was dedicated at this time. At this time the school consisted of three 5 year old groups, one 4 year old group, and one 3 year old group. In September they added the first 1st grade class consisting of 27 students. A new pipe organ was built by Mr. Wetzel of Charlottesville, VA and was dedicated in May 1963.

1963 – Five acres of land in the Great Bridge area was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Kilian to the Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod s a site for the opening of a new Lutheran Church.

October 24, 1966- Pastor Plawin was called to his eternal home and Trinity was served by several area chaplains. Mrs. Helen Everett became acting Principal. At this time the school was 21 years in existence.

Rev. William M. Bliese, 1967-1973

In August 1967, Pastor Bliese accepted the call.

1968- Helen Everett resigned and Mrs. Jane Upton was elected to be acting Principal. The first second grade was started this year by Cindy Claxson.

1969- George Weissinger was called to be a teacher and acting principal, teaching a combined class consisting of the first and second grades. The school year began with 212 students.

1970- The first third grade class was started. The school was celebrating 25 years in existence.

1971- Mr. Weissinger resigned and Pastor Bliese assumed the duties of Principal for the 71/72 school year. The school had 188 students that year.

1973- Mrs. Sharyn Leiding began the school's first hot lunch program

1974- Pastor Bliese left Trinity and Pastor Arthur Meyer was installed.

Rev. Arthur W. Meyer, 1974-1985

1976 – Hope Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach was sponsored and served by Trinity.

1977- Mrs. Jane Miller became the Head teacher for the grades and Mrs. Gladys Plawin became Head teacher of the Preschool and Kindergarten classes. Mrs. Plawin had been the volunteer church secretary and had served as teacher of the four year old group for 26 years from 1955-1982 when she retired.

1980- A second kindergarten class was added due to such a spike in enrollment.

1981- A second first grade teacher was hired.

1981 – Grace by the Sea Lutheran Church in Nags Head, NC was sponsored and served by Trinity.

1985 – Pastor Meyer is called to serve in Korea.

Rev. Daniel H. Quiram, 1986-1997

Pastor Quiram was installed on February 6, 1986.

1986- The first 4th grade class was added.

1987- The first 5th grade class was added with the first graduation of the 5th grade in the spring of 1988.

Aug 1988- Mr. Dresser accepted the call to be the first full time Principal-DCE (with no teacher duties) and the first school secretary was hired.

Fall 1990- The first extended care was offered with a before and after school program. Mrs. Sharon Knorr was the directress and set up this program.

Summer of 1991- Mr. Dresser left the school and Mr. Zielske accepted the call to become Minister of Education. For the school year 1991/92 they did not have a 5th grade class because of decreased enrollment.

Fall 1992- The fifth grade was added back, the extended care began to grow in numbers. This year they also added a full day kindergarten program with the half day program continuing. This year they also added a full day 4 year old program.

1995- Trinity Lutheran Church celebrated its 75th anniversary and the school celebrated its 50th year. Church/school began participating in the Grand Illumination Parade in Norfolk.

Rev. James P. O’Connor, 1998-2009

2002- Mrs. Sykes becomes the school administrator after being one of the head teachers.

Sept 18, 2003- Hurricane Isabel took down two huge trees that hovered over the front walkway at Trinity. The trees fell towards the front of the church and missed damaging the building by inches. The church and school thanked God for the protection of the building.

Feb 2009- Angel sculptures created from the downed tree trunks were installed and dedicated.

Rev. David W. Smith 2010-2013

Sept 2010- Marks the 65th anniversary of Trinity Lutheran School.

Community Garden is created by Pastor and members of the congregation.

ODU Ministry is started by Pastor.

Rev. Daniel H Quiram, IIP 2013- 2014     

Pastor Quiram leads us thru a transition phase as re-examine the mission and vision of Trinity in preparation to call a new pastor to Trinity.

July 2015 -

Mrs. Sykes retires as TLS administrator.

The members of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church regretfully announce that Trinity Lutheran School will not open for the 2015-16 school year.  TLS Summer Camp will not be affected by the closure of the school and will continue through August 14th.

TLS has struggled with decreasing enrollment over the past five years. Unfortunately, enrollment for 2015-2016 fell below what is required to financially sustain the school. The School Board explored several options to keep TLS open to include combined classes and reductions in resource classes and staff. After much discussion, it was determined that TLS could not provide the high quality education that the school has offered in the past. This decision was made with many prayers and only after much effort by the School Board.

We offer our gratitude and thankfulness to the wonderful teachers and staff who have been so devoted to the school over these many years.  We would like to thank our students and their parents who have also shown their support over the years.  As we move forward with the ministry of Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church we have faith that God will help lead us to be able to re-open at a future date. Please keep the TLS staff and the future of TLS in your prayers.

Rev. Jonanthan Meraz - January 31, 2016 -

Today, Trinity focuses on preaching and teaching Christ crucified to the entire Hampton Roads community. We have a special emphasis in serving the community and ministering to military personnel and their families.