Our History

Meeting House











The Society of Friends Meeting House stands before it was transformed into the current-day Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 37 W. Genesee St.   The building was constructed in 1873 by the Quakers.


Our Congregation's Story

Now the Lord God said to Abram, Go far from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.  Genesis 12:1

 The story of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church presents a history characteristic of pioneering groups arriving in America from other countries.  These pioneers, leaving their ancestral homes in Czechoslovakia, landed in New York City and through various routes came to settle in Skaneateles, an area that reminded them of their homes and offered job opportunities in farming, carpentry and in the local mill.
It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
Several immigrant families began meeting and holding services in their homes on Sundays.  For their worship services, they would use books of prayer, hymn books and a book of collected meditations from which certain lessons were read.  Clergy were invited to preside on those occasions which involved confirmation, marriage, Baptism or the Lord's Supper.  Eventually, those who gathered for worship were encouraged to organize as a congregation.  On Sunday, January 26, 1913, a special service was held at which time the congregation was prayerfully organized.  With the help of lay readers, services were held each Sunday despite the lack of a called pastor.  A visiting ordained minister conducted services twice a year, on Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.  By 1917, with new families moving into the area and joining the congregation, worship services were held at the meeting house of The Quakers had been using the meting house since the early 1870's and in 1924 they offered to sell it for $4,000.
Take heed now for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it. I Chronicles 28:10
With gifts ranging from $5-$100, fifty-two families raised $1,045 with a mortgage covering the balance.  In order to convert the meeting house into a sanctuary, certain renovations were necessary.  Alterations began in which an altar, pulpit, baptismal font, choir loft for the organ as well as facilities for Sunday School were added.  The final touch was the gold lettering on the arch in the sanctuary, a quote from Psalm 97, Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.  Matthew 9:37,38
The first called pastor was the Rev. V.L. Hibian who arrived I 1946 and served until 1949.  In 1946 the congregation was accepted as a member of Zion Synod.  Rev. Hibian was followed by the Rev. Rudolph Shintay who served from 1952-1965.  The congregation purchased a parsonage on West Genesee Street in 1946 and in June 1959 the new Parish education unit was dedicated.  The Rev. Stephen Hluchy was called in July 1967 and served the congregation for the next 25 years until he retire in 1992.  A new parsonage was purchased on 40 Academy Street and was owned by the congregation until its sale in 1979 to the Hluchys.  Pastor Hluchy and his wife Olga continue their residence at this address.
O sing to the Lord a new song.  Psalm 98:1
In 1977, Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church transferred its membership from the Slovak Zion Snyod to the Upper NY Synod of the LCA (Lutheran Church in America) which is now called the Upstate New York Synod of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).  Throughout the 70's and 80's fewer Slovak services were held until Good Friday in 1992 when Rev. Hluchy presided in the Slovak language for the last time.  Following Rev. Hluchy's retirement, the Rev. Ken Heuermann acted as interim pastor for more than a year until the Rev. Brent Book was called as pastor.  Pastor Brent, a recent seminary graduate, began serving Holy trinity on October 1, 1993.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42,47
The congregation of Holy Trinity continues to gather together, as has the Church for almost 2,000 years, in an effort to serve our Lord Jesus faithfully and proclaim the Good News of God's kingdom in word and deed.  Guided by the witness of those who have gone before us and empowered by the Holy Spirit into the future, the people of Holy Trinity continue to grow in their worship and witness to the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  LBW pg. 137

Holy Trinity is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and are members of the Upstate New York Synod. Holy Trinity was originally part of the Slovak Lutheran Synod and was a Slovak church, with worship spoken entirely in Slovak.

If you visit the church today, you will see the words, "Those who love the Lord, hate evil,"handwritten in Slovak on the archway to the altar in front of the church.
Today our church is made up of individuals from a wide variety of cultures.  While Slovak is no longer spoken in the church, we will always remember our heritage.

Our weekly services are on Sundays at 10:00 AM.  Holy Communion is offered at all Sunday Worship Services.  A Sunday Meditation service -- with Communion -- is offerd at 8:30 AM.