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77 Years of God's Blessings




  In the spring of 1939, Rev. Helmar Halvorsen of Zion Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, was representing the Home Mission Committee of the Eastern District and had surveyed Lake Telemark for a possible church site.

  In June, 1939, an intern, Mr. Vernon Jensen from St. Paul’s Lutheran Seminary was sent to Lake Telemark.  His first service was held at the Bondeungdomslaget log cabin, with Sunday School meeting at the Lake Telemark Country Clubhouse.

First Confirmation and Baptism held in the summer of 1940.

June 1942: The church was organized and incorporated as “The Lake Telemark Norwegian Lutheran Church”.

1939 – 1948: An average of 30 services were held each year.

January 1948: A fire destroyed the interior of the Clubhouse.  After that, the B.U.L. was used until the latter part of the spring of 1948, at which time we were offered the use of the Hibernia Church.




Fall 1948: Services and Sunday School held in the Hibernia Church

Fall 1949: Heat was brought to the Hibernia Church.

1950: Pastor C.O. Pedersen serves our church on a regular basis.

Spring 1952:  We purchased this church and rebuilt the bath, office and vestibule and moved the heating system.

1953:  We remodeled the inside of the church

1954:  We remodeled the downstairs.

July 1955: Pastor Philip Qualben answered our call and became our first full-time pastor.

1956:  The first parsonage was completed.

June 1957: Purchased the cottage next to the Parsonage.

Spring 1959: Easter Sunrise Services were started at Lake Telemark.

September 1959:  Pastor Eerling Nilssen answered our call.

February 1960:  The second organ kit was ordered; the organ being build in Tom Karlsen’s basement.

March 1960: Vacation Bible School was started by Mr. Earl Hansen.

January 1961:  The name was changed from Evangelical to American Lutheran Church.

February 1964: Pastor Nilssen passed away.


October 1964: Pastor Edwin Gundersen accepted our call.

1965:  We celebrated our 25th Anniversary.

1966 – 1967: We obtained 9 acres of land in Lake Telemark from the B.U.L. Club.

February 1967:  Building Committee is formed.

June 1967:  Congregation gives approval to proceed with new school and fellowship hall for $150,000, provided the school can be rented to the Board of Education for a period of three years.

Summer 1967: Architect prepares a building plan.

September 1967: Congregation gives approval to proceed with new school and fellowship hall with a budgeted cost of $150,000.

Spring 1968: Preparatory site work was accomplished.

July 1968:  Congregation approves a 15% increase in the cost of the building.

July 1968:  Contract for construction of building awarded; construction begins.

24 November 1968:  Cornerstone Laying of Fellowship Hall and School.

June 1969:  Pastor Stanley Ellison accepted our call.




21 September 1969:  Service of Dedication of our new Church building in Lake Telemark.

After 29 years, we move from our cozy, but unfortunately too small, old Church in Hibernia to our newly constructed Sunday School and Fellowship Hall in Lake Telemark.

1969: We sell the old church in Hibernia to the Lions Club for use as a Public Library.

February 1972:  Congregation approves restructuring of the Church Council to include various committees.

August 1972: Pastor Dale Sandstrom answered our call as our new Pastor.

Spring 1973:  A wooded area behind the Church was cleared for use during outdoor services.

July 1973: We purchase a Conn organ.

February 1974: Pastor Sandstrom purchased his own home in Telemark Estates.

March 1975:  We sell the first parsonage.

July 1975:  We purchase a grand piano for the sanctuary.

November 1976: Pastor’s office completed.

November 1978: Paving and curbs installed in the front of the Church.

November 1978:  Pastor Charles Lopez, Jr. assumes pastoral duties on an interim basis.

Spring 1979:  The stained glass windows from our old Church in Hibernia were installed in our present Sanctuary.

July 1979:  Pastor Charles Lopez, Jr. answered our call and became our new pastor.

October 1979: Beautification of inside of Church Sanctuary accomplished.  Ten-Year Anniversary in present building.

October 1980:  We celebrate our 40th Anniversary

February 1981: Dedication of altar railing, carpet and paneling to the glory of God.

May 1981:  New overhead lighting fixtures installed in Sanctuary.

February 1984: Church bank mortgage paid off.

October 1984: Holy Smoke Mortgage Burning and first Carillon Dedication.

September 1986:  Pastor Lopez leaves to answer another call.

October 1986 to November 1987: Visiting pastors serve the congregation.  Pastors James E. Hanson and John W. Hansen are with us frequently.

January 1987: Larry and Karen Karpack volunteer to work for Habitat for Humanity for 3 years in Zaire, Africa.  We adopt them as missionaries for our congregation to help support.

January 1987: Rhyme and Reason Day Nursery opens at Holy Trinity.

August 1987:  Ceiling fans installed in sanctuary.

November 1987: Pastor Robert Yankovitz accepted our call and became our new Pastor.

1987: The American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches agree to merge to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). H.T. votes unanimously on the consolidation of the churches.

January 1, 1988:  We are now a member congregation of the ELCA.

January 1988: Installation of Pastor “Bob” Yankovitz by Rev. LeRoy Riley, assistant to the Bishop

May 1988:  Grand piano in Sanctuary is renovated.

October 1988: Altar kneeling cushions dedicated.

November 1989: H.T. hosts our Northwest New Jersey Clusters “All Saints Day Workshop Service”.

1989:  Larry and Karen Karpack returned from Zaire.

December 1989.  We adopt Carol Swanson as a missionary for our Church to help support while she is serving as an ELCA missionary in Africa.

May 5 1990: Carolyn McGrath and Pastor “Bob” Yankovitz are married in our Church.  Congregational reception held in Fellowship Hall.

October 1990:  We celebrate our 50 Anniversary.




1992:  Pastor Yankowitz leaves.

1992:  Pastor Ray Hartman is installed as our interim Pastor.  Organist Betty Buckley retires.

1992 – 1993:  Barbara Selland once again takes over as Organist & Choir Director.

April 1, 1993:  Donna Gulliksen is hired as Organist & Choir Director.

1994:  New chime system installed in the Sanctuary

1994:  Pastor Hartman retires.

1994 – 1996:  Visiting Pastors serve the congregation.

1996:  Installation of Pastor N. Jack Haas by Rev. Michael Joncas, assistant to the Bishop.

April 1997:  The Parsonage building arrived on site and set on its foundation.  Volunteer church members accomplished all of the finish work.

May 1997:  Pastor Haas and his family moved into the new Parsonage.

1998:  Purchased new white robes and seasonal-colored stoles for the Chancel Choir.

2002:  New practice piano donated to the Church in memory of Pat MacDougall.  Piano resides in the Blue Room.

June 2002:  Pastor Haas leave for Montana.

2002 – 2003:  Visiting Pastors serve the congregation.

2002:  WELCA funds the replacement of Holy Trinity’s outside sign that was vandalized.

April 2003:  Installation of Pastor John Hansen by Rev. Scott Schotzenbach, assistant to the Bishop.

2003:  Purchased Casio portable Keyboard in with memorial funds in memory of Synovve Jensen.

September 2003:  New furnaces installed for the Sanctuary.

November 2003:  Old Allen organ is replaced with a new Rodger’s Trillium 967, 3-manual organ.

June 2004:  Refurbished & rebuilt Sanctuary piano. 

2006:  Installation and dedication of new Carillon system in the Sanctuary in memory of Art Nilsen.

2006:  The in-ground oil tank was removed and the ground remediated.  A new above-ground tank was installed behind the kitchen.

2007:  The old church bell from the Hibernia Church was installed on a new platform in the front of the Church’s entry way.  This was down with memorial funds in memory of Claire Skavnes.

2007:  A Praise Team is organized by Pastor Hansen:  Members are: Bill Frankel, Travis Salim, Brian Stagg, Artie Crane, Donna Gulliksen and Pastor Hansen.

2008:  Added James Hatem to Praise Team.

2010:  Added Jamie Engels to Praise Team.

January 31, 2014:  Pastor John Hansen retires.

February 2014:  Pastor Sharon Eckhardt is assigned as our Vice Pastor.

May 31, 2015:  Pastor Sharon Eckhardt retires.

June 1, 2015:  Pastor Jack DiMatteo is assigned as our new Vice Pastor.  

2014 – 2015:  Visiting Pastors serve congregation.

2016- Pastor Jack began his ministry

         New Air Conditioning System Installed in Sanctuary

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