Holy Trinity Lutheran Church   Out of a broken and divided world, all people are welcomed into the Body of Christ at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Church History

Who We Are
What We Believe
Church Staff
Church Leadership
Church Facilities
In Remembrance
Church History

Kenneth Marks, Archivist

Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church traces its beginnings to July, 1911, when the Reverend J. L. Morgan, missionary with the United Synod in the South, held the first meeting in the Briggs Hardware Building. The Morgan family and two others were in attendance. This stirred sufficient interest among other Lutherans in the area and a year later on July 7, 1912, HTELC was officially organized with 12 charter members. Officers were elected and a constitution adopted. Charter members included six men and six women.

Services continued in the Briggs building until a new church was constructed at Boylan Avenue and Hillsborough Street. The first service in the new building was held May 9, 1915.


Busy years of organization and new growth saw the beginnings of Luther League, Children's Missionary Society, and the Ladies' Aid Society, as well as many baptisms and confirmations.

Holy Trinity, as the first Lutheran church in the Raleigh area, became the "Mother Church," sponsoring the establishment of other Lutheran congregations. St. Paul's in Durham (1923) was the first, followed by several others over the years: St. Philip (1962), Christ the King (1964) in Cary, Lord of Life (1978) in Garner, Good Shepherd (1983) in Raleigh, Living Waters (1989; no website) in Cherokee, Abiding Presence (1992) in Fuquay-Varina, and most recently, Joy of Discovery Mission in Southeast Raleigh.

In 1941 the original constitution was amended, permitting women to serve on the congregation council. This was a much needed but heavily debated change.

In 1953 the present church site at Brooks Avenue and Clark Avenue was purchased from North Carolina State College. To accommodate the membership that had outgrown the original building, construction of an education building and student center was begun. The first service in the newly completed building was conducted on December 2, 1956. The education building served as a place of worship until the present sanctuary was completed in 1968. The 3-rank M. P. Möller organ, donated for use in the temporary sanctuary by Mrs. E. E. Randolph, church organist for 37 years, has long since been replaced.

The congregation participates in numerous community ministries, including resettlement of refugees; local, national and global mission work; and is the location and congregational home for Lutheran Campus Ministry for NCSU and other Raleigh colleges. The congregation housed the first offices of Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas. Additionally, the congregation partially supports the WCPE (89.7 FM) broadcast of the "Sing for Joy" music program on Sunday mornings at 7:30 a.m. with Rev. Bruce Benson.


Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church; 1915 to 1956, at the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Boylan Avenue. The building has been demolished.

Briggs Hardware Building

The Briggs Hardware Building, at 220 Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, in which the Holy Trinity congregation met from 1911 to 1915. The building still stands, and now houses the Raleigh City Museum.


A drawing by the architect, Horace Taylor, of the present Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.


Gethsemane Chapel


Gethsemane Chapel Stained Glass


Stations of the Cross
Gethsemane Chapel

Past Pastors of Holy Trinity

Seventeen ordained pastors have guided the Holy Trinity flock during the congregation’s century of existence. These have been, and continue to be, committed and distinguished ministers with a profound dedication to Holy Trinity and to the wider Church.

Below are brief descriptions of the life and work of each of Holy Trinity’s pastors.

Kevin Potter
Member of Holy Trinity

LAWRENCE F. HOLMES (1998 to 2012)

Larry Holmes was called as Holy Trinity‘s Associate Pastor in 1998. He was born and raised in upstate New York, and spent five years in a Franciscan seminary preparing for the priesthood and dreaming of being a missionary. After much prayer and discernment, he realized that that probably was not what God wanted for him, at least at that time of his life. After earning a bachelor‘s degree in business administration from King‘s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and spending years in the private sector, he felt God‘s call to serve once again, and entered Duke Divinity School in 1994. Four years later he was ordained by the North Carolina Synod and called to Holy Trinity as a pastor. Larry Holmes
During his pastorate he worked closely with the building committee during the renovation of the sanctuary in 2006, which resulted in the beauty of natural sunlight flooding the sanctuary through a new sky light and a columbarium in Gethsemane Chapel. His greatest joy has been "to lead people in the worship of this awesome God, and to be allowed to walk with the faithful followers of God in times of sickness and trouble and at the death of loved ones." It has been at these times that he has most clearly seen the presence of God among God‘s people.

ROYALL A. YOUNT JR. (1996 to 2012)

Holy Trinity called Royall Yount as Senior Pastor in 1996. After his ordination by the Florida Synod of the Lutheran Church in America in 1973, Pastor Yount‘s first call was to Christ Lutheran Church in San Diego, CA, from 1973 to 1975. He served at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Tequesta, FL, from 1975 to 1979 and at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Hot Springs, AR, from 1979 to 1996. Pastor Yount‘s educational history includes a bachelor‘s degree in philosophy from Newberry College in South Carolina and masters and doctoral degrees in divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He was born in Tampa, FL, the son of the Rev. Dr. Royall A. Yount, Sr. and Martha Lee Townsend. Royall Yount
Dr. Yount, Sr. served for 37 years as Bishop of the Florida Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church in America. His pastorate at Holy Trinity has focused on the areas of worship and music, encouraging the laity to serve in leadership in the life of the congregation, supporting local service organizations, and lending emphasis to children‘s part in congregational life. During his term as pastor, the Emily Kees Pavilion was dedicated (1997), the sanctuary was renovated (2006), and Holy Trinity became an inclusive Reconciling in Christ congregation (2007).


Beverly Alexander was called as Campus Pastor at Holy Trinity in 1985. Since then, she has ministered to students from North Carolina State University, Meredith College, Peace College and Wake Technical Community College. She has walked beside many students as they endure the ―trials and tribulations‖ and enjoy the experiences that are part of college life; she has rejoiced with them as they receive their degrees and seek to follow their particular "voice of vocation." Pastor Alexander will retire in 2012 as the longest-serving pastor at Holy Trinity. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, she was ordained in 1981 after earning a master of divinity degree at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. She had previously received a bachelor‘s and a master‘s degree from the University of South Carolina. Before coming to Holy Trinity, she served at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Columbia from 1981 to 1985. Beverly Alexander


Stanley Satre served as interim pastor in the year between the departure of Pastor Gerhardt and the arrival of Pastor Yount. This followed 35 years of service at congregations in Minnesota and Iowa. Holy Trinity was the first of several interim assignments in Texas, California, Florida, North Dakota, and Minnesota. He is currently interim senior pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, MN. Stanley Satre

PAUL V. ABBE (1992 to 1996)

Paul Abbe accepted a call as Associate Pastor at Holy Trinity in 1992 after serving six years in the US Air Force and earning a bachelor‘s degree from Miami Christian College and a master‘s degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. In 1996, he became pastor of Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kings Mountain, NC, and then accepted a call in 1998 as associate pastor for youth and families at Grace Lutheran Church in Raleigh. He resigned from that position in 2005 and from the ELCA clergy roster in 2006. He was assistant headmaster and professor of theology at St. Thomas More Academy in Raleigh from 2007-2008, and in 2008 started Spiritus Gladius Ministries, to "train Catholics, with the 'Sword of the Spirit‘ to live, share, and defend the Faith." Paul Abbe

DEAN R. LINGLE (1980 to 1984)

Dean Lingle received his call to serve as a team pastor at Holy Trinity in 1980, after five years at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Worthington, PA. In cooperation with Pastor Gerhardt, he played a key role in the expansion of service and outreach programs at Holy Trinity. Described as an able and gifted leader, he provided strong support for Pan-Lutheran Ministries and Agape Place, a shelter for homeless families. His faithful service was cut short in 1984 after a three month bout with cancer; he was 36. He was buried in his native Rowan County, NC. Dean Lingle

THOMAS E. NELSON JR. (1979 to 1984)

With funding from the NC Synod, Holy Trinity called Thomas Nelson as its first full-time campus pastor in 1979. Nelson had served as campus pastor at Appalachian State University from 1977-1978 while an intern at Grace Lutheran Church in Boone. At Holy Trinity, he expanded recently established programs, including Wednesday evening student worship, weekly meal fellowship, and a Sunday morning forum. He shared in leading regular worship services at Holy Trinity and was an active member of the NC State University Cooperative Campus Ministry. After leaving Holy Trinity in 1984, he studied and taught in the Department of Computer Science at NC State before accepting a call in 1988 as assistant pastor at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cary, where he currently serves as Assistant Pastor for Visitation. Thomas Nelson

STEPHEN P. GERHARD (1974 to 1995)

Stephen Gerhard served as campus pastor and associate pastor from 1974 to 1979, associate pastor from 1979 to 1980, and senior pastor from 1980 to 1995. During his time at Holy Trinity, the congregation greatly expanded its support of local service organizations, reflected by Pastor Gerhard‘s service as the first chairman of the board of directors for Urban Ministries of Wake County. Holy Trinity also helped settle refugee families from Chile, Vietnam and Poland. Pastor Gerhard served on the Lenoir-Rhyne College board of trustees, the NC Synod Council, the NC State University Cooperative Campus Ministry (chair) and the board of Lutheran Families Services of the Carolinas (chair). He left Holy Trinity in 1995 to serve Lutheran Church of the Epiphany in Winston-Salem, where he retired in 2008. Stephen Gerhard
He was named Pastor Emeritus at Holy Trinity in 2009, and became capital campaign director for Lutheran Services for the Aging for the NC Synod. Before coming to Holy Trinity, he served in Moundsville, WV from 1971-1974, and was full-time pastor at Lord God of Sabaoth Lutheran Church in the US Virgin Islands during his seminary internship. He died in May 2011.

CONRAD L. QUANSTROM (1961 to 1974)

Holy Trinity called Conrad Quanstrom as its first assistant pastor, with half his responsibilities dedicated to campus ministry, including counseling, fostering special student activities, and teaching Sunday School classes. He also began an early communion service using the contemporary Chicago Folk Mass. In 1974, he accepted a call at Wittenberg Lutheran Church in Granite Quarry, NC. He resigned from the ministry in 1981, and was later coordinator of education and training for State Farm Insurance Companies in Bloomington, IL, his hometown. More recently, he moved to Palm Coast, FL. Conrad Quanstrom

JOHN W. COBB (1957 to 1980)

During a call that spanned more than 22 years, Pastor Cobb oversaw considerable growth in the size of Holy Trinity and in the scope of the congregation‘s outreach in the community. He oversaw the dedication of the new education building and parsonage in 1962, and the building of the new sanctuary, which was finished in 1968. In 1976, Lutheran Family Services, an organization of the Synod, began operation at Holy Trinity. With help from Holy Trinity, the number of Lutheran churches in Wake County grew from one to five. For 21 years, Pastor Cobb produced and presented the Sunday radio program, "This Week in Religion," on WPTF, for which he was honored by the NC Council of Churches. He retired to Cherryville, NC, in 1980, serving as director of North Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission for 16 years and helping to organize the Lutheran Men in Mission of the ELCA. John Cobb
He was named Pastor Emeritus in 1981. Before coming to Holy Trinity, he served at Trinity Lutheran in Rocky Mount (1939-1943), Luther Memorial in Blacksburg, VA, (1943-1947) and Grace Lutheran in Bethlehem, PA, (1947-1957). He died in 2010.

RAYMOND M. BOST (1953 to 1957)

Pastor Bost oversaw the relocation of Holy Trinity from its original church building on Hillsborough Street to its current location. This included buying the site, designing the facility (the current education building), and overseeing the construction. He also played a key role in resettling Hungarian refugees and took a strong stance in favor of racial integration. He resigned to study at Yale University Divinity School, where he earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree. He subsequently served as a professor of church history at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, as US Army Chaplain School in- structor, as dean and then president of Lenoir-Rhyne College, as president of Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, and as dean and later president of Newberry College in South Carolina. Raymond Bost

HERBERT W. STROUP (1950 to 1952)

Pastor Stroup accepted a call at Holy Trinity after serving as a US Navy chaplain and as a pastor in Pennsylvania. During his tenure, the congregation began seriously moving toward building a new sanctuary, as the average Sunday attendance exceeded the capacity of the church. It sold its site on Oberlin Road and Clark Avenue, deciding this was not a good location for the sanctuary, and rezoned its existing church site on Hillsborough Street. Pastor Stroup left Holy Trinity to accept a call in Pennsylvania, and later served as professor of pastoral theology and as dean of students at Gettysburg Seminary. He also taught Pastoral Counseling at St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland, the only Protestant on the faculty of 23 Catholic priests. Herbert Stroup

CLARENCE E. NORMAN (1933 to 1949)

Pastor Norman came to Holy Trinity after 16 years as a missionary in Japan, after Depression-era mission board reductions prevented him from returning overseas. His ministry included students at NC State and other local colleges, and servicemen training on the NC State campus during World War II. Holy Trinity added a second Sunday service in 1948, and the congregation bought a plot of land at Oberlin Road and Clark Avenue as a potential site for a new sanctuary. Pastor Norman left to pastor two congregations in Monroe, NC, for 12 years, and then retired to Cary, serving as a supply pastor. He was named Holy Trinity’s first Pastor Emeritus in 1973. He was recognized as an authority on religious art and was active at the NC Museum of Art. Clarence Norman

RUFUS B. PEERY (1931 to 1933)

Pastor Peery served a short tenure at Holy Trinity after a long and distinguished career that included a decade as a missionary in Japan; pastor at congregations in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina; president of Midland College in Atchison, KS, from 1912 to 1919; and professor of philosophy at Lenoir-Rhyne College from 1920 to 1924. He suffered a partial stroke in the summer of 1932, and retired a year later. He died in Raleigh in 1934. Rufus Peery

ERNEST R. McCAULEY (1924 to 1929)

Before answering the call at Holy Trinity, Pastor McCauley served congregations in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia. During his tenure, the congregation continued to grow, and a Möller pipe organ was installed in the sanctuary. After leaving Holy Trinity, he was pastor for nearly two decades at a congregation in Baltimore, MD., and died in 1957. The church experienced a long pastoral vacancy following his departure, during which seminarian F.P. Cauble served as pastor. Ernest McCauley

ARTHUR M. HUFFMAN (1919 to 1924)

The Holy Trinity congregation continued to grow during Pastor Huffman’s tenure, both in membership and in infrastructure, as the congregation purchased a residence next door to the church to serve as a parsonage and as a location for Sunday Church School classes for children. In October 1921, he married Pauline Miller, the first member to be confirmed at Holy Trinity. While at Holy Trinity, he developed and organized St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Durham. He later served at churches in Kings Mountain, N.C., Knoxville, TN., and Louisville, KY. Before his Holy Trinity call, he was a pastor in Charleston, SC, and a US Army chaplain. He was president of the Kentucky-Tennessee Synod from 1947 to 1949, and died in 1956. Arthur Huffman

JACOB L. MORGAN (1911 to 1919)

Pastor Morgan was a remarkable missionary and synod administrator. Holy Trinity was the last of six North Carolina congregations that he developed, organized, served and built during the span of a decade, from 1907 to 1917. (The others were Emmanuel in High Point, First in Greensboro, St. Mark’s in Mooresville, Trinity in Landis, and Grace in Liberty). Holy Trinity was the only of these at which he served as full-time pastor, from 1917 to 1919. He left the congregation to serve as the first full-time president of the North Carolina Synod (he was vice president from 1918 to 1919), but not until Holy Trinity’s first church building was dedicated in September 1919. He continued as the president of the merged United Evangelical Lutheran Synod of North Carolina from 1921 to 1947, and was president emeritus for another 13 years until his death in 1960. Jacob Morgan
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