Lutheranism came to New Jersey in 1638 when Lutherans from Sweden built a log cabin in Lower Penns Neck (Pennsville) and a beautiful brick church in
Swedesboro. In 1738, the Lutheran ministers returned to Sweden and the Church of England (Episcopalian) replaced the Lutheran church in this area.
Lutheranism returned to the western part of Salem County in the late 1930's. The forerunner of Trinity Lutheran Church in Carneys Point was started after Dr.
Otto Stallman of Bridgeton suggested that the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod start work in the western section of Salem County. He
had learned that some Lutheran families had moved to the area from Carrollville, Wisconsin (near Milwaukee). Preliminary canvasses indicated that many
Lutherans and unchurched folk lived in the area and were working for the DuPont Company and the Delaware Ordinance Depot.
Through its Home Mission Board, the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod called Reverend Gilbert Pfeiffer, a native of New York City, as
"Missionary¬At-Large H for this area. Pastor Pfeiffer was a graduate of Concordia College, Bronxville and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. The new missionary
made a thorough survey of the area during November of 1938 and recommended that two (2) churches be started: One (1) in Lower Penns Neck and one (1)
in Penns Grove. Prospective member visitations began immediately.
When rental space became available in Fraternal Hall (above Willis Hardware in Penns Grove), the budding mission decided to hold services there. In May &
June of 1939, advertisements in the local newspaper announced the opening of a Lutheran
Church in Penns Grove. Lutheran and unchurched families in the area received invitations in the mail for the new church's first service, scheduled for July
2,1939 at 11 :00 AM. Forty-one people were present at the first service. The opening hymn was "Come Thou Almighty King" and Pastor Pfeiffer message was
on "The Parable of the Mustard Seed' (Matthew 13:31-33). On May 12, 1940, the church received 49 people into communicant membership.
The new church attempted to build several times in the 1940's. None of these plans came to fruition due to the war and the Penns Grove-Upper Penns Neck
School Board's annexation of Trinity's land. Finally, in 1949, under the leadership of the Rev. Albert Ledebuhr, work started on Trinity's church building
located on Georgetown Road in Upper Penns Neck (Carneys Point). November 19, 1950, Trinity Lutheran Church held dedication services for its newly
completed building.
Trinity developed a sister congregation, The Lutheran Church of St.
Ambrose, in Pennsville Township during 1961, transferring thirty (30) members to get it started.
Trinity built a new educational wing in 1967 at the cost of $40,000. This education wing was made possible by an endowment from Effie Fry. The new wind
added six (6) classrooms, a large kitchen and two (2) more restrooms.
Trinity Lutheran Church