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Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Frederiksted, St. Croix

When town planners laid out Frederiksted in 1752, they assigned the Lutheran Church a large, breezy back lot "atop a commanding hill" at the western edge of town. In 1766 a wooden church was built. It was destroyed by fire, and a simple but elegant masonry building was designed to replace it. Construction began in 1783. The people began building with faith and hope and 600 rdl., about 1/10th of what they expected would be needed to finish the task. Work stopped for several years due to lack of funds. Special gifts and a loan from the Christiansted congregation helped to complete the building and it was dedicate January 15, 1792. The tower for the steeple was begun in 1783 and the steeple was added in the 1850's. Among the townspeople, the church was called the "Dane Church."

The Frederiksted church had two congregations; the Danish Congregation and the Mission Congregation. They used the same building and were served by the same pastor. It was listed as part of the Chirstiansted parish and was served by Christiansted pastors until 1859 when it had its own pastor.

The oldest record in the Frederiksted congregation dates back until 1788. Forty members of the Royal Danish Mission Congregation gathered at "Fredensberg" (peaceful hill) on December 1, 1788 to record the names of all the people in the Mission Congregation. Members were listed as being either Negro, or Mulatto, free or slave, (owner listed). During that period, there was no missionary assigned to the West End, and the minister from Christiansted came infrequently. However, the Mission Congregation met regularly. The services were led by Michael Samuelsen, himself a slave and clerk of the church.

The shortage of Lutheran pastors was a constant problem in the colonies. Illness, brought about by the climate, forced many Danes and other Europeans, including pastors to return home. Early records show that the mortality rate in the islands during the eighteenth century was very high. More often than not, both the Christiansted and Frederiksted congregations were left to administer for themselves throughout the years. Unlike the Anglicans and Moravians, Lutherans were unable to transfer clergy from other Caribbean islands; there were few Lutherans in the region and no other Danish-speaking Lutherans. During one thirteen year period, 1830-1845, there was only one pastor Lutheran pastor for the three islands, serving the four Danish congregation and the four mission congregations.


Church #1

"Sacred to the Memory of the Revd Hother Gustav Hanschell who departed this life on his passage to Europe on the 10th of May 1853. Aged 42 years. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God Matth. V. 8. This tablet is erected by his congregation."


Church #2

"Sacred to the memory of Jens Klint Bagger Born 19th March 1801 Died 2nd July 1856 He was a faithful and zealous pastor to this congregation during 17 years, from 1829 to 1946, and is remembered with affection and gratitude by his parishioners, who dedicated this tablet to the commemoration of his virtues and merits. The righteous shall inherit the land and dwelleth therein forever Psal:37,29"


Church #3

"Den kirke blev indviet den 15de Januar 1792 af Præsten Martin Peter Ohm i stedet for den traæbygning som var opført 1766. Fred være med dette hus. Denne mindatvte blev skænket kirken 1891."


Antique Chasuble 

Sleeveless ecclesiastical vestment worn over vestments by the pastor at Eucharistic services.

Original Receipt


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