Historical Trinity Church

The Trinity congregation organized in 1884 when a predominant movement of northern German immigrants came to Iowa, settling in the area surrounding Manning. Lutherans in Lincoln Township began conducting services in a school house. They constructed and dedicated their first church in 1884. The church was quickly outgrown and rebuilt in 1901. This building served the congregation, its’ members at one time numbering 250, until the church and its contents were destroyed by a tornado in March 1913.The congregation immediately began reconstruction of their church. The church was built in six months and dedicated in October 1913. That is the beautiful structure that still stands tall today in the Manning Hausbarn-Heritage Park. Economic hardship of the family farm and decline of the rural population caused the congregation of Trinity Lutheran to dwindle, and members realized they could no longer continue. In 2004, the congregation decided it would close the church after marking its 125th anniversary in 2006. Rather than see the rural church sold or dismantled, an agreement was reached with the Manning Community Foundation to move the church to the Hausbarn-Heritage Park where it would complement the other cultural landmarks and allow for visitors to tour the church.

On June 6, 2006, after raising $100,000 for the relocation, the church was transported over 11 miles of rolling Iowa hills to its new location. The four-hour move was witnessed and photographed by many people along the route. The building and contents were safely moved. On June 9, 2006, the church was lowered onto its’ new foundation, which included a basement to accommodate a variety of future special events. Come take the Historical Church Tour today or to learn more about renting the church for an event, please visit the rental information page.

  • It took 4 hours to move 11 miles
  • No structural changes were necessary fo the move
  • There were 40 wheels under the Church
  • It weighed 224,000 pounds, 112 tons
  • A large truck tractor pulled the load except for one hill that had fresh gravel when a very large John Deere tractor helped the truck tractor
  • 13 power lines were taken down enroute
  • Trees at four locations were trimmed/taken down to allow the Church to pass
  • The Church is 78′ long and 34′ wide
  • The steeple is 92′ high, believed to be the tallest building ever moved in Iowa
  • Preparation started on May 21, 2006 and it was on wheels and moved to its present location on June 6th, 2006
The “Firsts” in 1891 were
Baptisms – August Burr, Elsa Lutter, Otto Hansen, August Juergens, maria Ohm, George Schutz, Ida Baller, Hedwig Rudnick, Adolph Duede, Herman Gruhn, Julius Rudnick, Stella Grahm, laura Rutz, Albert Zierke, Helene Kienast, John Polzin
Confirmations –  Mathilda Wenzel, Bertha Borkowski   
Weddings – Wilhelm Mueller, Mina Schalow, Johann Schroeder, Maria Hassler
Deaths – Joachim Arp, John Kienast, Herman Bailer, Julius Rudnick
First Church – 1884
     Ground was granted to the congregation by Geo. Ullerich, Sr.  On July 6, 1884, the first church was erected on the south side of the road.  It was a 50 x 30 structure and was used as a house of worship for fifteen years.
     In 1885, the congregation joined the Synod and also built a parsonage, 16 x 16 x 12.  Wood for the building was purchased from the Green Bay Lumber Company of Gray, Iowa.  The carpenter received $1.50 a day. 


All donations go to the upkeep of the park.Any help is appreciated!

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