Salem Lutheran Church and Holy Trinity Catholic Church are just some of the Lenexa, Kan., institutions that date back to the late 1800s. This was a time when populations from different backgrounds traveled west for reasons that include railroad expansion and land opportunities. Groups of settlers brought with them a variety of religions and beliefs. Thus, Lenexa has an intriguing assortment of church buildings, many that have been reconstructed since their beginnings.
Salem Lutheran Church
An influx of German settlers that practiced the Lutheran faith found themselves in need of their own church around the 1880s. Salem Lutheran Church was organized in the fall of 1885 with 10 charter members (SLC, 2015). In the early days, services were preached in German and Sunday School in English.
In 1922, a tragic fire destroyed the original Salem Lutheran building. A new building was constructed, adorned with beautiful stained glass windows, a new pipe organ and other additions. The new church building opened on May 24, 1924.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Twenty families in Lenexa requested permission to start a Catholic parish in 1880. The request was approved (one can assume by the Catholic Church) and in 1882, a small white framed church was built for the Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
By 1911, the parish had significantly grown in numbers and a new larger building constructed of stone was completed. Approximately 2.8 million pounds of rock was brought to the site by parish members and their wagons (HTCH, 2015).
As Lenexa experienced a population boom in the 1990s, a new church was built in 1996 to accommodate Holy Trinity’s growing parish. As you can see, the architecture is modern and quite different from the other two buildings before it.
-Beth Edson, Johnson County Library
Holy Trinity Church. (2015). Our parish history. Retrieved from http://www.htlenexa.org/our-parish-history
Salem Lutheran Church. (2015). History. Retrieved from http://www.htlenexa.org/our-parish-history