History of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and Its Founding of Guardian Angels Senior Care in Elk River
Early missionary efforts in Minnesota were spearheaded by Bishop Jackson Kemper. As he traveled the waterways and oxcart trails, he established many ministry outposts at way stations. Bishop Kemper's assistant was The Reverend Jacob Chamberlain. Father Chamberlain, resident at St. Anthony Falls, helped found a small congregation with the assistance of Colonel John Jamieson. The first members met in homes, generally for evening prayer. On July 23, 1858 Bishop Kemper consecrated the new church building in Upper Town, near Lake Orono. The church continued there until 1877 when the building was moved to lots across from the present 4th Street. Most services were Morning Prayer, with occasional communion service offered by traveling Episcopal priests. The present church was built in 1890 - 1891 and was heated only on Sundays, fed by a wood stove near the organ's current location.
In 1957, Father Richard Grein came to serve Holy Trinity (along with Trinity, Becker, and St. John's Hassan). During his tenure, he also established St. Michael and All Angels in Monticello. Father Grein and several community leaders wondered if it was time to provide the Elk River area with more medical care. Their first effort to begin a hospital soon was changed into a nursing home. Guardian Angels was born in 1962 through the tremendous efforts of community members and a small group of Holy Trinity members. Guardian Angels admitted its first patient in 1965.
Today Guardian Angels serves seniors and others in the full array of senior services, and is one of the major employers in our community. (See the Guardian Angels history for more details.) Over the years, Holy Trinity clergy have served a variety of roles at Guardian Angels, including chair of the Board and nursing home administrator. Holy Trinity members have also served on various Guardian Angels boards. Presently, Linda Krieger, a member of Holy Trinity, serves as Chair of the Guardian Angels Board of Directors and The Rev. Maragaret Quill, an Episcopal priest, serves as its Chaplain.
In 1962 the parish hall was added onto the east side of the church. In 1957, the current rectory was purchased to serve as housing for resident clergy.
Holy Trinity continued to make history. In 1979 it called The Reverend Margo Maris as one of the first woman rectors in the country. Women have been very welcome at Holy Trinity, as four women priests have served Holy Trinity since the late 1970s. The Rev. Wanda Copeland and The Rev. Margaret Quill served the parish as well as The Rev. Richard Bormes.
In 1999, Holy Trinity purchased the property to the west (1330) to serve as church office, Sunday School/Nursery space and additional space for a variety of uses. A beautiful handicapped fully accessible Parish Hall was built to meet the growing needs of our faith community and to be able to offer a multitude of programs and learning opportunities not only for its members but the entire community!
In April 2012, Holy Trinity called Father Rob Cavanna to be its Priest-in-Charge and Fr. Ken Toven as his Associate. Fr. Rob "is very excited to be part of this very vibrant and dynamic faith community serving Elk River and its surrounding communities for 50 miles." Fr. Rob was here for 10 years, leaving for a call in June of 2022.
New members, young families and others continue to find Holy Trinity a very caring and inviting place and they travel from surrounding towns such as Princeton, Rogers, Otsego, St. Michael, Big Lake, Eden Prairie and Albertville to be part of a very vibrant and growing faith community. Join us any Sunday at 10:00 am to experience Christ's love for yourself and to find true friendship!