Following the death of Holy Trinity’s Senior Pastor Aden B. MacIntosh in 1940, Assistant Pastor Samuel E. Kidd was asked to remain and assume the pastoral duties until Vestry could take action on succession. In November 1940, a call was extended to Rev. Henry Horneman Bagger, L.L.D., D.D. to become our sixteenth pastor. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1893, Dr, Bagger was a graduate of Muhlenberg College and the Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Muhlenberg College also conferred on him in 1915 the honorary degree of L.L.D., and in 1933 from Gettysburg College he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity. After serving in the pastoral office at Morgantown, West Virginia and at Butler, Pennsylvania, he held the office of President of the Pittsburgh Synod 1930-1940.
When Dr. Bagger and his family came to Lancaster, he moved into 45 North Lime Street, a property that the congregation had acquired as a parsonage at a cost of $12,000, and on which piece of real estate $9,000 was spent on renovations. Since the passing of Dr. Whitteker, the old parsonage on South Duke Street had not had a tenant because of its deteriorated condition. In 1939, both the parsonage and the adjoining sexton’s house at 35 and 37 South Duke Street were razed, the cleared ground then providing part of the site for the proposed new parish house.
At his first meeting with Vestry, Dr. Bagger inquired if anything had been done toward a memorial to Dr. MacIntosh. Vestry favored the recognition, which resulted in the placement of the center stained glass window on the west balcony of Old Testament Prophet Isaiah. On December 7, 1941, Dr. Bagger conducted the act of consecration of this window. That same day, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the following day the United States declared war on Japan. By January 1942, eighteen members of Trinity’s congregation were called into the military. Dr. Bagger attempted to correspond and provide helpful literature to all of them. By July the number had climbed to thirty, and by February 1944, 107 men and 8 women were in the service. By the time the conflict came to a close in 1945, 174 members of Trinity had been called to the colors, and four had given their life.
Pearl Harbor, 1941
Since 1766, members were expected to rent pew space in the sanctuary, this being the major source of revenue for church maintenance. (This explains the numbers on our pew doors.) Gradually there came a realization that after 178 years this was surely an archaic method by which to finance a church. By a congregational vote of 686 to 31, the pew rental system was suspended, and on January 1, 1945, and all pews were declared free.
In 1949, an examination of the four wood evangelists on our steeple indicated that after 154 years they were in a state of advanced deterioration. Duplicate statues were carved and place in 1950, and the original ones were repaired with plaster and placed in the church narthex. Also in 1949, all of the remaining stones and earthly remains from Trinity’s cemetery were removed to be relocated in another portion of church property. This was done in preparation for a new parish house. In 1950, the Rambush Company of New York painted and redecorated the interior of the sanctuary, which was the last major effort prior to our 2006 restoration.
The initial statues atop the steeple, now in the church Narthex: (from left) Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John
In 1951, the thirteenth son of Trinity entered the ministry. He was the Reverend Ralph W. Bagger, son of our pastor. Dr. Bagger was privileged to perform that installation.
On June 2, 1952, at a regular meeting of Vestry, Dr. Bagger announced his resignation to accept the presidency of the Seminary at Philadelphia. Fifteen years later, on March 16, 1967, at the age of 73, Dr. Bagger entered the Church Triumphant.
Much of this material was condensed from Part Two of Dr. George L. Heiges books on Holy Trinity.
Lloyd E. Bull, Property Committee Chairperson