Historic Trinity
Carvings and Sculptures from the former Our Saviour Lutheran Church.


The wood carvings in the Huegli Auditorium of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church are from the former Our Saviour Lutheran Church of Detroit. The execution of this wood sculpturing were arranged by the Gustav A. Fuchs Company of Detroit. They were done in 1968 by a master craftsmen in Genoa, Italy, and took one year to complete, and were dedicated on Rally Day, September 22, 1968. The sculptures were a gift of the estate of William and Clara Roehl, charter members of Our Savior. The were remounted at Historic Trinity in February 1999, and re-dedicated on April 11, 1999.

There are 30 people in 19 connecting exhibits. You gain the impression of "action" since everyone is doing something. This is in accordance with the general theme, "Whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God." I Cor. 10:31. The scenes are filled with a deep spiritual significance for daily encouragement in the vocation of each Christian. It all begins with the baptized infant in the mother's arms. Over and above all there is the Divine Benediction of a merciful God upon every step of our journey through life.

The Family

The whole design, as it spreads out like the branches of a tree, has its roots in that primary unit of society, the home. Here we see ourselves, first of all, as the baptized infant in the arms of mother. The boy busy with his studies is expected to make the most of his school days as he prepares for life. The manly role of father is to support and protect the home, pictured in the background. Such a strong and warm Christian home is the foundation of society, the bulwark of the Church, and the buttress of our nation. "God setteth the solitary in families." Psalm 68:6. At the end of the Catechism, Luther wrote: "Let each his lesson learn with care and all the household well shall fare."


Pictures in this exhibit are two men of the PROFESSIONAL type, busy with their notes and the telephone. Their daily tasks demand of them that they do their best. This group is made up of persons in Law, Banking, Business, Communications, Transportation, Politics, Sales, Engineering, Journalism and City, State and Federal Government. With the benefit of college training in their various fields, these persons exert a tremendous influence, but they are Christians first and then professionals. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ looks to them for inspired and intelligent leadership. "To whom much is given, of them much is required."


The office secretary - office administrator, obviously is an important position in American in small and large offices. As every business concern knows, these persons occupy a most important role, for so much depends upon their efficiency, abilities, courtesy and faithfulness. The Christian secretary - office administrator is an influence for what is good and right, and so brings honor to the Lord.


The mechanic is a symbol of the Automotive Industry, which is identified with Detroit throughout the world. Thousands found jobs here, bringing with them many technical skills that put the world on wheels, and in time of war made Detroit the "Arsenal of Democracy". Thousands of persons are engaged in daily vocations that are related to the automobile, in design, assembling, and producing autos, and auto related products. One look at the church's parking lot on Sundays is convincing evidence that the automobile is placed in use to bring persons to share in glory and praise to God.


This person represents all those who are gifted with muscles and physical strength essential for their daily vocations. The heavy shoes and gloves and protective hat are necessary pieces of equipment for their hazardous work. Here are the persons that erect the steel skeletons for the sky-scrapers and high rises in great cities, walking on girders high above the streets below. They play in important part in the building of churches, schools and hospitals; they install mighty sewers and pipe lines that bring in water and gas and oil; they lay down miles of concrete ribbons and build the bridges that support these highways. By their vocation they bring honor to God.


The physician and nurse are gifts of God to the world. "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." Matthew 9:12. The Apostle Paul writes of the "beloved Physician." "Only Luke is with me." II Timothy 4:11. The prophet Jeremiah utters the plaintive cry, "Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there?" This exhibit includes those workers who fill a niche in hospitals and nursing homes. The Patient, also, gives glory to God, when they trusts implicitly that as a child of God He will care for them. "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God." Romans 8:28


These two figures represent the first occupation of mankind, when he was told in Eden to "keep the garden and to dress it." The farmer is bringing in a basket of fruit, and his wife the milk pail. Below we observe chickens and furrows in the field. The Lord has kept His promise, "While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." Genesis 8:22. Besides cultivating the fields of grain, the gardens of vegetables, and the orchards and vineyards, these workers also raise the sheep and cattle for the daily needs of all. Theirs is a great and rewarding occupation that brings them close to God and His creation


This is a symbol of the skilled workers and master craftsmen in the building trades. Of the Lord it was asked, "Is not this the Carpenter's Son?" The electrician, painter, plumber, bricklayer, heating and air-conditioning engineer are one with the Carpenter who fixed those flat roofs in Nazareth. There is glory in doing the common job uncommonly well, to the glory of God. What counts is the motive; is it self-concern only, or loving people? Where God's Spirit dwells, a workbench can become an altar.


No less an authority that Martin Luther himself ranks music as second only to Theology. Indeed, music has always held a prominent position in the function of the Church from the most ancient of times. The String Player, therefore, represents more than a profession; but is a symbol of dedicated concentration, employing skills of the mind and the hands. In a broad sense it depicts the entire vast field of music, sacred and secular, vocal and instrumental. Through the musicians abilities and talents they not only enhances the ritual of worship, but they also helps to promote the growth of God's word itself.


"God bless America!" Here we see Stars and Stripes of the United States with an American eagle on top of the staff. A soldier, representing all branches of the Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Marines Air Corps, and Coast Guard,is saluting the flag and pledging his allegiance. Our Lord declared, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesars and unto God the things that are Gods." Matthew 22:21. In Romans 13, we find the fundamental rules for the authority of Government and what is expected of a loyal and obedient citizen. One who supports their country by their prayers, financial support and service, even to the extent of giving up their life if need be. For the Christian it is "PRO DEO ET PATRIA!"

Fire Fighter

"Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus." (We hope for better things; it shall arise from the ashes.) The official seal of the City of Detroit, adopted in 1827, serves as a reminder of the great fire of 1805 which completely destroyed the city as it was then known. This seal is found on the fire-fighter's badge. Firefighters safeguard the population with the latest and best motorized pieces, and equipment. The members of the department go through an intensive training program and are proud to belong. Many a time has the "Rescue Squad" been just that for a citizen in trouble. By their efficiency and dedication they give glory to God.

Police Officer

The Detroit Police Officer is presented in the pleasant role of protecting the school girl, as she walks past him in complete confidence. The Latin word "TUEBOR" means "I will protect". The revolver at the officers side is a necessary part of their equipment when, often at the risk of their own life, they fight the sinister forces of crime and vice, dope and vandalism. Officers deserves the respect and support of every decent citizen. The Detroit Police Department, is one of the finest in the nation and looks with pride on the advances that have been made in modern law enforcement techniques. For the many years the annual Protestant Memorial Service of the Police Department was held at Our Saviour Lutheran Church.


The Butcher is looking with delight at a large turkey that has been lifted from the scales. Could it be for "Thanksgiving Day"? This exhibit is a symbol of "Daily Bread" supplied also by the baker, milk-man, grocer, canning factories and meat industry. All those that drive the delivery trucks that bring supplies to large and small stores, and all those who stand behind the counters and wait upon the customers, can give glory to God in their vocations, when the weights on the scales are just and they themselves follow complete honesty with kindness and courtesy.


This skilled scientist is busy in his laboratory with his microscope. This figure represents the men and women in the field of research that has brought such great blessings to mankind, pioneering in medicine, chemistry, physics, geology, biology, astronomy and metallurgy. Often the unsung heroes who, by great patience, have discovered wonders in God's great universe and enabled others to build upon the knowledge acquired. "Better to get wisdom than gold." Proverbs 16:16. "Wisdom is better than strength." Ecclesiastes 9:16. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."


The hardy fisherman is standing at the shore of the lake with his catch. He represents all those who face the winds and waves for long hours to bring in food from the sea. It was from a group of fishermen at the Sea of Galilee that the Lord chose His first disciples and called them to follow Him to become fishers of men. We who live on the pleasant peninsula of the State of Michigan, bounded by the greatest inland seas of fresh water, are well aware of this blessing from God. Multitudes spend their vacations and hours of leisure "going fishing". This may be the time for fruitful spiritual reflection and bodily recreation for greater service to the Lord and fellow men.


The "draftsman" is symbolic of all who are engaged as designers in creative work in the field of architecture and engineering, in engraving and printing. Long before a building is begun, the trained draftsperson must produce the sketches from which blueprints are made. Their work is rarely seen by the public and so is apt to go on unnoticed, but in the faithful performance of their quiet duties at the drawing board, they give eloquent glory to God.


This is a picturesque symbol of the clothing industry, a world of cloth and leather, cotton, wool, linen, silk, nylon and fur, according to the styles and fashions of the day. We read that the Lord furnished Adam and Eve in Eden with "coats of skin". Famous coats referred to in the Bible include the coat of many colors that Jacob had presented to his son Joseph; Samuel's coats made by his mother Hannah; the clothing that Dorcas had made with her Christian needle; the sturdy winter coat of St. Paul, which he requested Timothy to bring to Rome; and, of course, the Vesture of the Lord at the foot of the cross, and symbolically the cloak of the righteousness of Christ which each Christian puts on.


The teacher and the three children represent all teachers and pupils in the elementary and secondary schools; and at the colleges and universities with their libraries and literature. A high standard of teaching excellence on the part of the teacher and an obedient and industrious attitude on the part of the pupil makes the greatest learning situation. May God bless the schools of America! In this exhibit we also take note of all who teach the Holy Scriptures and the Christian personal Savior.

The Altar

"The Lord bless thee and keep thee;
The Lord make His face to shine upon thee
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee
And give thee peace."

Numbers 6:24-25


"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
The love of God
and the communion of The Holy Ghost
be with you all."

II Corinthians 13:14

You will immediately recognize a replica of the Altar and a portion of the communion rail of Our Saviour Lutheran Church. This picture, with Pastor John Buchheimer pronouncing the Benediction, was forwarded to Italy with the ensuing fine result.

Over and above the entire sculpturing is the Divine Benediction of the Lord, as pronounced by the Pastor in the name of the Lord. This is a vital part of the service that should never be missed, except in case of necessity.

The vocation of the Pastor is not a mere function or role, nor "Holy Orders of the Religious", as distinguished by the Secular, but according to the Bible, it is a sacred OFFICE, which the pastor understands and the people respect. It is a calling filled with awe, feeding and leading a parish of God's people. Hard work but joy work, standing with people at the crossroads points of life, feeling with them at their deep moments.

Statue from the former Our Saviour Lutheran Church now on the exterior of Historic Trinity.  Photo by F. Hoeper


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Historic Trinity Lutheran Church
1345 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48207
Phone: (313) 567-3100
Fax: (313) 567-3209
Email: Historic Trinity