Historic Trinity

The Rev. Dr. David Eberhard


In Memoriam
January 1, 1934 - May 10, 2016

Dr. David Eberhard was born January 1, 1934, in Louisville, Kentucky. He was one of seven children of Rev. Dr. Carl Eberhard and his wife Clara. Dr. Eberhard attended a parochial primary school and a public high school in Louisville. He graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri and held a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Divinity, Master of Theology, and Doctor of Letters degrees.

The Rev. Dr. David Eberhard and his wife Beverly (Jacobs) were married in 1959. They have five sons: Michael, Mark, Timothy, Paul, and David; five daughters in-law: Michelene, Kim, Marcia, Becky, and Karin; and sixteen grandchildren - John & Amanda; - Erin, Erich, Ean, Eamon; - Stephaney, Nathan, Shane, Kyle, Allison;- Hannah, Sarah, Rachel; - Claire, Natalie.

While attending Male High School in Louisville, Kentucky 1949-52, he demonstrated his leadership abilities in sports, as a class officer, as Lieutenant Colonel in the ROTC, and the Youth Governor of the Kentucky Youth Assembly in 1951-52, and appointed to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonel in 1952.

From 1959 to 1976 Dr. Eberhard was Pastor of Riverside Lutheran Church on Detroit's lower eastside. The parish was very active in the Civil Rights Movement and maintained community outreach programs including a clinic, senior citizen programs, a day care center, a youth home, a co-op store, and local peace corps. In addition, he served as Pastor of Holy Trinity Polish Lutheran Church from 1969 to 1981, and Holy Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church from 1979 to 1995.

In 1980 The Rev. Dr. David Eberhard became Associate Pastor of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Detroit. In 1983 he was elevated to the position of Head Pastor. Part of his mission at Historic Trinity has been to develop a meaningful paradigm for downtown churches in America. Today, under Dr. Eberhard's guidance, Historic Trinity is leader among urban churches, enhancing its development as an ecclesiastical, cultural, community resource and gathering place for Metropolitan Detroit. Today it is the fastest growing church in downtown Detroit. Activities include: Historic Trinity Inc., Trinity Arts, The Dau Church History Library, Cathedral Ministries, various Senior Citizen Outreach Programs, and Urban Ministry Development.

In September of 1995 Dr. Eberhard began LCM - Lutheran City Ministries of Detroit. This cutting edge cross cultural ministry was designed to restructure the church in the City of Detroit, by preaching station store fronts, dual use church ministries, cell groups, lay and professional training on site, ministry on the Web, enterprising, all to assure pathways are being built for the unchurched to the Lord.

Dr. Eberhard was determined that there will be a presence of the Lutheran Church in our cities of America 100 years from now. In 1998 Lutheran City Ministries became an independent ministry. In 2010 Historic Trinity in partnership with Our Shepherd, began the Lutheran Church in the City - a ministry that is reinventing the role of the church in downtown Detroit.

David Eberhard was elected to the Detroit City Council in 1969 where he served until 1993. Councilman Eberhard was elected six times in city wide elections for a total of 24 years of service to the City of Detroit. The experiences which he brought to the city governing processes allowed him to significantly impact the decisions which shaped the development of Detroit.

In his role as a church and civic leader he served many boards, committees, and organizations including: President of the Michigan Municipal League, President of the Municipal League Foundation, Member of various National League of Cities sub-committees, The Detroit Bar Association - Legal Aid Committee, the National Urban Planning Institute, various Detroit Urban Study Committee, LCMS Medical Missions Board of Directors, Detroit Lutheran High Schools Board of Directors, Chairman Michigan District Social Ministry Board, Member Michigan District LCMS Board of Directors, Detroit East (and Central) Circuit Counselor, Sobriety House Board of Directors, and many others. He was a member of the Detroit Yacht Club, the Detroit Athletic Club, and others. He received many, national, state, and local honors, such as, he was made a Kentucky Colonel as a young man. In 1964 he was honored by the State Bar of Michigan with the Liberty Bell Award. He was named by the Michigan Jaycees as the "Michigan Young Man of the Year" in 1968. Concordia University of Ann Arbor, Michigan awarded him the Christus Primus Award in 2008, and there have been many more. He has appeared in many national TV documentaries, and on many national and local TV programs - such as CNN news programs and CBS documentaries. He was regularly on various radio programs and news spots, and often appeared in the local newspapers and electronic news articles.

After serving 35 years faithfully serving as the head pastor, Dr. Eberhard stepped down in August of 2015 when Historic Trinity extended a call to Rev. Darryl L. Andrzejewski to lead the congregation. Dr. Eberhard continued to serve as Pastor Emeritus until he was taken peacefully to heaven May 10, 2016 with his beloved family at his side. We remember and thank Dr. Eberhard for his faithful and bold service, for restoring the church facilities and for growing the congregation in the city of Detroit.

In Memoriam - January 1, 1934 - May 10, 2016. The Rev. Dr. David Eberhard was laid to rest at Historic Trinity May 14, 2016, and we praised the Lord for His faithfulness to this His servant. May he rest from his labors. Please keep the Eberhard family in your prayers. To view the funeral and celebration of his life, click here. Memorials are requested to Historic Trinity.

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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