Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS)


Our Pastor:  Rev. Peter Saie

In February of 2019, the Rev. Peter Nuahn Saie was ordained and installed as pastor of Trinity LCMS (Utica, NY) and Redeemer Lutheran (Canastota, NY).


Peter was born to Mr. James Bah Saie and Rachel Nyanonon Saie on January 15, 1956 in the village of Karblee, Liberia. Besides being a farmer, his father was a talented mask-devil dancer, a traditional career which made him very famous and popular in his community. In 1964, he received the Lord through the preaching of a Baptist missionary, and being moved by the Spirit, he decided to attend the Mid-Baptist Mission's Bible School about sixty miles away from his village to the town called Tappita, where Peter grew up and completed elementary school.

"But those years we spent at the Bible school left me with a permanent negative view of Christianity growing up as a child. We were taught to obey many religious Laws in order to be saved: smoking and drinking of any beverage containing alcohol was considered sinful, women and men were not allowed to sit next to each otehr in the church, communion was served with red Kool-aid drink representing the wine. And any member caught breaking these Laws was considered a sinner and was placed on the "sinner's bench" for months, isolating him or her to partake of any church activity"

After completing elementary school in 1970, Peter decided to go and live with his uncle in Monrovia (Liberia's capital city); and in 1978 he completed his high school education. Not being able to afford university tuition in those days, he enrolled at the government-sponsored medical institution in Monrovia, graduating as a physician's assistant in 1983. During his early adulthood, Peter turned against the church due to his experiences during childhood. But in 1990 during the Liberian civil war, God Himself completely turned Peter's life around.

During the war, Peter's family fled to the neighboring country of the Ivory Coast for refuge. It was there where Peter met the Rev. John Duitsman and his wife Kathy: LCMS missionaries sent to provide relief assistance for the Liberian refugees. The life of humility, love, and caring of the Duitsman family toward the refugees drew his attention and gave him a second thought about Christianity. The Duitsmans lived in the same village with the refugees, drank the same water they drank, and ate the same type of foods that they ate. At the same time, missionaries of other denominations were living in the cities and would only come to visit and assist their own church members. John and Kathy would help every refugee family in need, regardless of his or her denomination. But the ultimate draw of Peter to Lutheranism was the Gospel message of Justification by Grace through Faith in Christ Jesus alone, not by his works of righteousness. "And in this message, I truly found the relief and assurance of my salvation, because of the work of Christ on the cross"

Peter met his dear wife Elizabeth in 1991, becoming Lutherans in 1992 and getting married in the Lutheran church in 1993. They now have 12 children: 4 each from previous relationships and 4 together. Due to the great excitement of their new Lutheran faith, Peter decided to attend the Lutheran pastoral workshops in the Ivory Coast, where he planted two Lutheran congregations in the towns of Pehe and Pantroken, Touleplea District. He later served as the Lutheran Mission administrator and as the Assistant Director of the Lutheran Refugee Clinic in the village of Chior, Toulepleu District.

By the grace of God, Peter and Elizabeth were granted political asylum in the US in 2001. Their journey in the US was again guided by the hands of the Lord through LCMS churches and through the loving people that God put in their path. "Due to the rich taste of the LCMS doctrine we discovered from the Ivory Coast, we could not affiliate with any other church but to find the LCMS congregation wherever we resided in the US"

As called servants of the Lord, Peter has learned that our actions to our brothers in Christ and to other people matter: that we can either become obstacles of the Gospel we preach, or by the grace of the Spirit, we can be imitators of Christ just as the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians' converts "Therefore, I urge you to imitate me as I imitate Christ" (1 Cor. 4:16). Peter's greatest prayer in his calling today is that Christ's light may shine through him to the glory of His ministry, so that others may imitate the light of Christ through him

Trinity Lutheran Church • Utica, NY • 315-732-7869  © 2021