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Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church
8th & Butler St.
Chester, PA 19013
Phone: (610) 876-7209
Email • Visit the official Trinity United Methodist Church web site
Above: "Old" Trinity Methodist Church, 3rd & Parker St. - Exterior & Interior Views
Above: Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church 1935
Above: 2001 Photo courtesy of "Joker" Jack Chambers
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|Church History||From a Trinity
Methodist Church anniversary booklet c. 1964:
As we look back over the History of Trinity Methodist Church, recorded in our book written in 1945, telling of events in our first 80 years, we realize what a great Heritage, through God's blessings and the faithful service of our members, has been given to us to enjoy. When the little group met in the Parsonage of Old Trinity at Third and Parker Streets, to organize a Sunday School in 1864, they made a great beginning, as from there our Church organization was incorporated July 26, 1865, the original Charter of Incorporation being dated May 22, 1865, approved by George Esrey, Prothonotary of Delaware County, August 28, 1865, then known as Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church.
Our first Pastor, Reverend John Bolton Quigg, led our Church with masterful leadership, with conscientious courage, fidelity and self control, giving to us a firm foundation on which to build a Church that has been felt and known in our Community through our excellent leadership of devoted Pastors, through the years.
In October of 1866, the Chapel was completely demolished by storm. Under the leadership of Reverend William McCombs, (our second Pastor), the Chapel was re-built in three days, commencing on Wednesday morning and the members worshiping in it on the Sabbath, April 22, 1866, after which the Church building as started the same year at a cost of $20,000. It was in this year, 1866, that the City of Chester was incorporated.
Our parsonage located at 330 Kerlin Street, was purchased on February 21, 1875, while Rev. S. W. Kurtz was our Pastor, and sold in December 1924 during the pastorate of Rev. C. Lee Gaul.
During the service of Reverend C. Lee Gaul, it was approved on March 19, 1917, that we purchase our present Church Site, which had been known as the Senior Property at Eighth and Butler Streets, for the sum of $12,000.00.
Sale of our "Old Trinity Church" at Third and Parker Sts., was approved December 8, 1919, and was sold for $24,000.00, the congregation being permitted to use the Church and Chapel for fifteen months after the signing of the agreement.
The cornerstone of our present Church building was laid July 25, 1920, with appropriate ceremonies and excellent attendance. Our new church home and parsonage was dedicated May 22, 1921. Bishop Joseph F. Berry, DD, LLD, and George W. Henson, DD, District Superintendent, officiated at our dedication. The property was valued at $158,000.00.
The Roach property adjoining the Church was acquired in 1935, which gave to Trinity a solid City Block, Eighth to Ninth - Kerlin to Butler Streets. This property was used for Primary, Kindergarten and Nursery Departments; the first floor being used for Sunday School Departments; the upper floors being converted into Apartments. The grounds of the property were used for recreational purposes.
There was great rejoicing when on February 25, 1945, a service was held by Rev. William H. Reeves at which time our Mortgages and Notes were burned.
The most recent history of Trinity coincides with the pastorate of Clinton M. Cherry, who came to the church in May, 1961. The very first meeting he and Mrs. Cherry attended was a midweek dinner to inaugurate the financial campaign to underwrite the erection of the new educational building, badly needed to replace the old Annex. The Philadelphia Annual Conference, through the Forward Fund for Christ, also made a contribution of $30,000.00 to Trinity as the church to stay in Chester and guarantee the mission of Methodist to the City. Soon, work was started on the new building.
In the midst of all this, a fire broke out in the sexton's apartment, causing extensive damage. With help from the insurance money, it was possible to renovate the entire building (the old carriage house of the Roach Estate), putting on a new roof and completely rebuilding the apartment. It is now known as the Grounds Building.
This stimulated attention to the condition of the church building itself and the parsonage. The Property Committee has been active in a long range program of repair and replacement which has seen work on the church roof, pointing of the stone work outside, plastering and painting inside, the installation of a church parlor, replacement of the burner in the church furnace, and renovation of the furnace room with a new stairway from it and a fire-door at its head. In the parsonage a new powder room was installed in place of a former coat closet on the first floor, and, outside, the building was painted and new aluminum storm windows set.
All this time the new building was going up and, with its completion, a driveway and parking lot were put in and finally asphalted, plantings were made to beautify the grounds, and the Trinity Church block began to look like a showplace in town. Two significant memorials made it all the more beautiful: an illuminated tower-cross in memory of E. Ray Salmons, and a stone installation at the corner of 9th and Kerlin Streets, carrying the name of the Church and the City, beautifully adorned with plantings and illuminated at night, memorializing Louisa R. Long and her sons, Bertram O. Long and Clyde W. ("Turk") Long.
Trinity is justifiably proud of its program which includes excellent music. There are seven singing groups: Senior, Youth ("Fellowship"), and Junior ("Temple") Choirs, a male chorus, and special groups in the "Trinity Belles" (a girls' sextette), a-capella choir of a dozen youths (mixed), and an octette of juniors (the "Eighth Notes"). The morning service has a congregation of from 260 to 300 on a regular Sunday; the evening service, which offers a variety of programs, has a wider range of response, perhaps averaging 70 in attendance. Besides an excellent Sunday School, which includes an active Adult Department, there are youth meetings on Sunday evenings, midweek meetings of various emphases, including Bible study, Woman's Society program meetings once a month, Wesleyan Service Guild meetings monthly, class meetings, meetings of an active Adult Fellowship which also sponsors an annual Pocono weekend over Labor Day (and an occasional winter weekend), and occasional meetings of Methodist Men. In addition to these activities are the meetings and on-going work of the Commissions and Committees, well organized and energetic. Trinity does not want for things to do!
The century gone is a springboard for the century just opening. "The best is yet to be" in the Providence of God, and this applies to the life of a church as well as the life of Christians who look for the "City of God." Grateful as Trinity folk are for the stalwarts of yesteryear and the memories of great things done in the past, Trinity Church looks forward, not backward. AS its past was glorious, so its future is promising. In faith believing, Trinity Church follows its Master into the new day with its new needs and its new challenges.
© 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 02/24/07