Our past is long and mirrors the events of our nation and the lives of those who worshipped here. The story of Trinity Parish is a tapestry, woven of people and stone, of wood and worship, forming an unbroken offering to the Glory of God.
Located in downtown St. Augustine, Trinity Parish was established in 1821, soon after Florida became a territory of the United States. It is the oldest Protestant church in Florida. The first church building was begun in 1830 and services began on June 30, 1831. Constructed of coquina, a local shell stone, the original structure was 36 feet wide by 50 feet long. Bishop Nathaniel Bowen of South Carolina formally consecrated it on June 5, 1834.
Growth was slow but steady in the following years and small additions and improvements were made to the church – many of these paid for by various fairs and fund-raising activities organized by Trinity’s church women. Three stained glass windows were added just prior to the Civil War. Although there was little actual fighting in Florida the war took a terrible toll on the state, the Diocese of Florida and Trinity.
The next half-century saw a slow recovery by St. Augustine and Trinity, with continued work by a committed laity that continued to raise funds and keep the church going through a succession of Rectors. In 1895, with the arrival the Rev. C M. Sturges, it was determined that the church building was outmoded, too small and in bad condition. Thus began a six-year effort to obtain plans and funding to enlarge the structure. Work began in early 1902 and on January 17, 1903 the first services were held in the “new” church, a cruciform structure, neo-gothic in appearance that seated more than 500 parishioners. A new era had begun.
The Twentieth Century brought profound changes to the Oldest City including a substantial increase in population and a steady rise in winter visitors – many of whom chose Trinity as their church. The Reverend L. Fitz-James Hindry served as Rector from 1904 until 1936. His tenure saw the formation of many new lay organizations - the Altar Guild, Daughters of the King, St. Catherine’s Guild, St. Monica’s Guild and others – all devoted to working with the church on a variety of projects. By 1955, a two-story education facility and Parish Hall were added, and in 1966 an Aeolian-Skinner organ was added.
The Rev. Charles Seymour was called to Trinity 1949 and served until 1964. The Seymour years was a time of significant physical changes to Trinity and marked an upturn in the number of communicants to more than 500 by 1959.
In 1960, after a successful stewardship campaign, Trinity Church went from a relatively small church to a fully realized complex with a new parish hall, kitchen, classrooms administrative offices and a nursery. Architecturally, the new facilities and cloistered walkways complemented and continued the neo-gothic features of the historic church building. The 21st century finds Trinity once again moving forward to serve a growing congregation and the community. With the recent purchase of the building adjacent to the church (Trinity Hall) we have an opportunity for a period of exciting growth, spiritual renewal and rededication. We are a committed congregation who seeks God’s will as we journey forward together.
Trinity's Stained Glass Windows