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Virtual 100 Year Centennial Celebration

History of Trinity Baptist Church

Fourscore and six years ago, a small group of believers led by Deacons Jessie Archer, Willie R. Lee, Willie Mayo and John Robinson separated from Second Nazareth Baptist Church; they were like sheep scattered and without a shepherd and founded Trinity Baptist Church. Sister churches that were also birthed from Second Nazareth and without a shepherd organized Friendship, Fellowship, and Jehovah Baptist Churches. Under the leadership of these four deacons, Sunday school and prayer services were held until a pastor was called.

Trinity Baptist Church was chartered September 21, 1921.  We’ve come a long way, a mighty long way. We’ve borne our burdens in the heat of the day. But, we know the Lord has made a way because we came this far by faith leaning on the Lord, trusting in His Holy Word.  Trinity Baptist Church continues to grow by faith and by constant prayer.  We reflect on the past, present and the future of this church:

1921-1936 Services were held in a hall located at 1600 Waverly Street, known then as Elbow Alley. Later the congregation moved to 1600 Harden St. across from Benedict College to a building which was later renovated into a church building.

6 pastors were called, Reverends Gordon, Rice, Stover, Collins, Simmons and Trapp.

6 deacons were ordained.

1937-1945: Under the leadership of Rev. Trapp, a new church was built located at 2521 Richland Street in 1937.

1946-1975: On the 4th Sunday in March 1946, Rev. Bogan became the 7th Pastor. Rev. Bogan was a great visionary and leader. Many ministries were organized under Rev. Bogan’s tenure. Mrs. Annie Bell Green was named the first female trustee. Deaconess Louvenia Scott was 1st mother of the church.

1946-1973: Rev. T.I Land was 1st Associate minister until his death. Thirteen (13) deacons were ordained and 2 transferred from other churches. In 1955, the Lee-Robinson Building was erected and named in honor of the Lee and Robinson families for their dedicated work in the church and Sunday school.  In 1971, the church edifice was renovated. In 1975, the first church directory and calendar was printed and dedicated to Rev. Bogan. In 1976, Rev. Bogan retired due to declining health.

1975-1979: Rev. John Paul Harris was elected as 8th pastor. He encouraged greater participation from the youth and the Young Adult Trinity Action Group (TAG).  The T.I. Land Singers were organized by Mrs. Alberta Butler. A brick wall was built behind the church and the parking lot was paved. Annual revival was re-established.

1980-1985: Rev. Marvin Caldwell was elected as 9th pastor. The first security system was installed. A 10 unit efficiency apartment and a bus were purchased. Financial status increased and several Money Market Certificates were acquired. The 1st Pastor’s Aide ministry was organized. Dr. Bogan was named Pastor Emeritus.  The slogan “Trinity, A Reflection to the Community was adopted, the Daisy Griffin Scholarship fund was established, referral services in partnership with DSS were implemented, and 4 deacons were ordained.

1985-1987: Rev. John R. Wilson served as interim pastor.

1987-1994 Rev. Oscar Cleveland was called as the 10th pastor.  Under his leadership, new written policies and procedures were implemented to help the internal structure of the church, Young Women Auxiliary was organized, Gayle Coker and Brenda Wallace traveled to Africa, the Tape Ministry and Junior Trustees was established, Deacon’s Class was founded, Monthly Church Seminars and Annual Prayer breakfast were held. 
The 1st library was set up under the direction of Mrs. Mollie Warren. The organization of Trinity United Choir under the direction of First Lady Carolyn Cleveland and a music budget were established. A Baby Grand piano was purchased. Also, a house was purchased for $1.  The house was renovated and rented under Section 8.  The property behind church was purchased, 10 unit apartments were demolished to make way for a parking lot, sound system upgraded, a computer and copier were purchased, and preparations made for the ordination of Rev. Anthony Washington

1994-1996: Rev. Washington served as interim pastor. Under his leadership, a program to feed the homeless on a monthly basis was established. a monthly feed program for the homeless was established. He reorganized the Youth Department under the leadership of trustee, now Rev. Michael Williams. Also, he organized the 1st Basketball team with Charles Davis serving as coach.  Plans were developed for the celebration of Trinity’s Seventy-fifth (75th) Diamond Jubilee Anniversary.

As the plans for the anniversary moved forward, in May 1996, Rev. Michael McClain was elected the 11th pastor. Unfortunately, the election of Rev. McClain did not result into a workable relationship and he tendered his resignation on Nov. 24, 1996.

June 1997--Present:  Rev. Thurmond Bowens, Jr. was elected 12th pastor.  He came with a vision and a challenge. He promised to take Trinity to another level and since the beginning of his ministry, the church has grown in attendance, membership, finances, and ministries. The following Five Fold ministry has been established: 1). Christian Education and Discipleship, 2). Service, 3). Worship, 4). Outreach/Evangelism, and 5). Fellowship.

The need for a new sanctuary was envisioned during the tenures of Reverends Bogan, Harris, Caldwell and Cleveland. But, it was not until the vision was given to Rev. Bowens did the fulfillment of the need begin to take shape. 1st Corinthians 3:5 reads “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Ministers whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him. I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  Psalms 127:1 reads “Except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it. On Saturday, June 11, 2000, groundbreaking services were held for a new sanctuary for the Trinity Baptist Church. The actual work began September 5, 2000 and was completed in the summer of 2001. We had many ups and downs, but God allowed us to march into this edifice on Sunday, September 2, 2001.

A time capsule was placed behind the cornerstone and should be opened in 75 years (2076).  The church history, personal letters from each officer and ministry head, a plaque and other items were placed in the capsule to be read.

A new two year Sacrificial Campaign officially began in January 2006 has renewed the anticipation of breaking ground for a new educational building.

Rev. Bowens’ dedication to increase participation and spiritual growth of men in the church led him to coordinate a Men’s Retreat in 1998. At the 2000 retreat, the group was formally organized as Men United In Christ (MUIC) Foundation, with Rev. Bowens serving as the CEO.

As a result of stewardship training, Trinity Baptist Church financially operated from tithes and offerings.

To facilitate the Transportation Ministry, two (2) passenger vans were purchased and in 2006, a bus was added to the fleet.

Under the leadership of Pastor Bowens, the following Associate Ministers were added/or ordained: Rev. Perry Oliver, Rev. Vernette Dees, Rev. John Cooper, Rev. Kenneth Baker, Rev. Bobby Belton, Rev. Kelvin Capers, Rev. Gayle Coker, Rev. Ivan Goodwin, Rev. H. Michael Williams, Rev. Andrew Sansbury, Rev. Patrice Martin, Rev. Kevin Allen, Rev. Kenneth McDonald, Rev. Aubrey Pounds, and Rev. Barrian Henderson.
Pastor Bowens' vision for Trinity in this New Millennium is that, “Trinity will not only be a Reflection of Christ in the Community, but envisions “The Community being a Reflection of the Church”. His view for Trinity is to address every human need, spiritually, physically, social, and economically in the community. He firmly believes that the church must be concerned about every aspect of a person’s life.

This church continues to stand as a symbol of God’s saving grace, His mighty power, and everlasting love. No storm can shake it from the things for which it stands. Each stone in this house represents the toil of men who cared enough to give and sacrifice, so that worship may be shared. Real love for others built this church as brick by brick was laid.

We view with ever thankful hearts, God’s blessings upon the past. We honor saints of long ago and the present ones today. Many have passed to their just rewards. We see the faithful who fill the gap, the boys, girls, women and men who are loyally standing by, accepting the faith of the early saints who knew the Lord was nigh.

The Trinity Family thanks God for the Dream and the Dreamer, but most of all, we thank God for His Grace and Mercy.


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