While Holy Trinity Church was being built, a new fad, “baseball,” was just starting to sweep the nation. People were talking about the new author Charles Dickens and his critiques of poverty. And our country, while still in the grip of the violence of slavery, was celebrating the election of its new president, Abraham Lincoln. If only the walls of the church could talk! What stories could they share of the times, people, events, And changes that have taken place over all these years.
In the Beginning. . .
It all started in the late 1850s when the growing German population of Emmanuel Church was causing a severe overcrowding there. St. Mary Church was planned to meet this need, but the German immigrants in the neighborhood of Fifth and Bainbridge found this proposal unsatisfactory. Their attempts to interest the authorities of the Cincinnati Archdiocese were at first rebuffed. Indeed, the then pastor of Emmanuel Church proclaimed that “all those who leave the mother church are going out of heaven.”
But the founders of Holy Trinity church only became more resolved. As early as April of 1859 they purchased three lots for their new building. After some disagreement in Cincinnati the Chancellor, deciding things in the Archbishop’s absence, was very disapproving, the returning Archbishop did agree to sign off on the project.No records exist of the groundbreaking ceremony, but the cornerstone for our church was laid on May 17, 1860. The Civil War slowed progress on the building efforts, however, so the church was not dedicated until August 15, 1861. The red brick edifice, built primarily by workers who were paid in groceries, stood 130 feet by 60 feet. All that was not finished was our beautiful steeple, which wasn’t completed until 1868.
Thirteen Pastors have served Holy Trintity and the community
And so we go on. In a time when clergy shortages are leading us to increasing lay leadership, Trinity has always been dependent on lay involvement. From the persistent first founders through the service of many religious communities; even through flood, depression, wars, and urban change, the laity of Holy Trinity Church have served others humbly and loved others as themselves. A downtown church, yes, but a church that reaches in membership from Troy to Waynesville, from New Lebanon to Xenia. Christian Formation Ministry is in place to educate and form parishioners of all ages. Parishioners regularly volunteer at soup kitchens, pro-life activities, Health Ministries, Bereavement Ministry, Social Action projects, and numerous other community wide events. Our annual Christmas Bazaar uses all profits to help the poor. Ministers visit and bring communion to shut-ins and the hospitalized.
Many of our community live out their baptismal call as Eucharistic ministers, choir members, ushers, and servers who bring our liturgy to life. Countless numbers of people give of their skills as gardeners, cooks, electricians, and computer experts, as well as in construction and maintenance, keeping our grounds beautiful and our projects thriving.
The Future. . .
We can look back and see what was happening in 1861, but we don’t know what will come. It is with faith in God, in each other, and in ourselves that the members of the Holy Trinity family move forward to meet whatever lies ahead. Our history shows us that we’ve always risen to the challenge! May God bless us all with sure steps as we journey forward, clergy and laity, to bring our mission of “Worship, Fellowship, and Service” to all! We are adding our stories to the many held gracefully, deeply, and silently in the walls of Holy Trinity Church.