Trinity United Church of Christ celebrates 150 years on Sunday
PLAIN TWP. – In 1871, the nation envisioned a future beyond a bloody civil war.
Between 1861 and 1865, families in every town and hamlet, including Canton, made enormous sacrifices.
In 1871, Trinity United Church of Christ was a new spark of hope. One hundred and fifty years later, the church at 3909 Blackburn Road NW is still serving the community.
On Sunday, the church will host a 150th anniversary service at 10 a.m., led by Minister Emeritus Reverend Paul Kiewit.
Kiewit, 98, was the senior pastor of Trinity in 1971 when the congregation celebrated its 100th anniversary. The Living Water Association of The United Church of Christ will present Kiewit with a gift for his 75th anniversary of ordination.
The service will be the first time the congregation has been inside the church for worship since May 23. The COVID-19 pandemic and construction projects have resulted in the holding of online services, occasionally in the building and in the parking lot since March 2020.
Trinity UCC just completed a $ 4.5 million building upgrade that began in 2016. The project, “2020 Vision”, was funded by loans and endowments with $ 1.3 million raised by the congregation and a $ 1 million donation from the Walter and Julia Wright estate.
âThe overall theme moves forward while looking back,â said Reverend Andrew Taylor Peck, Senior Pastor since 2014. âWe are proud of our 150-year history, but we also want to be a church of the future.â
Major church updates include: a new cafe / cafe; updated and renovated wiring and WiFi; nursery; two new indoor / outdoor playgrounds; new neighborhood for young people; new and improved carpets, flooring, lighting, countertops, plumbing; a new HVAC system; The painting; an overhaul of the toilets; new exterior Stations of the Cross and a commemorative brick path; and previous improvements to the roof, parking, windows, exterior masonry and drainage.
Additional work was needed when the church was flooded in 2020 causing extensive damage to the kitchen, basement and gym.
Trinity was founded on April 1, 1871 as Trinity 2nd Reformed Church. The church was formed by members of the German Reformed Church in Jerusalem who wanted services in English rather than German. The church built its current facility in 1962.
The church’s community center is also home to three schools: Canton Montessori Elementary School, A + Kindergarten and Small World Montessori; a âDished by Designâ catering service; the male choir; and several other groups and organizations.
Tradition and ties that unite us
At a time when churches are seeing their numbers dwindle, some even closing their doors, Taylor Peck said Trinity UCC is supported by the ties that unite them.
âWhen I got here I was told, ‘Be careful, don’t say anything bad because everyone’s related,'” Taylor Peck recalls with a laugh. “That’s what they wanted me to know. This church is deeply rooted.”
Trinity UCC, he added, is a place where its people have shared their joys and sorrows.
âI think one of the things that makes us special is the relationships,â he said. âWe have a very diverse political spectrum. In the last few years of increased partisanship in the nation, there are families with five generations in this church; they have crossed the divide. There are people who have met here. when they were kids and got married. It helps cement the bond. I really believe that’s where our strength lies. “
Taylor Peck said that while Trinity UCC embraces its traditions, the congregation is also open to positive change.
âThe music program we have is a traditional but open music program,â he said. “We are traditional but not nagging. We are also becoming an open and affirming Church.”
To commemorate this anniversary, the Trinity UCC congregation is funding and building a Habitat for Humanity house.
To learn more, visit www.trinityucc.com.