Faith of our Founders… Living Still

Faith of our Founders… Living Still

In 2024 we will celebrate Trinity’s 200th anniversary! Two hundred years ago some of Tallahassee’s first pioneers had the vision of forming the church that became Trinity. According to one historian, a group of ten people reportedly gathered in the home of a Mr. Myers on the last Sunday in September 1824 and organized a Methodist Society in Tallahassee. At that time Tallahassee had just been selected as the capital of territorial Florida. It was a wilderness town with few inhabitants and only six houses. The following year the South Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist Church established the Tallahassee District and appointed Josiah Evans as pastor of the Tallahassee Mission and presiding elder of the District. Under his leadership the first Methodist church building in Tallahassee was built on what is now the southwest corner of Bronough Street and Park Avenue. From those earliest beginnings, Trinity has been an influential presence in the community.

The opening words of the familiar hymn, “Faith of our fathers, living still” take on new meaning as we look back with gratitude for the founders’ faith and commitment, and also as we rejoice in Trinity’s growing fellowship and vibrant ministries and anticipate its promising future. Building on these words from this oft-sung hymn, the theme for our year-long Bicentennial celebration will be “Faith of our Founders…living still.”

The Bicentennial celebration will kick-off in January with the first of twelve guest clergy, many of them former pastors of Trinity or leaders in the Florida Conference, preaching on the second Sunday of each month. Special events will involve all ages in learning about the church’s history and celebrating its continued presence and impact. Look forward to concerts, social events, a Lay Academy class on Trinity’s history, and activities for children and youth. In 2004, Trinity published a book on its history edited by Linda Yates. This book is currently in the process of being updated by Marti Chumbler. Special music composed for the 200th anniversary will be premiered. Then on Sunday, September 29, 2024, exactly 200 years after that initial meeting of the church’s founders, we’ll join together in a special anniversary service and celebration.

In the coming months, look for signs of the upcoming celebration – a new logo, a webpage devoted to Bicentennial activities and Trinity history, posters, banners, and articles in News & Notes, Tidings, and Crossroads. Perhaps you’ve noticed some of the work that has been taking place around the church building in preparation for the Bicentennial. More details on these and future updates will be forthcoming.

Trinity’s 200th anniversary also coincides with Tallahassee’s Bicentennial, so we plan to be part of that observance, as well. Many people are already enthusiastically at work planning events, refurbishing the building, and making special arrangements for what we hope will be a joyous and memorable celebration. We invite you to join the excitement and anticipation as we prepare for this momentous year in the life of our church!

Gloria Colvin, Chair of Bicentennial Publicity Committee

Dear Friends,

I love the inspiring quote, “Faith of our Founders…living still”, chosen to illustrate the path we must take following our celebration of 200 years of history and ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church. This quote stirs our memories and demands our participation as we look to the future.

To review recent history, please recall from the pandemic to today. In 2022, our budget was deep in the red. Answered prayer brought amazing re-engagement, membership growth and the enthusiasm to plan for the years ahead. Today, we are enjoying exciting preaching, teaching and outreach, the historic priorities of Trinity. We continue to struggle to meet budget expenses, but we are optimistic our membership will provide a strong finish to 2023, celebrate the 200 years past, and plan for many years ahead. In order to succeed, every member must participate with the giving of time, treasure and talent. YOU are needed!

To kick-off our next 200 years, we will challenge ourselves with dual fundraising goals. In November, we kickoff the annual stewardship campaign, for the full operations of the church AND an additional goal for our 200th celebration to afford critically needed renovations, from which we will contribute a tithe (10% of the funds raised) to be offered as a gift to the community.

You have seen renovation work progressing around the church. A silent campaign has funded improvements to date. The job must be completed. Very important projects remain to be funded including kitchen renovations, refurbishing of pews, and flooring improvements. Projects that have been completed include painting, renovating the memorial garden, security, lighting, and kitchen planning. Thank you, generous members that have made renovations to date possible. Thank you, Trinity Trustees, for managing the long and complicated list of renovations.

What is your part in this? Our request is three-fold:
1. Recognize and respond to the need to finish 2023 in the black. Please refer to your bulletin to see current status. Complete your pledge. Make your year-end gift.
2. Make your pledge for 2024. Trinity operates well only because we have talented pastors and dedicated staff to implement wonderful programming. Teaching, preaching and outreach are impossible without fully funded operations.
3. Give a generous gift for Trinity’s Bicentennial. You will feel great pride in the amazing renovations, exciting programs and a historic gift to the community.

I am filled with gratitude for YOU, reminding me of the words of our pastors – You are loved!

Paula Smith, Chair of the Big 200 Joint Committee