Celebrating 175 Years!
TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
CELEBRATES 175 YEARS IN
ST CHARLES COUNTRY
In the early summer of 1836, the missionary Bishop Jackson Kemper crossed the Missouri River to St Charles and met with a small group of Episcopalians who had established a presence in the small village. Impressed by their zeal to live and preach the Gospel, Bishop Kemper established a mission on June 5, 1836. Originally called St. Paulís, the new congregation shared space with a Methodist congregation and showed modest growth, becoming a parish in 1840 and changing its name to Trinity. When the General Convention recognized the Diocese of Missouri in 1841, Trinity reverted to mission status.
Trinity would build its first church, its third home, in 1870. For the next 75 years the congregationís fortunes ebbed and flowed and more than once it went long periods without a priest. By 1949, the congregation was down to just eight communicants when Roy Schaffer was assigned as lay reader to lead the small, struggling congregation. Schaffer was one of a group of eight men called by Bishop Arthur Lichtenberger to be trained as lay readers to serve congregations that had long been without a priest. Eventually ordained to the priesthood in 1953, the Rev. Schaffer was able to rebuild the congregation. By 1956 Trinity had grown to more than 175 baptized members and regained parish status.
Outgrowing its church and recently built parish house, the congregation took the bold step to move westward in 1960. The new church on South Duchesne Drive, Trinityís present home, was dedicated on September 10, 1961. The parish hall was expanded in 1985. A building campaign in 2004 made the parish hall more accessible.
During its 175 years, Trinity has been an integral part of the Diocese and the St Charles community. It played a role in the founding of Transfiguration in Lake
St Louis. It has been a training ground for newly ordained clergy and initiated the Biking for Bikes fund-raiser for the Diocese of Lui in Sudan. Today, the parish is taking a lead role in reaching out to the hungry and homeless in St Charles
Trinity established its own Memorial
Garden which is situated directly behind the Church, and is available to Trinity
Church members and their families. Just beyond the Memorial
Garden is a Labyrinth which is available to everyone in the community.
It has been 175 years since Bishop Jackson Kemper took a ferry across the Missouri River to the small trading post of St Charles and found a small group of Episcopalians with a willingness to be a congregation. From that beginning grew a parish that from time to time has had to reach deep within itself to find that willingness to continue, maybe not so much to continue to exist, but to continue to be the people that Bishop Kemper called to live and preach the Gospel so long ago.
We invite you to join us as we celebrate 175 years in St Charles.