Our past is long and mirrors the events of our nation and the lives of those who worshipped here. The story of Trinity Parish is a tapestry, woven of people and stone, of wood and worship, forming an unbroken offering to the Glory of God.
Located in downtown St. Augustine, Trinity Parish was established in 1821, soon after Florida became a territory of the United States. It is the oldest Protestant church in Florida. The first church building was begun in 1830 and services began on June 30, 1831. Constructed of coquina, a local shell stone, the original structure was 36 feet wide by 50 feet long. Bishop Nathaniel Bowen of South Carolina formally consecrated it on June 5, 1834.
Growth was slow but steady in the following years and small additions and improvements were made to the church – many of these paid for by various fairs and fund-raising activities organized by Trinity’s church women. Three stained glass windows were added just prior to the Civil War. Although there was little actual fighting in Florida the war took a terrible toll on the state, the Diocese of Florida and Trinity.
The next half-century saw a slow recovery by St. Augustine and Trinity, with continued work by a committed laity that continued to raise funds and keep the church going through a succession of Rectors. In 1895, with the arrival the Rev. C. M. Sturges, it was determined that the church building was outmoded, too small and in bad condition. Thus began a six-year effort to obtain plans and funding to enlarge the structure. Work began in early 1902 and on January 17, 1903 the first services were held in the “new” church, a cruciform structure, neo-gothic in appearance that seated more than 500 parishioners. A new era had begun.
The Twentieth Century brought profound changes to the Oldest City including a substantial increase in population and a steady rise in winter visitors – many of whom chose Trinity as their church. The Reverend L. Fitz-James Hindry served as Rector from 1904 until 1936. His tenure saw the formation of many new lay organizations - the Altar Guild, Daughters of the King, St. Catherine’s Guild, St. Monica’s Guild and others – all devoted to working with the church on a variety of projects. By 1955, a two-story education facility and Parish Hall were added, and in 1966 an Aeolian-Skinner organ was added.
The Rev. Charles Seymour was called to Trinity 1949 and served until 1964. The Seymour years was a time of significant physical changes to Trinity and marked an upturn in the number of communicants to more than 500 by 1959.
In 1960, after a successful stewardship campaign, Trinity Church went from a relatively small church to a fully realized complex with a new parish hall, kitchen, classrooms administrative offices and a nursery. Architecturally, the new facilities and cloistered walkways complemented and continued the neo-gothic features of the historic church building. The 21st century finds Trinity once again moving forward to serve a growing congregation and the community. With the recent purchase of the building adjacent to the church (Trinity Hall) we have an opportunity for a period of exciting growth, spiritual renewal and rededication. We are a committed congregation who seeks God’s will as we journey forward together.
Our Stained Glass Windows
Stained glass windows have been placed in Trinity Episcopal Church for more than 150 years beginning in 1859. Ten windows, including the "Triptych" above the altar were made by Franz Mayer & Sons, Munich, Germany. There is one signed Louis Tiffany Window. Two windows were given as general thank offerings, twenty six are memorials to loved ones: wives, husbands, sons, other family members and rectors.
The process of making stained or colored glass by adding pigment to molten glass seems to have originated in the Near East in the ninth century and was adopted in Italy in the tenth century. The original purpose of stained glass windows was to teach the great truths of religion, rather than adornment. Since most people could neither read nor write, the windows were used to explain the meaning of scripture and symbols. The windows of Trinity call to mind many great biblical figures and events. Jesus is pictured three times as the Good Shepherd and his life is chronicled from the Nativity through the Resurrection. The four Evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - accent the original entrance on King Street. These are the only windows designed to be viewed and read from the outside of the church. The round "Descending Dove" glass above the present entrance complements the stained and painted traditional glass. Symbols of the Christian faith are found in all the windows; the dove, wheat and grapes, lilies and passion flowers, crosses, bibles, staffs and scripture citations from the Old and New Testaments.
Each of the twenty eight windows is different, but together they form a mosaic of color and sunlit beauty that accentuate the dignity and serenity of Trinity Episcopal Church.
2) Fishers of Men
4) Jesus in the Temple
5) The Eucharist
6) The Good Shepherd
8) Christ in the Garden
11) Christ Blessing the Children
12) Thy Will be Done
13) St. Augustine of Hippo
14) Cornelius and the Angel
15) St. John the Baptist
16 & 17) St. Matthew and St. Mark
18 & 19) St. Luke and St. John
20) The Good Shepherd
21) Woman and Chalice
22) Ascension (Left)
24) Angel and the Resurrection
26) The Good Shepherd (Left)
28) Come Unto Me
Made by Franz Mayer & Sons of Munich, Germany, this window is one of the newest in the church, dedicated in May 1972. It depicts the baptism of a young child by an Episcopal priest. The baptismal font shown is the same one used for baptisms today. The citation is from Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore, and baptize all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
Given in memory of Naomi Clark Remsen by her son, de Peyster Clark Remsen.
Fishers of Men
A medieval style window. Jesus is shown on the shores of the Sea of Galilee asking Simon and Andrew to join him: "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19). The nets and fish are symbols of Simon and Andrew's occupation and later came to represent their decision to become disciples and follow Christ in his ministry. This exceptionally detailed window was made by Wilbur Herbert Burnham of Boston in 1947 and dedicated November 9 of that year.
1864 Edward Griswold Vaill 1944; 1865 Frederick Sturdivant Vaill 1931.
Another medieval style window depicting the Nativity. Joseph and Mary are seated with the baby Jesus. Joseph is holding a lantern and a strong blue light is shining from Heaven onto the child. The lily is a symbol of purity and is often seen with the Virgin Mary. Made by the George L. Payne Co. and dedicated September 9, 1956.
In loving memory of James E. Ingraham (1850-1924) and his wife, Maria E. Ingraham (1850-1930).
Jesus in the Temple
Another medieval style glass, depicting the young Jesus in the Temple with the elders. Mary and Joseph, on the left with haloes, have finally found their son and ask him: "Son, why has thou done so to us?" (Luke 2:48) Three elders are pictured on the right of Jesus. The Bible and rose are symbolic of the mutual love of Christ and his Church: "I am the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valleys." (Song of Solomon: 2:1) Made and signed by Franz Mayer of Franz Mayer & Sons, Munich, Germany, and installed by Russel; Church Studios on September 9, 1956.
To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Mae Alexander Smith, (1884-1956).
An ornate window showing Jesus in Eucharistic vestments with chalice and host. Sheaves of wheat and grapes are symbols of the bread and wine of Holy Communion. The pulpit at the top of the window represents the Church of England. The citation i~ from The Great Invitation found in Matthew II :28: "Come Unto me and Ye shall find rest unto your souls." Made by the Jacoby Stained Glass Co., St. Louis, Mo.
In Loving Memory of John Thompson Dismukes and Elizabeth Gibbs Dismukes.
The Good Shepherd
One of the oldest windows in the Church, the glass shows Jesus at the edge of a stream with a shepherd's crook and lamb in his arms. The crook and sheep are symbols of the Good Shepherd. "I know my Sheep." (John 11: 14). Lilies, found in many of Trinity's windows, represent purity. This window was made by the Colgate Art Glass Co., New York, and installed on May 1, 1890.
In Memory of Charles Burt who entered into Rest January 4th, 1877 - aged 22 years.
Another fine medieval style window with blue and purple as its predominant colors. Jesus is shown ascending into heaven on a white cloud, watched by four disciples. The lily here symbolizes the passion of Jesus. Benjamin Wright was rector of Trinity Parish from 1848 until his death in 1852. The window was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 1859.
In Memory of Rev. Benjamin Wright, died December 22, 1852.
Christ in the Garden
Jesus is seen praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, prior to being arrested and crucified. Three disciples are pictured with Jerusalem in the background. One disciple appears to be sleeping. A chalice and host, symbols of Holy Communion, are in the top panel. Not pictured, the bottom panel shows a crowing cock, sword and ear representing the Last Supper and Jesus' betrayal (Matthew 26:36-46). Windows #8 and #9 were both made by Franz Mayer & Sons, Munich, Germany and dedicated September 9, 1956.
To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Lucia B. G. Manley.
This is a companion window to #8, depicting the Crucifixion of Jesus. Not pictured, the bottom panel shows a crown of thorns, hammer and nails and forceps; symbolic of the instruments of torture used by the Romans. Three women are attending the suffering Christ. The letters INRI on the top panel are the Latin initials for Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. Windows #8 and #9 were both made by Franz Mayer & Sons, Munich, Germany. Both were given by the Manley family and dedicated Sept. 9, 1956.
To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Frederick Willis Manley.
A small medieval style window representing the Annunciation. Mary is seen praying with the angel Gabriel above, announcing that Mary is to be the mother of the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-38). The dove descending is bestowing the Holy Spirit and also represents the Dove of Peace. Blue is the usual color associated with the Virgin Mary. The window was made by Franz Mayer & Sons and dedicated May 12, 1957.
In memory of Mary I. Joyce (1854 - 1943).
Christ Blessing the Children
This set of three windows, with each panel part of a whole scene, is called a "Triptych." It was made by Franz Mayer and Son, Munich, Germany in 1890. Mayer & Sons made a number of triptychs that may be seen in churches throughout the United States. Lilies are found throughout the scene, as are a variety of other flowers symbolizing the resurrection, with Jesus the central figure in the middle panel. There are sixteen people shown, nine children, three men and four women. Particular detail was given to creating the figures; each face shows a wealth of detail. The window was installed in 1892 and repositioned in its present location in 1902.
It was given by St. Monica's Guild, a women's organization active in the early Episcopal Church. St. Monica was the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. The Rev. Eleazer Root was pastor of Trinity Parish from 1873 to 1884, and died in 1887.
Thy Will be Done
A small window done in the Tiffany style by the Colgate Art Glass Co. of New York in 1904. The lone figure of an Angel is pictured with an arm upraised in blessing. The Angel's face is particularly striking. Not pictured, "Thy Will be Done," in the lower panel, is from the Lord's Prayer.
In Memory of Winifred Monson, died October 28, 1902.
St. Augustine of Hippo
An ornate window, dominated by blue, purple and red glass. St. Augustine of Hippo is depicted wearing Bishop's vestments with a staff, mitre and Bible. "Veritas," (truth) is written on the open book. St. Augustine was born in 354 in North Africa and died August 28, 430. On that date in 1565, a company of Spanish soldiers landed on the Florida coast and founded the city, named for St. Augustine because land was sighted on his feast day, August 28. "Te Deum Laudamus," (God we Praise), is written on the top panel with a broken heart pierced by arrows. The glass was signed by Wilbur Herbert Burnham of Boston, MA in 1938.
In Loving Memory of 1876 Nancy Spargur McKeehan 1937.
Cornelius and the Angel
A signed Tiffany window, made in the early 1900s showing Cornelius and an angel. This large window illustrates Tiffany's skill in using color and glass to produce a work of art. Cornelius was a Roman Centurion of Caesarea who was instructed in a vision to have Peter brought to the city. When Peter arrived he found a gathering of Gentiles, who were later converted and baptized, the first Gentiles converted through Peter's efforts. (Acts X:IV).
This window was given as a general thank offering by J. H. Hewson in 1905.
Saint John the Baptist
A fine, medieval style window made by Franz Mayer & Sons, Munich. It depicts Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist. This is the only window in the church showing an ascending dove. The "A" and "Q" at the bottom are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, signifying that God is the beginning and the end. The banner with the Latin words "Ecce Agnus Dei" means "This is the Lamb of God". The window was installed in September, 1958.
To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Mary D. Richards.
St. Matthew and St. Mark
Two medieval style, full figure stained glass windows depicting the Evangelists Matthew on the left, and Mark on the right. These, and the windows on the right of the doorway, were made by Franz Mayer & Sons in the 1950s, and dedicated August 27, 1961. In the lower panel of the windows are the Christian symbols for each saint including: Matthew as a winged man, and Mark as a winged lion. (Ezekiel 1: 10). Both saints are holding books, symbolizing their gospels. Mark is wearing green vestments, Matthew is seen in red. Both are standing against a deep blue background with unusual detail in each face. The four Evangelist windows (16, 17, 18 & 19) were designed to be viewed from the street.
The St. Matthew window was given: To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Stanley S. Masters.
St. Mark's window was given: To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Bessie M. Masters.
St. Luke and St. John
Companion windows to #16 and #17, they depict the remaining two Evangelists; St. John on the far right and St. Luke nearest the door. They were also made by Franz Mayer & Sons in the 1950s, and dedicated August 27, 1961. In the lower panels of the windows are the Christian symbols for each saint including St. Luke as a winged ox and St. John as an eagle.
John is shown as a clean shaven young man; Mark, Matthew and Luke are pictured as older men with beards. John is dressed in red vestments, Luke in a rust colored robe. Both are holding books, symbolizing their gospels.
The Good Shepherd (Left)
Probably made by Franz Mayer & Sons in the mid 1800's, this window closely resembles the other early windows in the church in color and style, with the central figure surrounded by a deep blue background. It is one of the oldest windows in the church. Christ is pictured in peasant clothing carrying a lost sheep. The chalice above symbolizes the Eucharist. Not pictured is a scripture reading: "I give unto thee eternal life. Neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28).
Erected in Loving Remembrance of William White Miller, died Dec. 3, 1858. His associates of St. Timothy's Hall and Trinity Parish School, St. Augustine.
Woman with Chalice
An unusual window featuring a woman, probably Sarah Fairbanks, holding a cross against her left arm and a chalice in her right hand. The anchor above is the symbol of hope. This, and the Reverend Wright window (#7) were dedicated on Easter Sunday, 1859. "Even so in Christ shall all be made Alive," is taken from I Corinthians 15:22.
In Memory of Sarah C. Fairbanks, died March 22, 1858.
Christ is seen ascending into heaven watched from below by two Roman soldiers. The sheaf of wheat and grapes symbolize Holy Communion. The banner in Jesus' hand signifies his triumph over death. Another window made by Franz Mayer & Sons in the mid 1,800's. "AET' in the commemoration is Latin for Age at Death. This is one of the oldest windows in Trinity Episcopal Church.
In Memory of George Gibbs, first Warden of this Church died Feb. 3, 1848 AET 82 and of Isabella Gibbs, his wife, died January 21, 1838 AET 64.
This striking window was made between 1900 & 1910 by Maitland Armstrong, a student and associate of Louis Tiffany. Armstrong used his wife as the model for the face of the angel. The soft pastel colors of this window contrast with the traditional brighter stained glass found in most of the other windows. The citation in the upper panel reads: "This is the victory that overcometh the world. Faith. Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through Our Lord Jesus Christ." "Fides," Latin for faith, is seen in the halo around the angel's head. The window was dedicated on April 16, 1916.
To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Charlotte Sturdivant Vaill of Portland, Maine, died Sept. 28, 1912. Stand Fast in the Faith. Be Strong.
Angel of the Resurrection
An outstanding example of early 20th Century stained glass. The kneeling angel has a bouquet of Easter Lilies, representing the Resurrection and life eternal. Passion flowers symbolize many emblems of the Passion of Christ; the five wounds, hammer, nails, nimbus and spear. Lilies of the Valley represent humility.
To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of George Elmer Blakeslee. Jr., Oct. 2, 1918.
A traditional window, made in the 1920's and given by General & Mrs. J. C. R. Foster. Naomi, in red, and her daughter-in-law Ruth, in purple, are depicted against a background of cedar trees and a flowing river. Lilies are once again found, symbolizing purity and eternal life. A praying angel is seen in the upper panel blessing the two women. "By cool Siloam's shady rill how fair the lily grows!"
To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Florence Young Monson, 1866-1920.
The Good Shepherd (Left)
One of three windows picturing Jesus as a shepherd. He is seen in red vestments holding a lamb with two sheep below. His "crook" or shepherd's staff became the model for the present Bishop's staff. Made in 1930, this window illustrates some of the changes made from medieval to modern stained glass; softer colors, larger pieces of glass, and more definition of the background scene.
In Loving Memory of Edward I. Leighton, 1850 - 1916.
Angel of the Resurrection
A large circular rose window with the descending dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The tracery around the edges and the converging lines draw the eye to the center where the white dove is clearly seen superimposed on the cross. This is a copy of a window over the high altar in St. Peter's in Rome. It was given as a thank offering by Dr. J. Ewing Mears and installed in May, 1904.
"And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a Dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 'Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.'" (Luke 3:22)
Come Unto Me