TROY — Trinity Episcopal Church will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at 9:30 Sunday, June 26, at 60 Dorset St., Troy.
One longtime member remembers it like it was yesterday.
“It was a terribly hot day but every seat was full and they had chairs lined up in front of the pews,” said Dale Benedict, a long-time member of Trinity Episcopal Church, remembering the June 26, 1966, consecration for the church. “Why can’t we do that today?”
Benedict had his own anniversary recently; he turned 90 in May and celebrated by providing a luncheon for 46 of his Trinity friends. Trinity hopes to grant his birthday wish by welcoming members from the community to enjoy a June 26 gala and filling the church once more.
The 9:30 a.m. Sunday service will be augmented by The One More Time Swing Band. The band will also be with us for following the service for a picnic and carry-in.
Trinity has long been a part of Troy, when in 1831, May 27, 31 people responded to a “Call to Meeting” notice sent out by the Rev. Ethan Allen of Christ Church, Dayton. They met at the Troy Courthouse and established Trinity Church.
Trinity takes pride in its history. Thomas Barret fought in the War of 1812 and helped fight the cholera epidemic in 1849. His home later became a station for the Underground Railroad and he taught some thirty fugitive slaves in the undercroft of Trinity Church’s building, at the corner of Franklin and Walnut streets, which opened in 1835. The church itself became an Underground Railroad station.
William Henry Harrison gave his 1831 speech commemorating the opening of the Miami Erie Canal between Dayton and Troy on the steps of Trinity. During World War II, the Trinity Women’s Guild, headed by Rachel Hobart, knitted many socks, mittens and caps for “Bundles for Britain.” Twenty-six men from Trinity fought in World War II and two gave their life in service.
In 1951, the Rev. George Workman and his wife Mary Jane, came to Troy and stayed until the Rev. Workman’s death in 1979, and the church’s ministries prospered and grew under their stewardship. With space outgrown, a building fund was begun in 1955 and in 1966, due to the work of many dedicated members, including William H. Hobart Jr. the committee chair, Trinity opened its doors.
The Rev. Joan Smoke moved to be closer to her Indiana home in April 2016, so Trinity is embarked on a search for a new priest, but has been very well-served by supply priests from the diocese. The Rev. Marjorie Manuel will preside over the June 26 service.