Trinity United Methodist Church
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Caring Church
A History of Trinity United Methodist Church
On March 2. 1843, a cornerstone was laid for the first brick church in Texas, a Methodist Church. The dimensions of the lot were 50 feet x 60 feet to be located in the Church Reserve given by the Allen brothers when the city of Houston was laid out. This block was bounded by Milam. Prairie, Travis and Texas Streets. Records reflect that in the afternoon the Presiding Elder preached to 32 Negro members in the same house in which the whites worshipped. Sacrament was also given the "colored" members.
In 1848 an African Mission was organized. After the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, a small frame building was built on the northwest corner of Milam in 1851. Both Baptists and Methodists worshipped there.
Following the close of the Civil War, on Thursday afternoon, March 5, 1865, some members of the small mission church with their preacher, Elias Dibble, held a meeting at the home of Richard Brock. north of Buffalo Bayou. near the Central Machine Shop, for the purpose of organizing a Methodist church. The deed was filed on February 3, 1866. It made these trustees - Charles Chapman, John Sessems, Peter Jackson. Peter Noble. George Edward Brooks, Frank Vance, and Sam Noble - responsible for the payment of a note to be paid in gold at a rate of 10% interest for a period of one year.
The small wooden building was moved from the site on Milam property bounded by Travis, Bell, Clay and Milam Streets. Plans were made for the building to be named Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church. The cost was S 500.00. Twenty-five members pledged a total of $300.00. The cornerstone was laid on June 16. 1879, and Bishop Gilbert Havens dedicated the building sometime thereafter.
On September 8, 1900, this building was destroyed by the great storm of 1900. Anew building was planned immediately. The cornerstone was dated September 27. 1900. The Rev. Wade Logan, who had been the minister from 1882-1884, was called again to this task. Henry Franklin, Hiliard Taylor, T.C. Davenport, C.B. Ramsey, H.L. Jacob, W.B. Cogle, F. Vance, James Kyle, R. Doby, H.L. Scott, and Rev. E. Lee were leaders. A donation of $2,000.00 and a loan of $3,000.00 given by the Board of Extensions enabled the church to rebuild. The total indebtedness of $16,000.00 was paid in seven years.
The structure on the corner of Bell and Travis stood as a giant oak from which all other Black Methodist Churches in the area sprang. From it's midst came leaders, bishops and college presidents. The Texas Conference (1867) Wiley College, Olivewood Cemetery, and Emancipation Park. Texas Southern University, had their beginnings in this great church.
A fire on July 25.1946 ravished this citadel of Methodism. A $10,000.00 pipe organ and other valuable furnishings were destroyed. Services were held in the Calanthe Building from 1949-1951 when the current building was erected on the comer of Holman and Live Oak Streets. This $153,000.00 structure was one of the finest structures erected during this time in the city of Houston. Rev. Cosum Luster was the preacher.
In 1969, the Church congregation purchased the property, which is now the parking lot for S62.000. The two lots adjacent to the parking lot were purchased in 1985 and 1986 for $20,000.00 and $18,500.00 respectively. In 1990. a longtime dream was fulfilled with the purchase of the Pilgrim property where the Bradford-Taylor Center now stands.
The ministers who made Trinity a great church were: Elias Dibble, Spencer Hartwell, B.M. Taylor, Jesse H. Shackleford, J.F. Crozier, Paul Douglass, Wade H. Logan, Bishop Isaiah B. Scott, J.K. Loggins, Peter Morgan, C.C. Minegan, V.M. Cole, Wade Hamilton, Freeman Parker, L.S. Blakeney, G.A. Deslands, J.M. Johnson, A.W. Carr, Bishop Willis J. King, J.O. Williams, Charles K. Brown, Elkin B. Woolfolk, Jesse Lovell, A.J. Newton, W. L. Turner, Lee A. Thigpen. Sr., A.E. Liles, L.C. Thomas, Cosum Luster, Dr. Robert E.. Haves, Sr., C.S. Weaver, C.N. Bonner, C.C. Jammer, Sr., Dr. Lewis L. Jackson, Sr., Dr. Robert E. McGee.