Trinity Parish can be traced back to 1854 and a village of six or seven homes on the bank of the Saginaw River. The State of Michigan is just 17 years older than Trinity!
Clergy preferred winter for their occasional visits, when ice made for easier travel from Saginaw via the forest trail or the river. The Rev. Voltaire Spaulding was the first regular missionary visitor, on the third Sunday of each month, from 1853-58. Under his leadership, the parish was organized on March 4, 1854, meeting in the school.
In 1857, William D. Fitzhugh, Israel Catlin, and Henry Raymond took possession of one of the best plats set aside for churches by the original patentees of the town. The claim was established by the simple act of placing lumber on the site, which was close to the southeast corner of the Center and Washington intersection in what is now Bay City.
A small frame church, with 19 pews, was consecrated on May 10, 1860 by Bishop McCoskry. It was the third church built in the village. Ten days later, the Rev. Edward Magee took charge of the parish as the first resident rector, sharing time here with St. John’s in Saginaw.
The first frame church was expanded once, then again, but it was still too small; Trinity needed more space. Trinity Parish was 33 years old when the current Trinity Episcopal Church was built in 1887. By then, logging the white pine and thriving lumber mills had sparked a town of some 39,000 residents.
Today, looking at Trinity Church from Grant Street, it is easy to see the different sections in the stone walls that verify the fact that the center section of the church was built first. It was called the Stone Chapel. The congregation moved there in April 18834 and the first services were conducted on April 27th. Cost of the chapel was nearly $8,000 and it served Trinity’s faithful during the construction of the nave. The nave, which faces Center Avenue, was formally opened for Divine Worship on April 14, 1887 by the Right Reverend S.S. Harris, D.D., Bishop of Michigan. The cost of the building, designed by Peter C. Floeter, a Bay City architect, was placed at $50,000 at the time of construction. The final section of the building, including the parish house, offices, Guild Room, kitchen, and Sunday School, was completed in 1924, with Smith, Hinchman and Grylls of Detroit as architects.
For 155 years, Episcopalians at Trinity have been sharing the faith and reaching out to our community through prayer and service. Join us for worship and experience for yourself the love and presence of God.