Trinity Church History

Trinity Church is a congregation of the Episcopal Church and part of the world-wide Anglican Communion of more than 77 million souls.  The Anglican provinces in many countries trace their spiritual ancestry to the Christian Church of New Testament times, through the Church of England.  Christianity came to England as early as the First Century AD.  The Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation of the 1500s.  English colonists brought their faith to the American colonies, and, after the Revolutionary War, the Episcopal Church in the United States continued the faith and practices of the Church of England, but as a new and independent Church body.  “Episcopal” means “under the authority of bishops.”  Trinity is one of 65 congregations governed by the Bishop of Oklahoma.

An Episcopal congregation began worshipping in a store front at 112 East Oklahoma on the first Sunday after the April 22, 1889, Land Run.  The leader of the group was the head of the U.S. Land Office, Cassius M. Barnes, who was later territorial governor from 1897 to 1901.  The new congregation was under the authority of the Episcopal Bishop of Arkansas at first, and, on July 2, 1889, was given the name Trinity Episcopal Church.

In 1890, land was purchased on East Noble between Division and First Streets, and a wooden frame church building was constructed.  The building was moved on log rollers to its new location, at 310 East Noble, in 1893.  The house next door was purchased as a rectory. 

Also in 1893, the Episcopal Church organized the Missionary District of Oklahoma and appointed its first bishop, Francis Keye Brooke, who made Guthrie his home and center for missionary activity throughout the territory. 

Construction began on a new, larger brick church in 1910, but was suspended because of the lack of funds.  The present church was completed in 1913.  The original wooden building was attached to the new church and to this day serves as the parish hall.  The former rectory now houses the church offices and classrooms.

Trinity Church was included in the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey in 1973, and is part of the Guthrie Historic District, which was designated a National Landmark in 1999.

In October of 2012, Trinity Church was awarded a grant by the Kirkpatrick Foundation to prepare a Historic Structures Report, and evaluation of the history and condition of the building. Norman architect Mike Kertok was selected to supervise this process. This will be the beginning of a blueprint to help restore and preserve our church home for another century of use by the Episcopal Church and the Guthrie community.