History of Trinity Presbyterian Church
Trinity Presbyterian Church was organized on May 25, 1958 by action of the Presbytery of Missouri of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS), now the Missouri Union Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (USA), in a service held in the Sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church. The new church resulted from a colonization effort by the members and staff of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia. Dr. Robert Karsch chaired the Home Mission Committee of Missouri Presbytery and was influential in the organization of Trinity Presbyterian Church. Plans were well underway by the spring of 1957, including purchase of 5 acres of land and a manse.
In late 1957, The Rev. James M. Blanton was called by the Presbytery to be the organizing pastor. He came to Columbia in January of 1958 from a pastorate in Caruthersville, Missouri, and was followed by his wife, Jacqueline (Jackie) with their two children, Alice and newborn Steven. Their third child, Sarah, was born after their arrival at Trinity. Early meetings by interested people, to plan and
organize, were held at First Presbyterian Church and later at the manse. Worship services and church school classes began April 13, 1958, in the Missouri School of Religion's Lowry Hall on the University of Missouri Campus. There were 80 charter members of which 4 are still living members.
From the outset the church's emphasis was on intergenerational worship, service to others, outreach, and Christian Education. Construction of the first phase of a functional, utlilitarian church building began in mid-1960 on the wooded lot on Rollins Road. This first phase contained a fellowship/meeting room and Christian Education space. The first service was held in this building on World Communion Sunday, October 5, 1961, and the building was dedicated Nov. 19, 1961. In 1990 an addition to the building was constructed consisting of a sanctuary, library, choir room and more Christian Education rooms. The addition was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1990 and was paid off completely in September 2016.
The congregation has continuously been involved with meeting the needs of the community through assistance with various groups such as Voluntary Action Center, St. Francis House, Loaves and Fishes, Rainbow House, McCambridge Center, the Shelter, the Wardrobe, and LOVE INC. These have been helped through the local mission part of the annual budget and by members who feel called to such ministries. Other callings have included hospital and prison visitation in Columbia and beyond. Through the years a strong alliance developed with the Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services known as PCHAS and this relationship continues. The church receives a special Christmas Offering for PCHAS and includes the organization in its annual budgeted giving.
Photo: Columbia Daily Tribune
Our Youth became involved with the Heifer project. Heifer international, facilitates the purchase of much needed farm animals for those in the US who are subsistence farmers and those living in Third World countries. In addition, Trinity contributes kits, blankets, and other items to the annual Festival of Sharing - packets that are put together and shipped to poverty stricken places around the world. A 50th anniversary campaign for 10 Personal Energy Transport vehicles was over-subscribed with $14,900 for almost 60 vehicles!
Sponsorship of Boy Scout Troop 4 was approved by the church session on March 5, 1963. The first meeting of Troop 4 was May 6, 1963. Several of its scouts remain active as scout leaders, and the troop has generated more than 100 Eagle Scouts.
Trinity has sponsored over 30 Asian and Ethiopian refugees, including one family of 13 from Cambodia. Trinity helped find homes, furnishings, clothing and jobs for these people and helped them learn the English language. These people from abroad have provided a rich education to Trinity's congregation.
Trinity's current Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Michael Stanfield, accepted a call to Trinity in 2015. Previous pastors include the Rev. James Blanton, who retired in 1984 after twenty-six years with Trinity; the Rev. Edwin Hancock, who served as Interim Pastor until March of 1985; and the Rev. Raymond I. Massey II (Rim), who served from 1985-2013.
In 1994 Trinity began an Intern Program with the First Presbyterian Church in Boonville, MO. After four very productive years the internship ended in success as First Presbyterian Church in Boonville was able to employ a full-time pastor. Our close friendship with the Boonville church's pastor and congregation continues with pulpit exchanges and joint activities to bring our congregations
closer. In September, 1998, the Rev. Franc Guthrie, a retired pastor, became Trinity's part-time parish associate until his death in February, 2008. Mrs. Guthrie continues to be active in the church and was elected to serve on the Session in 2009.