Profitt Report: Take a look inside this 130-year-old Bay City church
On this Good Friday, we take a look at a Bay City parish that can trace its roots back to 1854. Trinity Episcopal Church is celebrating 130 years this Easter holiday.
“I love serving at the altar, I love feeding people the body and blood of Jesus,” said Re. Susan Rich.
From the moment she considered serving at Trinity, Rev. Rich said it just felt right. Starting just under a year ago, a supportive parish and a solid history create a foundation for her to grow as their leader. That history dates back to the 1850s.
“The first actual building that was built was on Washington Avenue right where Allan’s Shoes is and they actually had so many people that they expanded on that building three times,” Rev. Rich said.
Trinity Parish needed more space and found their permanent home on North Grant Street.
“The stone chapel is what they called the portion that's the parish hall now and it's in a cruciform shape and that's where we had the 300 Sunday school kids when we started here, that's really kind of remarkable to think about that,” Rev. Rich said.
This middle section is that original stone chapel, the rest of the church was completed in 1924. Rev. Rich said just like much of the Saginaw-Bay region, Trinity is connected with our lumber-industry roots and if you look up, the ceiling of the church looks like the hull of a ship.
“If you think about the history and the lumber barons and being on the water it's just kind of a cool thing that we're in the Lord's ship,” she said, “it’s not always smooth sailing but we're in it together.”
Churches across the U.S. are facing rocky waters. Churchleaders.com said less than 20 percent of Americans regularly attend church. Rev. Rich hopes to hold onto Trinity’s history but stay focused on future growth.
“We’ve had folks join us and we've had to make a bunch of new name tags so that's encouraging,” she said, “I think the way we grow is to ministry is a combination of the needs of the community and the gifts of the people in the church so when you find the place where those two things meet, that's where ministry happens.”
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