Parish History


Trinity Episcopal Church was admitted to the Diocese of Missouri at its convention in 1855.  The first service was held on February 11, 1855 in the building previously occupied by St. Paul's Church at the corner of 5th and Wash Streets.  On December 30th of that same year the parish transferred worship to the Cumberland Church building at 11th and St. Charles Streets, and later moved to a building on Locust between 10th and 11th Streets.
In 1856 the church leased ground at 11th and Washington Avenue and broke ground for a new building on October 4, 1859.  On March 14, 1860, the cornerstone was laid.  At the time there were five Episcopal Churches all east of 12th Street: Christ Church, St. George's, St. Paul's, St. John's, and Trinity.
Sadly, on January 22, 1865, the building was entirely destroyed by fire.  Work immediately began on a new building on the same site, and was consecrated on August 27, 1865.  Later in the decade a mission was founded to build in the western part of the city.  The new parish was named "The Church of the Holy Communion."
Following the Civil War, a rapid expansion of the city shifted the population to the west, and Trinity found that parishioners were now living at a distance from the church.  In 1883 a new building was constructed at 11th and Washington Streets.
Again, the westward expansion of the city pushed the congregation further out and in 1910 Trinity moved into a building previously occupied by St. Mark's Parish at 4005 Washington Blvd.
In 1935 Trinity purchased the property of the Church of the Redeemer.  This church had merged with St. James Church, which had been dismantled, moved, and rebuilt stone by stone at the corner of Euclid and Washington Avenue.  Old photos reveal that the old tower that had been on the north side of the church was moved to the south side.  A service of rededication was held on November 10, 1935 with Solemn Evensong. 
The tiny chapel was originally consecrated as the chapel of St. Francis.  Its window was designed by Emil Frei, Jr. contains a fragment portrait of St. Francis from Reims Cathedral.  This was brought to St. Louis by a nurse who served in France during World War I, and came into the possession of Lee Orcutt, who served as a warden of the church.  After his death, this widow gave it to Trinity as a memorial window.

The Christus Rex in the chancel was designed by the architects Eames and Walsh, and was sculpted by Victor Berlindis.  Charles Quest painted the designs.  At Christ's right hand are the chalice and bread, symbols of the eucharist; at his left are the font and paschal candle, symbols of baptism, thus recognizing the primary two sacraments.  Over head is a peacock, ancient symbol of the resurrection, and at his feet is a pelican, as in the old story feeding her young with her own blood.

PDFs of our Parish Histories:

1975-2005 click here
1955-1975 click here
1855-1955 click here