The Original Church Building
Trinity Presbyterian church was organized in what was then the Red River Presbytery which is known as the Presbytery of the Pines today. It was organized in the community of Trinity, Louisiana on April 20, 1856 with thirteen members. Two years later, the first church building erected was a brick structure on property donated by General John R. Liddell.
The building survived the turbulent years of the Civil War as the church
members boarded up the holes from the shelling of the building. They continued using the building despite the damage. The caretaker of the building, Mr. Fuglaar, described the original church
building as having brick walls, a slate roof, concrete steps, a cypress door and
windows. During the war, most of the membership dwindled or moved away.
It was Mr. Fuglaar’s opinion that the building had been abandoned after the flood of 1882 when animals of all kinds took refuge in the building. The church was able to obtain enough money to begin rebuilding a new wooden church building, completed in 1887.
Taking A Stand
This building had a long history and eventful history. Sometime between 1900 and 1910, the presbytery sent a delegation to close Trinity church. Mrs. Rosa Snyder prevailed as she refused to allow the church to be closed and the delegation left the area. Once again the church survived showing that Presbyterians have always been known for their grit, courage, perseverance and great faith!
Trinity Church Moves to Jonesville
Troy plantation once occupied the site that would become the town of Jonesville. The riverfront of the plantation became Troyville. In 1871, Mrs. Laura Jones, who owned the property, laid out the town and changed the name from Troyville to the village of Jonesville. On October 18, 1916, the village of Jonesville became the town of Jonesville.
Trinity Becomes Self-Sufficient
In 1959, Trinity church became self-sustaining and was no longer supported by the home missions program of the denomination. That meant that financially, she was on her own for the first time in her history with no financial support received by presbytery or general assembly. She has been self-supporting ever since.
The Building Years
The present sanctuary was built during the Rev. Carl Lasenby’s ministry at Trinity. It was erected and then dedicated on August 29, 1954. The wooden frame building was moved to a lot behind the sanctuary to serve as the education building. The present brick structure was built to accommodate 150 people and included new pews, organ, air conditioning, and central heating.
At the beginning of the year 1960, the new brick educational building was completed. In 1965, the new church manse building was completed on Mound Street. It was built on land donated by Mr. and Mrs Henry Uttinger.
The 68 members of Trinity Church had undertaken three major building programs in 11 years; the sanctuary completed in 1954, the educational building in 1960, and the manse in 1965.
1976, the church membership had grown to 90. In 1978, a 4th major building program was initiated, with the addition of the present fellowship hall and Sunday School
rooms and complete renovation of the old educational building. The completion of these four projects was quite an achievement for our church. As a result of the renovations, the church opened a daycare on June 4, 1984, to meet the needs of families and their children in our community.
New Life for an Old Friend
When Trinity church no longer had space for the wooden frame building on the property, it was sold and moved down Black River to Elmly Plantation to become St. Peter’s Baptist church. For an additional 25 years, the building served their congregation. Time and damage caused by floods and other causes led this church to dismantle the wooden building and build a brick structure.
Trinity’s Original Pewter Communion Set
The church’s pewter communion set and baptismal bowl was saved by a servant during the Civil War who was sent to remove them from the building and protect them for the advancing federal troops. In the escape, Fear gave speed to the mule driven wagon. The pewter bowl was jolted from the wagon and under the wheels. It was recovered, but a dent caused by the accident still can be seen. The pewter set donated by Mrs. Julia Chamberlain was sent to the historical foundation in Montreat, North Carolina in the 1930’s. It remained there until 1987 when it was returned to the church. The dents caused by the accident still stand as a reminder of the turbulent past and adversities faced by our ancestors as they struggled to save our Christian heritage.
During the early years of the church it had no full-time ministers. Supply ministers from Kentucky, Texas, Missouri, New Orleans, LA. And Winnfield, LA served the church. Most notable was the Rev. Alvin Stokes who served for the longest period, dividing his time between Winnfield and Jonesville for 12 years.
In 1935, and 39 years after the church was organized, the Rev. Kenneth Seawright became the first full-time minister. During his ministry, a manse was built on property that was adjacent to the church.
The church has only had 17 full-time ministers called to serve here over the past 157 years. Their combined time in the church was 54 years.
The ministers called to serve Trinity:
Rev. Alvin Stokes; Rev.
Kenneth Seawright, Rev. Thomas Lemly; Rev. Carl Lazenby; Rev. Paul Currie; Rev. Sammy Shrum; Rev. Neil Thurston; Rev. Leonard Elmore; Rev. Jeff Bean; Rev. Larry Duncan; Rev. Mark Werner; Rev.
Wortham,(twice); Rev. David Ord; Rev. Bill Pawson, Rev. Dawn Stoker; Rev. Marion Carmichael, Interim Minister; Rev. Melodie Long; and Rev. John Scott, Jr.