Ryan Fischer/The Herald-Dispatch Trinity Episcopal Church celebrates its 150th anniversary on Sunday, September 8, 2019, in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Before there was officially Huntington, there was Trinity Episcopal Church.

Sunday, the church celebrated 150 years of worship with Bishop Mike Klusmeyer, the bishop of the Diocese of West Virginia.

The first recorded service of Trinity Episcopal Church was Aug. 22, 1869, at the Cabell County Courthouse, which was located in Barboursville at the time. However, Huntington was booming, thanks to Collis P. Huntington and the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad. Former Union General John Hunt Oley was a prominent member of the church and was employed as a sales agent for Collis Huntington's Central Land Company, so he arranged for the congregation to move to Huntington, meeting over a 3rd Avenue store.

Oley joined two other church trustees in seeking a suitable site for the church building. Initially, a corner lot at 5th Avenue and 10th Street was purchased but at the behest of a wealthy member of the church and friend of Huntington, the initial site was traded for the southeast corner of 5th Avenue and 11th Street.

Baltimore architect Charles E. Cassell designed the church, modeling it after an English countryside chapel. By 1887, when the first full-time rector arrived, the church was finished - save for pews that needed to be delivered and installed. However, the church was not fully paid for until 1903 when it could be consecrated.

Trinity boasts many treasures, the most prominent being the 36 stained-glass windows.

The newer windows are made by Willet Studios of Philadelphia and the older windows by Louis G. Tiffany of New York City prior to the death of the talented family members who specialized in the stained glass. Blenko Glass and Westminster Memorial Studios have also contributed.

Since its founding, the church has been led by 14 rectors. Rev. Jim Morgan is the current interim rector after Rev. Chip Graves, the 14th rector, resigned in January.

Trinity has also sponsored CONTACT Rape Crisis Center since its founding in the 1970s.


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