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Trinity Church
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Trinity Church (Elmira, New York) is located in New York
Trinity Church (Elmira, New York)
Location in New York
Trinity Church (Elmira, New York) is located in the United States
Trinity Church (Elmira, New York)
Location in the United States
Location Elmira, New York
Built 1855
Architect Dudley, Henry; et al.
Architectural style Gothic Revival
NRHP reference No. 07001122
Added to NRHP October 31, 2007

The parish of Trinity Church, Elmira, New York was founded in 1833. Trinity Church is a parish of the Chemung District of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, centered in Syracuse, New York. The present structure of Trinity Church is located at 304 North Main Street, Elmira, New York. Designed by architect Henry Dudley, the church was built from 1855 through 1858. It is significant for its Gothic Revival architecture. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

The first recorded Episcopal service in Elmira was conducted by the Right Reverend Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk, D.D., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York on May 16, 1832. Services were again held in Elmira in 1833 conducted by James D. Carder early in the year and by Daniel E. Brown in May. James D. Carder's report given to the 1833 New York Diocesan Convention in New York City stated, "[i]n Elmira, Tioga county, he performed divine service several times previous to the middle of July; and on the 12th of June organized a parish by the name of Trinity Church. He has for some tome looked to that place with much interest, and now contemplates with thanksgiving to God the sure foundation which he believes is there laid for the Church. On the last Lord's day, he had the satisfaction of administering the holy Communion for the first time in that parish. Thirteen communicated, and one was repelled." There were also reported to be three children baptized and one marriage in the parish that year. Trinity Church was incorporated as a parish on June 12, 1833 under the supervision of James D. Carder. The Rev. Thomas Clark is listed as the first rector.

Trinity's worship services began simply in a school house where Park Church stands today. As stated by Rev. Clark that Fall in his report to the 1833 Diocesan Convention, "I arrived in Elmira as Missionary to that place on the 20th of July last, and found a small but zealous company of Episcopalians, who received me with the most lively pleasure as their Missionary. Some of them had lived without the services of their Church for several years, not having heard an Episcopal minister at Elmira more than three or four times previously to my arrival. I have commence preaching in the District School Room, which I generally have nearly fill; and it is probable, if we had a church, there would many more attend." As parish membership grew, a need for larger quarters was evident. With comparatively little money, but the commitment of time, energy and building materials from the Church family, a new church edifice was completed in December 1836 at Church Street and Railroad Avenue. The church was consecrated on the morning of Sunday, August 27, 1837 by Rt. Rev. Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk, D.D.

The present building at Church and Main Streets was designed by Henry Dudley of New York and built by Nichols and Washburn. The cornerstone for the present structure "...was laid with impressive ceremonies," by Right Rev. William Heathcote DeLancey on July 26, 1855. The first service was held in this structure on July 4, 1858 after it was completed. The church building was consecrated by The Right Reverend Arthur Cleveland Coxe, D.D., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York in services held on April 5, 1866, after the construction debt was discharged.

The Arnot Memorial Chapel was designed by architect Richard M. Upjohn, its cornerstone was laid in 1880. The chapel was consecrated on November 28, 1882 by Right Reverend Frederic Dan Huntington, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. The Chapel was built with donations from Mariana Tuttle Arnot-Ogden as a memorial to her parents, John Arnot and Harriet Arnot, her sister, Aurelia Arnot, and her husband, William B. Ogden. The principal window over the chancel was designed to symbolically represented the four people whom the chapel memorialized. This window was designed and executed by stained glass craftsman Donald MacDonald of Boston, Massachusetts. The decoration of the interior of the Chapel was designed and executed by Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz of New York City. The chapel having been deconsecrated, the building now serves many other purposes for the parish.

Rectors of Trinity

  • The Rev. Thomas Clark - July 20, 1833 - 1836
  • The Rev. Richard Smith - February 29, 1836 - May 1838
  • The Rev. Gordon Winslow - June 1838 - June 1841
  • The Rev. Kendrick Metcalf, D.D. - 1841 - 1842
  • The Rev. Stephen Douglas - 1842 -1844
  • The Rev. Washington VanZandt - February 1844 - February 1847
  • The Rev. Dr. Andrew D. Hull, D.D. - July 1849 - 1866
  • The Rev. William Paret - 1866 - April 1869
  • The Rev. George H. McKnight, D.D. - July 1869 - 1905
  • The Rev. Charles McKnight - 1906 - September 1911
  • The Rev. Herbert L. Hannah - December 1911 - January 1917
  • The Rev. Henry E. Hubbard - June 1917 - August 1953
  • The Rev. David Kingman - September 1953 December 1974
  • The Rev. John C. Humphries, Jr. - September 1975 - December 1997
  • The Rev. Dr. William C. Lutz - September 1999–present
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