361 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA 01108            Ph: 413.737.5311            Fax: 413.781.4083             office@trinityspringfield.org

Trinity Church’s History

1791 – Bishop Francis Asbury (first elected Methodist bishop in America) first preached in Springfield.  Of that visit, he wrote: “My mind has been dejected; Satan has assaulted me.  I could not be fixed in prayer as I desired.  We have made it 108 miles from Lynn to Springfield.  … There appears to be little religion among the inhabitants.”

1819 – Methodist meetings were held in the little school-house at the Water Shops near Hancock and Central Streets, in the Armory chapel, in private houses, in David Rice’s barn, and sometimes in a grove.  The Baptists thought it an “outrage” that the Methodists were allowed to gather nearby, in the school-house.  So one Sunday morning, when the Methodists arrived, they found the Baptists already there; the Baptists informed them that they would be staying for the rest of the day.  And they succeeded in barring the Methodists from the school from that time on.

1821 – The Methodists built Asbury Chapel on Hickory Street, between Walnut and Hancock Streets.  It cost $300 to build, and was 28′ x 36′ in size.

1823 – The Methodists built a larger chapel at Union and Mulberry Streets, but still held services occasionally at Asbury Chapel.

1835 – The chapel divided into two churches:

1. Union Street Society

  • 1873 – The Society moved and became State Street Methodist Episcopal Church
  • 1899 – They merged with St. Luke’s and were renamed Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church

2. First Methodist Society

  • 1844 – Many of the members lost their jobs at the Armory, so they closed First Methodist Society and transferred to Pynchon Street Methodist Church
  • 1857 – Horace Smith, a Methodist layperson & one of the founders of Smith & Wesson enabled First Methodist Society services to resume at Asbury Chapel
  • 1866 – The members built a new church building at Florence and Hancock Streets for $13,123.35, named Asbury First Methodist Episcopal Church.  Asbury Chapel on Hickory Street was torn down.
  • 1926 – A heavy wind storm knocked down the church’s tower
  • 1952 – Bay Street Methodist Church (also known as the First Swedish Methodist Church) merged with Asbury First Methodist Episcopal Church
  • 1975 – The church building burned down

1844 – Another Methodist church was built:  Pynchon Street Methodist Church  Services were initially held in the old courthouse and in the Worthington Street Grove

1867 – The Pynchon Street Church divided into two churches:

1. Pynchon Street Church

  • 1869 – Built on Bridge Street (across from Barnes Street) and renamed Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church
  • 1873 – Started West Springfield Mission.  In 1876, it became First Methodist Church of West Springfield
  • 1874 – Started Plainfield Street Mission.  In 1898, it became St. James Methodist Church at Main and Dover Streets.
  • 1902 – Started Liberty Mission.  In 1907, it became Liberty Methodist Church at 821 Liberty Street

2. Central Methodist Episcopal Church

  • 1875 – Built at Main and Winthrop Streets and renamed Grace Church

1922 – Grace Church  merged with Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church

  • Met in temporary tabernacle on Oakland Street
  • Began building on Sumner Avenue
  • 1923 – Community House dedicated
  • 1924 – Grace Chapel cornerstone laid
  • 1928 – Carillon and Singing Tower and Junior Building dedicated
  • 1929 – Sanctuary dedicated
  • 1930 – Trinity wins first prize in National Building contest
  • 1968 – Renamed Trinity United Methodist Church

1975 – Asbury Methodist Church merged with Trinity United Methodist Church



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