TRINITY’S 140TH ANNIVERSARY
When I’m talking about the amazing privilege of serving as Lead Pastor of Trinity, you will likely hear me say, “I’m just harvesting fruit in George Munzing’s orchard.” Now, don’t get me wrong—I KNOW that Trinity was and is not to be identified by the pastor! Every church is comprised of all the people! I’ve been very blessed, however, to have this beloved pastor, who served faithfully for 37 years, as a dear friend and supporter for my nearly 10 years here. I think of Jesus’ words in John 4:38, “I sent
you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” All of us at Trinity—ministry staff, covenant partners (members) and friends—are reaping the fruit of generations of faithful followers of Jesus.
Recently, LJ (Laurie Jaworski, our Director of Missions) has been doing a great deal of research on Trinity’s historic commitment to missions. I know in my heart that this commitment is one of the significant factors in Trinity’s consistent vitality and, I believe, in God’s gracious blessing. In the course of her work, she came across “A Brief History of Trinity United Presbyterian Church by R. Carson Smith.” Let me share a few items excerpted from this paper.
When you join Trinity United Presbyterian Church you are joining one of the pioneer churches of Santa Ana, preceded only by the Spurgeon Memorial Methodist South, the First Baptist and the First Methodist Episcopal.
Our church, the first United Presbyterian Church in Southern California, was organized by 18 charter members on June 22, 1876 in the home of James McFadden. The Rev. D. S. McHenry has been appointed by the United Presbyterian Board of Missions to help in the organization, serving as pastor for several years.
In 1878 our first sanctuary was built on the NW corner of 4th and Mortimer Streets and a year later the first minister to be called by the congregation was the Rev. T.J.C. Webster. At that time the population of Santa Ana was about 700….
In 1883 the session of our church was given the responsibility for organizing the First United Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles, with a charter membership of 14.
Rev. W.L.C. Sampson became our minister in 1906 and during his pastorate we built a new sanctuary on the NW corner of 6th and Bush Streets….
From 1923 to 1932 Dr. W.H. McPeak was our pastor. During his term we accepted Fred and Daisy Russell as our representatives in the Foreign Mission Field, as agricultural missionaries in Ethiopia….
The post-war growth continued during the pastorate of Dr. Harold E. Scott from 1953-1959. In 1956 we sponsored and helped finance the Berrydale United Presbyterian Church in Garden Grove. Also in 1956 we began to feel crowded with no place to expand in the downtown location. The United Presbyterian Church of North America had combined with the Presbyterian Church USA to form the present United Presbyterian denomination and in Santa Ana our church was only a block away from the First Presbyterian Church.
So in 1958 after long searching for a new location, we bought our present site of 9 (plus) acres for about $6400.00 per acre and a year later in 1959 our present minister Rev. George A. Munzing arrived. Under his capable leadership the many problems connected with a building program were met and solved, with much credit going to committee Chairman Mark Sorrell, Ralph Keen and Bill Zaun.
The last service at 6th and Bush was held on November 4, 1962. Rev. Donn Moomaw was guest speaker. A week later on Armistice Sunday the services were held in our new chapel at Trinity with Rev. Munzing leading the praise and thanksgiving to God for his wonderful goodness in relocating us in this beautiful spot.
In 1967 our inspiring sanctuary building was completed. Our membership has grown to about 1500 with about the same number of young people and children attending our church school.
Throughout its history the Santa Ana church has placed special emphasis on tithing, mission study (at one time there were 5 missionary societies), a bible centered Sunday school, youth activities and fine music.
God has blessed our church in its growth and its witnessing over the years and we give him all the thanks and credit. We are happy to welcome each new member into our fellowship at Trinity. As a member of our family you now have a joint responsibility with us to make our church at 17th and Prospect a living witness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What a blessing! You can see the themes of Trinity’s inward strength by being Christ- centered, Bible-based, and committed to worship, children and youth. And you can see Trinity’s outward focus in planting at least two churches and supporting global missions.
Let’s continue the legacy as we pass the baton to the rising generations! See you in church,