The history of Trinity Church, in Beaver must begin with the history of Trinity Episcopal Church, Rochester, PA. That is where our roots were and through which flowed God's gift of faith that has helped make us the church we have become and are today.
It was faith that brought Francis Reno, an itinerant preacher and his family to the frontier wilderness of western Pennsylvania in the year 1799. A Virginian, the Reverend Mr. Reno was ordained in Philadelphia and sent forth by the Bishop White Prayer Book Society. Bishop Wit was the First Pennsylvania Bishop.
It was the faith of those early settlers that kept alive the rites and usage of the traditional Episcopal service in the wilds of what was then a trail from Pittsburgh and a flat boat landing on the Ohio River. This clergyman continued his ministry until the year 1828. He was the first rector of St. Luke's Church, Georgetown. In the following twenty years there were also occasional visits from clergymen traveling out of Pittsburgh.
By 1850 the village of Rochester had surpassed 1000 people, but Episcopalians still had no regular minister or church building. On Ascension Day, May 29, 1851, the first Episcopal parish was organized from a group of 106 persons. This included twenty families, and thirteen communicants. Trinity was the sixth Episcopal church to be in Beaver County. Of those early churches only two others remain today: St. Luke's, Georgetown and Christ Church, New Brighton.
The charter for Trinity Church was procured and duly recorded in the Beaver County Courthouse in March, 1852. Plans for building the church were halted because subsequent surveys of Rochester established a street right of way through the property. The faith of Trinity people had been put to an early test as they continued their services in the schoolhouse for the next four years.
Ground at the corner of New York Avenue and Jackson Street was finally given by Mr. And Mrs. John Thomson on September 20, 1855, and the church was built between 1855 and 1856. The first recorded use of the church was a vestry meeting on November 10, 1856.
Funds were raised through a succession of picnics and church suppers totaling $400, for the erection of a stone building which was to cost $800. For several years the annual offering of the congregation of about 100 amounted to only about $50 per year.
The "Panic of 1873" which plunged the nation into economic chaos proved to be yet another test of faith. In spite of the hard times, major repairs were made and a new reed organ was purchased. As so often happened in the years, which were to follow, the needed money came forth from dedicated parishioners. often quietly.. unexpectedly.. and accompanied by expressions of faith. Although theirs had been difficult times, much was accomplished through hard work, sacrifice and faith as they saw the hand of God working with them.
The last mortgage was burned in 1948, and Trinity members paused to reflect on almost 100 years of faith at work. The pause would not be for long.
Because a number of women parishioners resided in Beaver and Bridgewater, and transportation was increasingly becoming a problem, guild chapters were formed in both towns under the direction of the original guild in Rochester. This was the first step in the eventual decision to move the entire church to Beaver.
By 1952, in the midst of a steady rise in communicants, Trinity became a full-fledged independent parish. By this time, about 90 percent of the members were living in the Beaver area, and it became clear that it was time to look forward.
The property at Fourth and Beaver Streets which had been the site of the Lutheran church became available when that church moved to its present location on Third Street. The tiny frame chapel with its thirdhand assortment of furnishings provided the incentive for pushing forward with building plans. The first meeting of the architectural committee was in March, 1956. By July, 1957 work was underway and the first service was held in the new church in July, 1958, exactly one year later. The old frame chapel and attached house continued to be used for a time as the parish hall and Sunday school.