Our History – page 3
History – 1956 through present
Early in 1955 the Official Church Board realized the need for additional space for the rapidly growing church school and voted to set aside a monthly sum to be used as a building fund. By December 4, 1957 plans and cost of the proposed building were presented to the congregation and approved. Mr. Harold Bower was appointed chairman of the Building Committee and Mr. Robert Skilliter Sr. as chairman of the Building Finance Committee. By the spring of 1958 sufficient funds toward the construction of a $78,000 addition to the church had been pledged and work was begun with groundbreaking ceremonies in June, 1960.
The building was completed on Palm Sunday, March 26, 1961.
Consecration Week services were held the week of August 16-20, 1961. The new educational unit greatly improved the available space and provided for an enhanced Sunday School experience for all involved.
The ever-growing Sunday School division of Trinity reached an attendance of 131 members in 1961!
By 1968, participation in the youth groups had grown to such an extent that a used bus was purchased to aid in the transportation of members.
A Thrift Shoppe was opened on 8th Street as a mission project. The purpose of the shoppe was to provide low-cost clothing and other items to the area. Countless individuals have been helped by the generosity of those who donate to the Thrift Shoppe, and by those who help man the store. In 1974 the Thrift Shoppe was re-located to its current 4th Street location after the house next to the parsonage was razed for the addition of a parking lot.
In 1978, the church balcony was closed, the church re-plastered, and the pews stripped and refinished. A bid of $1,350 was accepted to fully insulate the parsonage in 1987.
The first female pastor, Rev. Rachel Kurt, was appointed and began serving Trinity in 1988.
An Endowment fund was established in 1991.
During 1992, Rev. Kurt left Trinity and was replaced by another female pastor, Pastor Carole Wood. Pastor Wood remained at Trinity for 11 years.
1993 saw construction and improvements made to Trinity with the addition of a ramp at the North entrance of the church to aid those who had difficulty negotiating steps. In addition, a children’s playground was created, equipped, and fenced. Both projects were paid for by the Head Start Migrant program.
In 1994, a leak in the roof of the Education wing caused the nursery ceiling to collapse. A new roof was installed at a cost of $9,000.
An after-school tutoring program was established at the church in 1995.
It should be mentioned that the United Methodist Women have played a large role in the success of Genoa Trinity United Methodist Church. Their activities, sponsorships, fund-raising efforts, and general service to the church cannot be overstated.
The 140th Anniversary of Trinity United Methodist Church was celebrated on Saturday, October 12, 1996, with a 4 o’clock reception and a 5 o’clock dinner. Grace was said by the children of the church, and dinner music was provided by Deb Peiffer. Honored guests included The Rev. and Mrs. Leon Richey (Trinity 1959-1964). Musical selections were presented by the Trinity Junior Choir, the Trinity Chancel Choir, and the Sweet Adelines Quartet (led by Char Overholt of Trinity). A Worship Celebration was held on Sunday, October 13, 1996 with a special presentation by Scottish Bagpiper James Francis, Director of the Zenobia Highlanders of Toledo. In addition, Trinity’s three (3) choirs also performed. A cornerstone ceremony was held, and a giant 140th birthday cake was enjoyed by all in attendance.
Pastor Wood challenged the congregation to pay off the debt early for the repair to the Nursery roof which had collapsed in 1994. In 1996, Pastor Wood preached her sermon from the roof after the congregation met her challenge! Later that year, Pastor Wood preached from horseback after the congregation paid off another loan.
A lightning strike caused serious electrical damage to the church building in October, 2001. Because there was also damage to the sanctuary, the Administrative Council decided to remodel the front of the sanctuary and offices, as well as upholster the pews and refinish the pulpit, lectern, and alter.
Pastor Wood was transferred in June, 2002 and Rev. Randall Haase began serving Trinity. Rev. Haase brought with him his wife, Laura, and their 3 children: Kendra, Kayla, and Kirsten. Kristian was born in September 2002. During his tenure at Trinity, Rev. Haase started a Spaghetti Supper and Auction to raise money for the church. Trinity members purchased new items and donated them to the church for the auctions, held in early November. The entire evening was produced by Trinity members, and literally thousands of dollars were raised by auction participants.
Rev. Haase was transferred in 2006 and replaced by Pastor Linda Timm. Pastor Timm worked with the 150th committee to plan the Sesquicentennial Celebration.
As part of the 150th Anniversary celebration, many former pastors were invited to return to Trinity and preach on selected Sundays throughout the summer. Those able to attend included Thomas Beckett, Frank Rowe, and Carole Wood; in addition to the new District Superintendent, Rae Lynn Schleif. Bishop Bruce Ough led the worship service and presented Holy Communion.
In 2007, Pastor Timm’s husband, Carl, passed away suddenly. Pastor Timm decided to retire from the ministry, and was replaced by Pastor Cherl Matla. Pastor Cherl is the current pastor of GTUMC.
In 2011, the “Trinity Transformation Project” began, with the intent of beautifying and upgrading the church building and surrounding area. An electronic messaging sign was purchased at the cost of $17,000 after Genoa Trinity obtained city council approval (with help from Bob Skilliter). The sign soon put Trinity “on the map” as we became known as “the church with the sign”.
Other improvements included outdoor landscaping, removal of trees, carpeting/painting the Community Room, carpeting/painting and new lights installed in the Dining Room, new windows in the Community Room and 2nd floor of the Education Wing, and the purchase of new chairs for the Dining Room.
A huge improvement was completed in 2012 with the installation of air-conditioning in the sanctuary.
A 15-year, $35,000 loan was secured from Genoa Bank to cover all the improvements. We are on target to pay back the loan in 5 years.