Trinity turns 105

Published 5:57 pm Monday, November 21, 2005

By By Janet Little Cooper
Trinity Episcopal celebrated its 105th anniversary Saturday. The church located on South Carney Street in Atmore was the third church to be built in town in the 1900's.
A North Carolina native, William Marshall Carney, moved to what was then called Williams Station in 1876. The sawmill and turpentine industry attracted Carney to the undeveloped area.
Mr. Carney built a sawmill in the center of town in 1883. As his business expanded, so did the community. The area soon became a busy town as the population grew.
Along with the influx of industry to town, came the need for a place of worship. Mr. Carney, donated money to the construction of the First Baptist Church that was built prior to 1886 and he donated land for the original Methodist Church.
Atmore's first Episcopal Church is traced to William Carney as well. The town did not have a church consistent with Carney's faith, so he helped spawn the Episcopal Church into being. According to church records, Mr. Carney donated three adjacent lots of real estate as his Easter offering in 1900. He also gave timber, pews, bells and communion service to the church established in the expanding community.
Mr. Carney is said to have chosen the location of the church, where it stands today on 203 South Carney in anticipation of the town growing westward.
A journal entry from Bishop R.W. Barnwell, the third Bishop of Alabama, records Nov. 19, 1900 as the date of dedication and consecration.
Early records indicate that one of Mr. Carney's daughters named the church "The Church of the Heavenly Rest."
Reverend Howard Walker began his service as Priest in Charge of the church. The church became recognized by the body of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama as well as
Being known for its activity within the community.
The name was changed to Trinity in the year of 1926 by a unanimous vote of the congregation. Little is known about the name change other than it happened.
The church added Parish Hall to meet the needs of ever-increasing membership and activities among the church. The house was built in 1954.
Trinity has experienced many changes and transitions for more than 10 decades of service. The men and women of Trinity have all played an important role in the churches rich legacy.
The Women of Trinity, an organization of women within the church, has participated in multiple community missions on top of the activities within the church. In fact, members say that Trinity's parishioners are all primarily women, similar to the early 1900 congregation.
The church has continued a tradition of lunch every Sunday following the morning service. According to the churches priest in charge, Rev. Mrs. Mayer, the lunches have kept the church together. Rev. Sandra Mayer was named priest in 2001.
Since that time, Trinity has expanded its programs offering many opportunities of service and learning for its parishioners.
Rev. Mayer leads a prison ministry at Fountain Correctional Institution and the church assist with prison events and with individual prisoners families.
"We have a ministry for the inmates," Rev. Mayer said. "It is named after the thief on the cross. I conduct a church service for our brothers in white (inmates) and we do special things for them like helping buy for their children at Christmas and providing them with supplies they need such as stationary items to write letters with."
Trinity offers lectures on the bible, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls from prominent religious or theological speakers.
Sunday School begins at 9:45 each Sunday then the Holy Eucharist at 11 a.m. followed by lunch. The public is always invited to attend any of the churches activities and is encouraged to come visit.

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