Our Church History
To view/print "Stories to Nourish the Soul: 1886-2016", a history of the Historic Chapel (1886), click HERE.
"The first Episcopal service in Melbourne, Florida was held at the Goode House by Bishop Young and Archdeacon Carpenter in 1879. Mrs. Richard (Jessie) Goode had prepared an altar by covering her sewing machine with a large bread board and a linen tablecloth. Annie Goode and Jessie Goode were baptized at that service." (From an account written by Grace Beaujean Mercier for the Melbourne Centennial Celebration in 1980)
The Histories of Holy Trinity do not all seem to agree on the exact date of that first service. We do know that by 1886 there was a ground breaking to build the historic chapel (where we still have our mid-week services). At Christmas of 1886 when worship began in the Holy Trinity Chapel, there were only about 50 people living in all of Melbourne. Times have certainly changed since then. The church has literally changed location twice. And of course, the church has moved forward in ministry. There have been dramatic accomplishments: Trinity Towers with over 550 low-income apartments for the elderly; a Thrift Shop; a Counseling Center; and Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy with over 800 students in Pre-K through High School (including a marvelous Upper School located 10 miles north of the church). It all began when Jessie Goode covered her sewing machine with that large bread board and linen tablecloth—so that the Holy Eucharist could be celebrated and her children baptized.
"Holy Trinity is a church that takes what is has and uses it to build for God." Fr. Boyer, Rector 1953—1980, said in the 1958 Capital Campaign that, "It is always a privilege to build for God." How true that is—and the privilege really has to do with joining in work that is bigger than any of us, larger than the span of any of our lives on earth. We are a church that builds. We build schools, apartments and most recently a choir and Sunday school building—but more importantly we build lives for the glory of God and the enjoyment of God’s creation. In I Peter 2:4-5 it says, "As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house."
"We invite you to become a 'living stone', a practical Christian, ready like Jessie Goode to use whatever you have to offer, to worship God and build up the Kingdom of Christ. Jessie had a bread board and a desire to baptize her children. To become part of Holy Trinity, simply bring a heart for God and a desire to be part of a wonderful church family."