Trinity Church in 1935 after it had been “painted outside and inside, extensive repairs made and primary Sunday School equipment added.”1
Appointed by John Wesley, Bishop Francis Asbury was one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. On December 15, 1790, during one of his journeys through King George County, he preached to a group of nearly 100 persons at the Widow Bombry's. The earliest record of the congregation, which became known in later years as Trinity Church, is in 1844 when the Potomac District (of the Baltimore Conference) appointed Rev. Thomas C. Hayes to the newly formed King George Circuit. The circuit grew slowly until by the Civil War it had approximately 400 members who met in several locations around the county.
A November 1844 entry in the diary of William S. Brown, the Clerk of Court in King George for nearly 50 years, states: “We had preaching here today by Mr. Hayes—the congregation very small.”
In 1860, William S. Brown and his wife started a Sunday School at their home, “Waverly,” for their children and the children and young people of the neighborhood.
Nannie Brown Doherty, the daughter of William S. Brown, remembers the early Sunday School in her recollections of the Civil War:2
There had seldom been church services held during those four years of war, but father and mother were not unmindful of the spiritual good of their children and the community, so they opened a Sunday School here in one of our vacant servant’s houses and many children came. When the enemy went away, they moved the Sunday School to the public school house near Ducat (this land was given the county by father and joined our property) and there it was held till Trinity Church was built.
My father and mother, with Mr. and Mrs. William F. Bevan of Baltimore, and Rev. and Mrs. Thomas H. Boggs, determined to build a church at the Court House…we worked hard to raise the money…we all put our hearts into the cause and very dear it was to us. It was a happy day when it was completed and ready for dedication.
The Deed for the land on which Trinity Church now stands was made in July 1874. The church building was begun immediately and was nearly completed by the time of its dedication on Sunday, September 13, 1874. The Rev. Thomas H. Boggs was the Pastor of the King George Charge at that time and wrote about his experiences.3 The Alexandria Gazette reported on September 22 that "The dedication sermon was preached by Rev. Wm. W. Walker, now of Baltimore, and was an eloquent one. Over one thousand dollars, more than one-half of which was in cash, was raised on the occasion. The church is a handsome structure, thirty-six by fifty-two feet, with a steeple seventy-two feet high."
In 1875, the King George Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, had four churches, no parsonage, and 416 members. In 1930, the Northern and Southern branches of the church merged to form The Methodist Church. In 1968, The Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to become The United Methodist Church. In 1980, Trinity United Methodist Church became a "station" appointment (thus having a full-time pastor) with a membership of 163.
Many changes to the original building have occurred over the years. The wooden clapboard exterior was replaced with brick during the 1950s. In 1965, several Sunday School rooms and a small fellowship area were added and the front entrance was renovated. New lights, stained glass windows, and air conditioning were installed. In 1982, a new organ was donated. An addition was completed in 1988 with six Sunday School rooms and a larger fellowship hall and kitchen. A plaque, shown below, is found in the fellowship hall and contains the names of those who pastored Trinity Church. Click here to open a listing.
1 Richmond Christian Advocate: Special Issue, August 1, 1935
2 “Recollections of the Civil War - King George County: Memoirs of Nannie Brown Doherty,”
Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Magazine, Vol. 28, December 1978
3 Rev. D. G. C. Butts, From Saddle to City by Buggy, Boat and Railway, 1922