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Trinity Episcopal Church - New Castle PA

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The Trinity Episcopal Church was established in New Castle in April 1848. Within a few years property was purchased on Neshannock Avenue and the task of erecting a church was begun. Financial delays slowed the project and the new church (shown above) was finally completed in about 1866. This building was sold in April 1901 to become the new home of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Trinity members began meeting at the Lawrence County Court House – and then the YMCA – while plans for a new church progressed. (c1935)

New Castle News Wednesday Apr 10, 1910

By the turn of the century the Trinity congregation was thriving and it was decided to build a larger church. About two weeks after the old building was sold to the Lutherans in April 1901 the congregation acquired two lots on N. Mill and E. Falls Streets for $8,500. Services were held at various locations until the new Trinity Episcopal Church, shown in a drawing above, opened in March 1903. The beautiful Romanesque Revival-style Trinity Episcopal Church was designed by Youngstown-based architect C. H. Owsley. The work was done by contractor William Hanley of Bradford and cost about $30,000. (1902)

The first service in the new Trinity Episcopal Church was held in the basement on Sunday, March 15, 1903. The completed church was dedicated on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1903. In the coming years additional property (for future expansion) was acquired from the descendants of early pioneer Henry Falls (1760-1847). A mission known as St. Andrews was also started along Long Avenue on the South Side in 1897. That mission became the independent St. Andrews Episcopal Church in about 1908 and was in service until it closed in March 1956. (c1910) Full Size

The Reverend J.D. Herron served as Rector from 1882-1897 and it was under his reign that the Trinity Church was renovated (in 1883), the parish affairs were stabilized, and the congregation doubled in size. His leadership was missed when he departed. (c1895)

It was under the management of the Reverend Charles W. Tyler, serving as rector from 1901-1905, that the new church building on N. Mill Street was formally planned and built. (c1905)

The position of Rector was occupied for almost two decades from 1923-1941 by the Reverend Philip C. Pearson. He capably guided the growing parish through the prosperous era of the Roaring Twenties and the tough times of the Great Depression. (c1935)

The Trinity Church continued to grow and on Sunday, May 28, 1961, a new addition was formally dedicated. That addition contained a parish house, educational classrooms, and the St. Andrews Chapel. It was built on the former site of a historic home belonging to the Falls family. The Scottish Rite Cathedral is scene in the background. (c1975) Full Size

An old postcard of the Trinity Episcopal Church, showing East Falls Street running up toward the right of the photo. (c1920)

Another view of the Trinity Church. (1909)

The pulpit inside the Trinity Church. (c1940)

One of the altars inside the church. (c1940)

A view of the pews in the interior of the new church. (c1903) Full Size

The church choir in 1920 with who I believe is the Reverend William T. Reynolds, rector from 1920-1923, second from right at bottom. Full Size

The choir inside the church in 1947. Full Size

The Reverend Ralph E. Hovencamp (1914-1987), coming from an assignment in Cortland, New York, took over as rector in October 1947. He became an outstanding leader – with the congregation and also the local community. He was bestowed with the title of “Canon” in 1962. He served the congregation for thirty-three years until retiring in September 1980. He was named Rector Emeritus and continued to assist the new rector, the Rev. John E. Blewitt, for several years. (New Castle News Friday Sept 12, 1947)

(Jan 2012)

(Jan 2012)

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(Jan 2012)

In early 2011 the congregation of Trinity Episcopal Church merged with two other associated churches, located in Hermitage and Greenville, to form the new St. Jude’s Episcopal Church. The local church was renamed as the Trinity Ministry Center and shared all resources – including priests – with its other two sister missions. In December 2015 that arrangement ceased and the Trinity Episcopal Church returned to being an independent parish. (2010)


  1. I have a small Bible (New Testamant) that was awarded from St Andrews in New Castle for attendance in the year 1932. And another book that was awarded a few years later. If you would like to have these books, for historic purposes, let me know and I will send them to you. St Andrews was on the Southside of New Castle.

  2. I was confirmed in Trinity about 1950.

    The building housing the offices etc. seen in the back in the photo was built on the site of one of my mother’s (Marion Falls McKenzie) ancestral homes known as the Falls homestead. The property was a bequest of my great aunt Sara Dana Falls Davis about 1952.

    I say one of because her mother was Francis Cunningham Falls, granddaughter of industrialist R.W. Cunningham.


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