One early September evening, in 1892, a group of vacationers met on a cottage porch
on Mount Pocono's Pine Knoll near Knob Road to worship together.
Leading the group on his rented porch was Episcopal priest, and Divinity School professor,
Loring W. Batten. He impulsively proposed that a collection be taken to
start a building fund for a Church. His suggestion was met with instant approval
from everyone, including attendees from other faiths. Vacationing architect Thomas
V. Lonsdale volunteered to donate building plans. The Harry S. Cattel family offered
a piece of their large property as a building site.
During the following three years, sporadic fund raising took place. In 1894,
Dr. Batten was asked to conduct Sunday services at a large Mount Pocono hotel. He
agreed on the condition that all of the offerings go to the building fund that he
had started. The result was an explosion of craft fairs, bake sales, Church dinners,
Ladies Aid activities and an organized solicitation drive.
Enough money was in hand or pledged so that ground could be broken in May 1896.
The first service was held in the completed Church on July 12. At that memorable
event, Captain John M. Walton, Chairman of the new Board of Directors, and his wife
donated $1000 to be applied to the mortgage. Their magnanimity prompted other parishioners
to more than match the amount and the mortgage was burned at a special ceremony
that same summer.
So, in 1896, Trinity Parish began it's debt free life on it's official Consecration
on August 9. The service was conducted by The Rt. Rev. George Kinsolving,
missionary Bishop of Texas and friend of Dr. Batten. Also present and participating
in parts of the service were The Rev. Thomas C. Yarnall, DD; The Rev. John C. Lord,
Rector of All Saints Memorial, Navesink, NJ, and The Rev. Dr. Batten.
Dr. Batten had contacted Bishop Kinsolving, who was vacationing in Nova Scotia,
when the Bishop of Bethlehem fell ill and could not consecrate the Chapel. Kinsolving
made a rapid - for those days - and adventurous trip via boat, railroad and horse
and carriage to arrive in time.
Loring Batten preached that day, and his sermon contained words that have become
a standard for all subsequent additions and improvements to Trinity's physical facilities:
"Everything shall be done on the assumption that anything that is to be devoted
to the service of God must, above all things, be not only appropriate but, as far
as may be possible, beautiful."
When Trinity was a Summer Chapel, folks came from all the hotels and boarding houses
to attend. They weren't necessarily Episcopalians, although many were. A few "locals
" also attended. Sometimes only a handful worshipped. At other times, the Chapel
pews were full as almost 200 worshipers crowded Trinity on an anniversary of its
consecration or to hear especially well known or well loved priests' sermons.
In 1921 and 1922, the first years that attendance records were kept, attendance
ranged from 7 to 29. Attendance rose in 1923 and 1934. The smallest congregation
consisted of 9, the largest of 87. In 1932, 125 attended a Confirmation service
on July 24, and 96 celebrated the anniversary of Trinity's Consecration in Mid August.
From that point on, attendance averaged from 30 plus to well over 100.
Trinity celebrated its first baptism in 1898. Baby Francis Joseph Smith, whose parents
were Lewis T. and Martha. His sponsor was Angelina F. Wilson. As years went by,
more baptisms took place, weddings were celebrated and the Bishop of Bethlehem blessed
confirmations. Between 1898, when baby Francis was baptized, and 1962, when a full
time Vicar began to work at Trinity, 56 infants and children were baptized at the
A total of 38 marriages were held in the beautiful Sanctuary between 1907, the first
recorded, and 1961.
A variety of Episcopal priests served the Chapel as summer followed summer. Their
names are found in the old Record Book, which is carefully preserved in the Parish
Office. Some names are familiar to Trinity history.
A vision of the Kingdom, commitment to servant hood, and dedication to future generations
of God's children have inspired Trinity's members from the congregation's earliest
beginnings. Trinity has never been a large parish. In fact, since it's humble
beginnings in 1896, a relatively small congregation of faithful parishioners worked
diligently and well to create the facilities which house the Trinity Church of the
Trinity has remained relatively debt free throughout the long process of growing
from a small group worshipping on a cottage porch, to a Summer Chapel, to a Mission
Congregation with a full time Vicar, to a "congregation of record", to
it's present day status. Inspired by those visionaries who built a Chapel of enduring
beauty, succeeding generations have added the Great Parish Hall, a Rectory, and
an addition of offices, classrooms, a kitchen and library. Each building project
has been designed in keeping with the church itself, and executed to maintain the
original design's artistic integrity.
In 1924, the summer attendees at Trinity Chapel decided to build a "Guild Hall".
At that time, they figured out that they would need to raise about eight thousand
dollars. As is the case in Trinity style, they did. Ground was broken for this project
By 1960, a growing number of fulltime residents in the Mount Pocono area expressed
their desire to worship year round at Trinity. On October 13, a meeting was held
after Church services. The modest congregation voted to keep Trinity open all year
for worship. Bishop Warnecke of the Diocese of Bethlehem was asked to come to Mount
Pocono to confer. The Episcopalian Department of Mission surveyed the area and determined
that a fulltime program was feasible. The Diocese was willing to make arrangements
to hold family services at Trinity each Sunday, and Trinity would be classed as
a Mission congregation.
By 1962, The Rev. Ernest Young, who first served the parish while an intern, was
called as Vicar. Organists played the old Hook and Hasting pump organ. A water driven
turbine in the basement of the Church was fed from the Hawthorne Inn cistern to
power a fan that, in turn, blew air in the pipe organ chests. Later that year, the
embryonic congregation voted to build a Rectory in the woods up the hill from their
church. Fr. Young remained with Trinity until 1967.
The next Vicar to be called was Father Ralph Roth. He and his family moved into
the Rectory in 1967. Soon Father Roth was able to enlarge the congregation so that
it became a "congregation of record", no longer financially dependent
on the Diocese and abandoning it's former mission status.
In 1990, thanks largely to the persistence and vision of one Trinity member, Trinity
Parish extended it's Parish Hall and added the Rector's study, the Church Office,
a modern and well equipped kitchen, an inviting library, along with three classrooms,
and adequate restrooms.
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