Trinity Presbyterian Church came from a small country Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) church that had just held a 150th anniversary celebration in 1992. The majority of the Trinity congregation had faithfully attended that particular church most of their lives. Under the Biblical teaching of Pastor Rick Steele for close to 20 years, the congregation became increasingly dissatisfied with the direction of the PCUSA denomination.
Proper procedures were taken under a Presbytery Commission to discuss whether a majority of members desired to leave the PCUSA and seek affiliation with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). When a vote was taken, the needed percentage was less than the elders had deemed necessary. At that time the Presbytery Commission took action against the pastor and all but one elder because of their refusal to seek to ordain women as elders. Those men peacefully resigned. But to this end came the beginning of Trinity Presbyterian Church.
On May 22nd, 1994, the congregation rejoiced together as 56 adults became the first members to join Trinity Presbyterian Church. At this point Pastor Steele felt that his ministry had come to an end and it was time for new and fresh leadership. A Pastoral Search Committee then began to search for a new pastor. The very next Sunday, August 29th, 1993, these men, along with approximately 120 others from that congregation, worshipped together in the rented facilities of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Aledo. Since the leadership was still in tact, the transition went smoothly ahead. Trinity later voted to become a mission church under the PCA and months of membership classes began. During this time, some families felt that certain doctrines of the Reformed Faith were not acceptable to them. We have grieved at these losses, but our friendships and love for Christ have not been severed.
Trinity Church became a particular congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) on September 18th, 1994. Joel McCrory, John Roth, Norman Brown and Steve Blick were elected as the first ruling elders. Pastor Steele preached his last message at the end of October that year.
Pastor John Herberich preached at the church on November 13th, 1994 and was called by a unanimous vote to be the pastor. He and his wife and five children moved to Aledo in January 1995. It was a surprising discovery to learn that at the time Trinity was leaving the PCUSA denomination, Pastor Herberich was leaving the Evangelical Free denomination and going to seminary to move in to the PCA. Both pastor and congregation were being prepared for their future.
Pastor Herberich served Trinity until May 2001, when he and his family moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee and another pastoral search committee was formed.
In July of that year, while on vacation with family in northern Illinois, Pastor Daren Dietmeier and his wife, visited Aledo and Trinity Church, preached the sermon that Sunday, and administered the Lord’s Supper. After further discussions with the pastoral search committee, Pastor Dietmeier applied for the pastoral position, and following a candidating visit in late August, was unanimously called as Trinity’s third pastor. He assumed the position on November 1st, 2001, and was installed on Sunday, November 18th, 2001.
In late 2010, we began to realize our beautiful church building on SW 2nd Avenue in town was becoming less adequate in terms of size and capability for a growing congregation. In January 2011, the elders appointed a Property Acquisition Team (PAT) of 6 members of our congregation to make a recommendation on purchasing additional property and how to fund it.
By December of 2011, Trinity Church had reached a crossroads in her life. Would we expand our present building by purchasing adjoining properties, would we purchase another church building or other existing building or even property, and build an entirely new church building? Or would we tear down the church in which we worshipped, and build new there? It was an exciting time, but we were not yet clear on what God would have us to do.
The PAT researched all possible options, and in the meantime, property south of town (this property) was purchased by members of the church family as a possible option for building a new worship facility. “Town hall” meetings with the congregation were held in November 2012 to gain a sense of the direction of the entire church family.
The property acquisition team’s recommendation was to build new on this property. The majority of the membership also desired we build new on this property.
With this information in hand, a joint meeting of the elders and deacons in December 2012 revealed near unanimous support to build new on this property.
Finally, in February 2013, the elders approved the motion to building new on this property. An exterior design team for the new building was appointed, and consultations with an architect began. Work would begin when half of the estimated cost of the project was received in the Building Fund. A mock-up of the building was revealed to the congregation at our annual church picnic in late summer, and ground was broken to begin building on September 12th, 2013.
Several other teams composed of various members of Trinity Church were formed to develop the building in addition to the exterior design team – an interior design team, a kitchen team, and a sanctuary sound/video team.
Our last service of worship in the old building took place on December 28th, 2014, bringing to a close more than 21 years in our congregation’s first home. And the next Sunday, January 4th, 2015, our first service of worship was held in our new home.
Trinity has in its congregation families with young children and those with children in college, some widows, retired couples and those whose families are grown.
Just like the history of the world, there have been battles and will continue to be battles. Through all of this, the message has never been said “God this is what we want to do so bless us.” Rather, “God, what is your will, please lead.” Our leadership may change, our life circumstances may change but to God be the Glory, He does not change!