Trinity Methodist Church
228 - 29th Street, Newport News, VA 23607


Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 10/12/10
WOWZERS! Thanks, Dave!
1906 1909 1910 Early 1900s 1929
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 11/20/04 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 03/16/04 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/01/06 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/22/03 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 11/19/03
WOWZERS! Thanks, Dave!
1944 Sunday, May 13, 1962
Wesley Choir
Sunday, September 30, 1962
Certificate of Promotion
May 1963 about 1965
Tim Parsons ('73) of VA - 02/26/17 Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 01/03/04 Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 02/20/06 Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 01/03/04 Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 01/27/04
A view of 29th Street in Newport News in 1944. Trinity United Methodist Church is in the background. (HPL) This was found in my mother's papers, as these were the students in her Sunday School class:

FRONT ROW: Marta Copeland, Sue Ellen Smith, Fowler White, Susan Comer;
2nd ROW: Scotty Jeffers ('68), D'Arcy Phillips, Debbie Muir, Janet Hogge;
3rd ROW: Randy Wood, Forrest Wall, Eddie Spain,
Mary Webster Keane
Of the three signatures on this Promotion Certificate:

Mary Sue Nelson ('52) is the sister of Jack ('54), Lloyd ('61), and Doug ('64) Nelson; W. Kenneth Bradshaw is the father of Billy (HHS - '65) and Susan (HHS - ?) Bradshaw; and Esdras S. Gruver is the father of Bill ('62) and Susan Gruver

Notice the two signatures on this Choir Certificate:

Mr. Gruver (03 Jan 1912 - 03 Aug 1989) is the father of Bill ('62) and Susan Gruver; Mr. Coulter is mentioned below

Trinity's Altar at Christmastide
about 1966 about 1966  
Courtesy of Fred Mays ('60) of VA - 12/27/03 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/15/04  
Thanks so much, Fred!
My mother had a box or two of these note cards; I remember them well!

WOW!  Thanks, Dave!
I do not recall ever seeing this postcard before, but it certainly brightened my day!


...The brick chapel shown on the right side of the photo (in the last two images) was dedicated in mid 1966. 
The line drawing on the (note card in the fourth image) is currently used as the front image on the church bulletin. 
It also shows the chapel as it is today... 

- Jim Phillips (WHS - '73) of VA - and present member of Trinity - 06/27/04
Thanks so much, Jim, for your corrections!

Saturday, October 28, 2000 Saturday, April 3, 2004
Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 01/03/04 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/03/04
Thanks, Dave!

Pipe Organ Rose Window Revelations 3:20 Window Matthew 9:14 Window Ruth 1:16 Window
The 2,360 pipe organ was built by the Austin Organ Company of Hartford, CT in 1950. Over the Back Balcony Over the East Balcony Over the West Balcony Below the West Balcony

These magnificent images were all shamelessly pilfered from Trinity's web site:


Coulter, J. Richard,  (Dick) 15860 Poppy Lane, #9 Los Gatos, CA, 95030   -  (408) 395-0909  -- 

Dick's involvement with handbells began in 1960 at Trinity Methodist Church, Newport News,  VA. 
He says he was privileged to attend the first national conference in St. Louis and later,
to be on the faculty of the first Directors Seminar--also in St. Louis: 

"I formed the St. John's Ringers, a high school group from St. John's Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA,
that made three European tours, several national tours, and one to Hawaii. 
The only person to be Chairman of two areas of AGEHR, Inc. without moving. 
I was Chairman of Area IX which later became Area XII. 
I have conducted massed choirs throughout the United States and as President of AGEHR, Inc.,
I was proud to be responsible for founding the first national children's festival/conferences.
It was during my tenure that the concept of a curriculum for directors was set in place. 
I was the founding director for the Bells Of The Cascades, a community choir in Portland, OR,
known for its success with sponsoring handbell cruises.  
I also served St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Salem, OR as Organist/Choirmaster
which had three handbell choirs
as well as an adult singing choir which made two tours of the United States and one to England. 
Although officially retired, I am the Organist/Choirmaster at St. Luke's Episcopal of Los Gatos, CA.
President of AGEHR, Inc.1989-91, Conductor, Clinician"

Victorian Choir Member
courtesy of
Courtesy of'sc.htm - 08/22/03

I have so many precious memories of my years at Trinity. 
Some of my favorites revolve around my choir participation.
The Antiphonal Choir was composed of eighth and ninth grade girls who sang at the early (8:30?)  morning service. 
We wore robes like those pictured above, and we sang,
I believe, but once a month.

During the school year of 1960-61, worshipers at this service were startled by what awaited them: six little girls with very big voices.  We sang in three part harmony: Becky Goolsby ('64) and Brenda Smith (WHS, '65) on first soprano; Rose Woodard ('65) and I ('65) on second soprano; and Paulette Westphal (HHS, '64) and Bettyrene Cook (HHS, '64) on alto.

In preparation we practiced one afternoon a week, during which time Mr. Coulter gave us what was tantamount to free private lessons - a very priceless gift, indeed which has remained with me through the years, surpassing even the training which I received in college.

Our voices were strong and sure, and blended so well that parishioners often told us it was hard to believe that there were only six of us, as we were able to fill the sanctuary.

As we grew older and graduated into the Epworth Choir - tenth through twelfth grade boys and girls who sang twice a month -
we had more fun, of course, but I doubt we ever sounded
quite as good as we did that year.

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 04/15/04

A favorite memory of the Gruvers and Trinity: one lovely spring Sunday morning, Rev Gruver, Bill, and I were standing outside the church between Sunday School and the 11 AM service,
just chatting. We were standing directly beneath the bell tower,
and I was standing close to it with my back to it,
wearing a navy blue suit.

Of course, the inevitable happened: SPLAT!. A hug gob
of pigeon poop landed square on my left shoulder & ran down the front of my jacket. Instantly, out of reflex & without thinking,
I said SH** quite loudly, and of course immediately
embarrassed myself and started apologizing. Rev. Gruver actually doubled over with laughter! He managed
to stop laughing long enough to say: "Don't worry about that -- I probably would have said the same thing!"

I seriously doubt he would have -- but maybe just said that
to put me at ease. But, he wasn't faking the laughter!!

Just an interesting insight into the man.


Another VERY interesting note, in the "small world" department:  turns out my wife is related to the Gruvers -- therefore I am now also!  We just located the wife's family reunion in Winchester, VA about 3 years ago. We haven't got it all sorted out yet, but I believe it's her first cousin that married a Gruver, who was Esdras' first cousin. Esdras was born & raised in that area -- they live about a half mile from the house in which Esdras
grew up, and showed it to us.

So I may be Esdras' first cousin by marriage,
and Bill's second. Truly, it's a small world.

By the way -- I was at Trinity just this past Sunday, June 6!! I took Dad (age 91) back to visit Mom's gravesite.
She passed away 2 years ago. They would have been married 71 years this past Tuesday. He had some flowers placed on Trinity's altar in her memory, and after the service we
placed them on her grave.
It was an emotionally draining trip, needless to say,
but it was nice seeing some of the old stomping grounds, and familiar faces at Trinity.

-  Ron Miller ('59) of NC - 06/12/04
HA-HA-HA-HA!  Thanks, Ron!
"The Methodists' chief Newport News citadel in those early days was Trinity Church on Twenty-Ninth Street. 
I never got to know many of its preachers, because the Methodists moved them in and out of town too fast. 
But Trinity usually had a strong preacher - one of Newport News's best."

- Parke Rouse, Jr., (The Good Old Days in Hampton and Newport News, 1986) , p. 195


Bless This House

- Words by Helen Taylor, Music by Mary Brahe, 1927

Bless this house O Lord we pray; Make it safe by night and day;
Bless these walls so firm and stout, Keeping want and trouble out:
Bless the roof and chimneys tall, Let thy peace lie over all;
Bless this door, that it may prove ever open to joy and love.

Bless these windows shining bright, Letting in God's heav'nly light;
Bless the hearth a'blazing there, with smoke ascending like a prayer;
Bless the folk who dwell within, keep them pure and free from sin;
Bless us all that we may be Fit O Lord to dwell with thee;
Bless us all that one day we May dwell O Lord with thee.

(This page was created on 08/22/03.)

"Bless This House" mid courtesy of,
located by my son, Nathaniel Harty of IL - 01/03/04
Thanks, Nathaniel!

"Bless This House" lyrics courtesy of - 01/03/04

United Methodist Church logo courtesy of - 01/10/08

Gold Filigree Divider Line clip art courtesy
- 12/15/03

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