Trinity Church, Newport, Rhode Island.
The Trinity Church is located at 141 Spring Street, Newport, Rhode Island. Built and founded in 1725, the Trinity Church is the oldest Episcopal parish in Rhode Island. It was designed by Rhode Island resident Richard Munday. Munday patterned his designs after Sir Christopher Wren’s architectural plans for the 17th-century churches in London. The Trinity Church is very similar to Boston’s Old North Church except that the first was built using just wood. Historians believe that the Trinity Church is the only church that has a three-tiered wineglass pulpit that is still in its original location – that is, at the center of the aisle and in front of the altar. During 1732, the first organ was donated to the church by Dean George Berkeley. The organ had a handsome wooden case decorated by the Crown on England and the diadems of the archbishops of York and Canterbury.
The organ first produced music for the Trinity Church under the masterful fingers of pianist Charles Theodore Pachelbel. Pachelbel is the son of Johann Pachelbel who was a renowned composer of the German Baroque period. The church patrons steadily rose in number and in 1764, the church was renovated to be able to accommodate more devotees. In 1776 to 1778, it was used as a stronghold by the British Army. George Washington himself used to attend mass in the Trinity Church during the 1780s. Other notable personalities associated with the church are Le Chevalier de Ternay and Dr. Sylvester Gardiner.
Both are buried in the churchyard. Le Chevalier de Ternay, who died on December 1780, was a prominent French admiral while Dr. Sylvester Gardiner founded the city of Gardiner when he bought a large piece of land from the Maine wilderness in 1753. In 1920, architect Norman Isham was commissioned to restore portions of the Trinity Church which was featured in movies such as the Amistad and Evening.
The Trinity Church is so named to honor the belief that there are three divine beings, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (also called Holy Ghost) united in one God. This idea of the trinity church has its roots in Christ’s teachings in the New Testament. The belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was defined and established by the earliest general council of churches, the Council of Nicaea in 325. The Council abolished the notions of hierarchy and ascertained that the Son is of the same holiness as the Father. However, a disagreement concerning how the Holy Spirit stands in relation to the Father and Son arose between the East Branch and West branch of the church. Nonetheless, most Christians believe that all three divine beings are of equal power and glory.