OUR HERITAGE

The Monroe Street bethel of the Church of God located on Monroe Street, Harrisburg PA was dedicated to the service of the Lord on Sunday, October 21, 1917. Prior to that time, a few faithful Christians had been meeting in the home of John Fuqua. Brethren in the East Pennsylvania Eldership of the Church of God felt it was time for them to have a building in which they could gather and worship God.

Rev. William J. Winfield, a graduate of Lincoln University, was the first Pastor of Monroe Street Church of God. The congregation was small, but there was a desire to reach out to all that would listen. The church was not only a building erected by man, but an institution to spread the Word of God.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them”…Matthew 18:20 KJV. Among the first worshippers were Cora Adley, Mable Diggs, Betty Doval, Maggie Proctor, Ermine Winfield, Hennie Maxwell, Francis Proctor, Estan Franklin and Phil Williams.

A very special person joined the church, Lizzie Barnes. She is fondly remembered for her devotion and caring ways. She walked through the Herr Street subway from her home in the Uptown section of the City in all kinds of weather. The first in church and the last to leave. She had a special way with children and was respected and loved by all. In her travels she gathered the “little ones” who were in her primary Sunday School class and saw that they got to and from church safely.

A GROWING CONGREGATION

As the congregation grew, many others took up the banner to uphold the work of the Lord. Deacon Yates and Daniel Selvey, who often acted as Assistant to the Minister when the Pastor was away visiting the Newville and Brownsville charges.

Cora Saunders, Eliza Rollins, Pearl Rollins and Evangelist Roberts were part of the growing numbers of the assembly. Helen Ross, Catherine Waters, Mary Payne, Sarah Frazer, Ada Dodson, Fannie Barton, Selena Jackson, Joshua Robinson and George Jackson soon added their services to the church and the Lord. The list could go on and on for the Community took the church to heart and did all they could to help.

Sister Mary Potter opened her heart, talents and home to the young teenagers of the church. Two (2) of her helpers were Mable Buck and Naomi Gumby Banks. They gave plays, organized choirs, made robes and took many under their wings. Among the group was Bertha Johnson, Pauline Crummel, Gladys Proctor, Viola Dickey, Mary Jackson, Marjorie Waters…all who knew the Lord and gave their services in the Monroe Street Church of God.

There was another group that cannot be forgotten…Margaret Banks Crummel, Susie Banks Lester, Bertha Brown Washington, Celestine Franklin Carter…young adults who had attended Sunday School as children, sponsored dinners and other activities to raise funds to support the church and the Pastor.

40 YEARS IN THE COMMUNITY

During the more than forty (40) years that the Rev. William J. Winfield was the Pastor; there were many events that endeared him to the Community. In the late 1930’s he was the speaker on a radio morning devotional program every two (2) months.

At that time most of the choir members were in high school. Dr. Charles Fager, principal of William Penn High School gave permission for the students to be excused from school for two (2) hours in order to participate in the services. The choir also visited many of the churches in the area to minister through music.

An Annual visit was made to the sister church in Brownsville in the Fall. A great time of celebration was enjoyed by all. Deacon Will Tasker and family shared good food plus an uplifting serving of spiritual food. The Annual Church Picnic, sponsored by the Eldership, was held at Hershey Park. Sunday School attendance grew during the Spring and Summer months in anticipation of being able to attend the picnic.

Note of interest: The Monroe Street church family were the first Blacks allowed to attend Hershey Park. “Allowed” because they were affiliated with the Church of God.

GOOD ATTENDANCE IN SUNDAY SCHOOL

The Sunday School always had a good attendance. One year twelve (12) were baptized at the Green Street Church; most of that number are still members at Trinity. There was no shortage of musical programs presented in the church. The prime singers, a noted quartet, rendered their services twice a year. The John White Chorus, which used the church for practice sessions, gave a program once a month. On those occasions, the church was filled to capacity.

The young children and teenagers were always thought of in a special way. Straw rides were held practically every weekend during the Summer months. The journey took in different City neighborhoods, but the highlight was riding through Wildwood Park. A trip to the World’s Fair in New York City was spearheaded by Brother Carl Washington with the help of the Men’s Group. Two (2) buses were chartered for transportation. Sister Helen Ross Irvin sponsored a trip to Coney Island. A tour of the White House was instituted by Sister Lauretta Gregory with the help of Congressman Kunkle. Adults, as well as, youngsters enjoyed the trip.

Sister Mary Cooper was a dedicated Leader in the church until her health failed. She sponsored several projects on her own and always stood ready to help others in their endeavors. The care and upkeep of the Bulletin Board in front of the church was her specialty. One of the biggest supporters of the church and Sunday School, plus the welfare of the Pastor and his family, was Robert (Rob) Augustus Waters and his wife, Adgie (Agnes Banks Waters). Often Mr. Rob stood outside the church at Sunday School time to make sure the children did not spend their Sunday School money at the Corner Store.

For those that did not have any pennies, he would reach into his pocket to give them one and teach them to always contribute to God’s house. Of their eleven (11) children, all remained supporters of the church; five (5) of the sons became Deacons/Elders in later years, one (1) daughter became a Deaconess and two (2) daughters were former Mothers of the Church. The sons were always the designated janitors for the church. They took turns being responsible for opening the church, making sure there was wood for the fire so it would be warm enough for Service and keeping the church clean.

A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE

There were other supporters and well-wishers who also did their part in the up keeping of the church. Remembering a few…Leroy Ross, Charles Ross, Charles Lamb, Nip Franklin, Thea Yates, Bradley Ross, Amos Fraser and Bill Dickey. Even though these men were not members of Monroe, they were true supporters in every aspect. They gave their time and supported the church monetarily and they considered Monroe Street to be their church home.

The families in the area of Monroe Street Church of God made certain that their children were in Sunday School. To name a few…Adams, Ross, Ray, Smith, Waters, Jackson, Miller, Dickey, Echols, Payne, Winfield, Fields, Thompson, Hitchcock, Diggs, Corum, Coleman, Beck, Johnson, Devan, Crummel, Williams, Dudley, Byrd, Lyles, Washington, Richardson, Colbert, Alphonso, Banks, Cooper, Dunlap and many more. Most of them as adults, still remember the training they received at the Monroe Street bethel and are still active at the Trinity bethel as Leaders to a new generation.

The flood of 1936 hit the church building hard. Records, books and other material things were destroyed, but not the spirit and determination of the congregation. Prayers and hard work carried them over the crisis. Once the waters receded, the services were continued with praises to God that no lives were lost. Although most of the residents of the neighborhood were in the flood area, the Community labored long hours to do whatever could be done to help. Plans were carried out to do some remodeling of the edifice.

Rev. Winfield’s health began to fail in the 1950’s. On the advice of the Eldership Board, he was asked not to retire but to stay at the helm and appoint other Ministers to do the preaching. Rev. Carl Fulton and Rev. George London supported him in every way. They were truly men of God. After the death of Pastor Winfield in 1956, the church called into service several supply Pastors. The church members were determined to keep their identity and continued service in their church. Rev. J. B. Stewart, Rev. William Jones, Rev. Thirkield Berry and Rev. Howard Thompson answered the call to service and kept the church doors open.

In June of 1971, Rev. N. Harold Wheeler became the Pastor and remained so until 1984. During his pastorship the church was hit by the flood of 1972...Agnes. This time the whole neighborhood was devastated and many families moved out. Plans were in place to rebuild on the same site, but before the actual building was to begin, the word came that three (3) church buildings of our denomination were available…North Street, Green Street and Maclay Street. The congregation voted to buy the Maclay Street edifice. Fundraising projects were started, prayers were offered up and answered.

The former Monroe Street Church of God was renamed Trinity Church of God under the leadership of Rev. N. Harold Wheeler. A Dedication Service was held on April 21, 1974. The mortgage of $45,000.00 was paid off through prayer, dedicated members and the efforts of Rev. N. Harold Wheeler. Rev. Lloyd Hill took over the ministering duties in 1985 and added new spirit to the church. He had a powerful voice and will be especially remembered for his soul stirring rendition of “Precious Lord” and “Because He Lives“. Rev. Julius Bailey followed as Pastor in 1989. He had a great knowledge of the Bible and the Bible Study class, already in service, grew in number. During his period of leadership, new carpet was laid, the pews re-covered and name plates were added to the pews in memory of the departed.

Rev. Peter S. Edwards was appointed to take over the reins of the church in 1992. Under his auspices an air conditioner system was installed, the restrooms were remodeled, a computer training program, in partnership with the Former Governor George Leader Foundation that benefited the youth in our Community by providing class attendees with a computer upon completion of the training class, was established. He also instituted training classes to teach others to grow in the Word so that they could spread the Word of the Gospel. The congregation increased in number and the church grew spiritually.

INTERIM PASTOR PLACED ON JULY 18, 2004

Walter R. Dockens, Jr. was placed as Interim Pastor on July 18, 2004. He received his certification as a Licensed Pastor in the Eastern Regional Conference of the Churches of God on September 14, 2004 and was placed in his home church to serve as Pastor. He has a strong desire to see all of God’s called out, called in to service and obedience to the Kingdom of God. He stands firm upon the words written by Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Galatians…”bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Jesus Christ”…Galatians 6:2 KJV

Under his tutelage the congregation has increased by 114 new members, souls too numerous to mention saved and two (2) preaching Elders were ordained. Purchased two (2) vans, acquired two (2) adjoining properties and turned them into a parking lot. Established the YES Youth Ministry, set up food bank in conjunction with Fresh Express, served the Community through God’s Clothes Closet, joined the Harrisburg Lenten Fellowship Group, installed a sound system and incorporated a drummer and guitarist into the music ministry and involved with the Building Bridges Program.

The faithful who labored so hard in Monroe Street and carried the same zeal into Trinity cannot be forgotten. Those held dear in memory…Eleanor Fields, Melvin Folks, Myra Hinton, Hansel Hitchcock, Leroy House, Helen Irvin, Susie Lester, Eugene Moraney, Mary Moraney, Pearl Rollins, Isabelle Ross, Elder Daniel Selvey, Deacon Fletcher Smith, John Smith, Pauline Smith, Bertha Washington, Amos Jake Waters, Elder Earl Waters, Joyce Waters, Linda Waters, Monroe Waters, Deacon Nathan Waters, Elder Samuel Waters, Della Wise, Mary Cooper, Leona Waters-Hitchcock, Debra Burno, Rosamond Barton, Rosie Waters, Fred Guider, Elder John Q. Waters, Sr., Stanley Marshall Waters, Lauretta Hitchcock-Gregory, Agnes F. Waters-Byrd and others. They have reached their goals in the Kingdom, which is the reward for all good Christians who believe in the Lord. Generations and generations of those that began at the Monroe Street bethel and of those held dear in memory continue to worship, praise and serve the Lord at Trinity Church of God along with new families in uplifting the Kingdom of God.

TRINITY CHURCH OF GOD ADVANCES

As Trinity Church of God continues to advance with God in our hearts, prayers offered in earnest, eyes on a new bethel and being joined with new members, progress will continue to be made as we follow, trust, obey and serve the Lord. In August of 2014 a decision was made to vacate the Fourth Street bethel due to structural damage. Continuing to put our faith and trust in God, we wandered in the wilderness until March 12, 2017.

After an exhaustive search for a new bethel, God blessed us with a new bethel. A Dedication Service was held on Sunday, June 11, 2017 for our new bethel at 244 Harris Street, Harrisburg PA. Continuing under the tutelage of Pastor Walter R. Dockens, Jr. the congregation has continued to increase, have five (5) preaching Elders, four (4) Deaconesses, four (4) Deacons and a Deacon-in-training, placed a Hispanic congregation in the old bethel and purchased a new bethel. The ministry of saving souls, serving the Lord and reaching out to the Community has also continued.

The faithful who labored so hard in Monroe Street and carried the same zeal into Trinity cannot be forgotten. Those held dear in memory…Eleanor Fields, Melvin Folks, Myra Hinton, Hansel Hitchcock, Leroy House, Helen Irvin, Susie Lester, Eugene Moraney, Mary Moraney, Pearl Rollins, Isabelle Ross, Elder Daniel Selvey, Deacon Fletcher Smith, John Smith, Pauline Smith, Bertha Washington, Amos Jake Waters, Elder Earl Waters, Joyce Waters, Linda Waters, Monroe Waters, Deacon Nathan Waters, Elder Samuel Waters, Della Wise, Mary Cooper, Leona Waters-Hitchcock, Debra Burno, Rosamond Barton, Rosie Waters, Fred Guider, Elder John Q. Waters, Sr., Stanley Marshall Waters, Lauretta Hitchcock-Gregory, Agnes F. Waters-Byrd and others. They have reached their goals in the Kingdom, which is the reward for all good Christians who believe in the Lord. Generations and generations of those that began at the Monroe Street bethel and of those held dear in memory continue to worship, praise and serve the Lord at Trinity Church of God along with new families in uplifting the Kingdom of God.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”…Galatians 6:13 KJV

OUR MINISTRIES

At Trinity Church of Harrisburg, we believe rooting our activities in our community makes our ministry more effective and our church more doable. We encourage you to come and watch our various ministries in action. We have no doubt you will find a few that call to you to participate.

CHURCH HOURS

Join us at 9:00 a.m. for Sunday School and 10:00 a.m. for Sunday Morning Worship. For more service times.

PRAYER REQUEST

Don't carry your burden alone. Submit a prayer request online so our Prayer Warriors can be praying for you.

ONLINE TITHES

For God loves a cheerful giver. We offer the ability to pay tithes online that are safe and secure through our website.

X