Parish History

TRINITY EPISCOPAL PARISH was organized on December 8, 1839, and among its first Vestrymen were Moses Strong, the first president of the State Bar Association of Wisconsin; William Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton; and Henry Dodge, who became the first governor of the Wisconsin Territory. It is part of the worldwide Anglican communion, which numbers some eighty million members.

The present building was erected in 1845 at a cost of $5,000. When the parish was debt-free, a requirement of Episcopal Canon law, Bishop Jackson Kemper consecrated the church on January 19, 1855.

Trinity is considered a perfect gem of Gothic revival architecture, and is reputedly the oldest church building in Wisconsin in continuous use. The handmade pews were installed in 1851, and the present altar and credence table, both made of native walnut, were installed in 1865. The eagle lectern, hand-carved from a single piece of oak, was installed in 1914.

Trinity’s windows are among its treasures. The trefoil Trinity window above the altar is said to be the oldest stained glass window in Wisconsin. Along with the other “picture windows,” it is a memorial to parishioners who played a prominent role in the early life of the church.

Two of these—the Mary and Martha and St. Cecilia windows—are by Louis Comfort Tiffany Studios. The geometric windows are Belgian glass and were installed in 1859.

Some of our members’ families have been parishioners for generations; others are newcomers. Trinity is today what it has always been—a vibrant community of believers.

Rooted in our Christian tradition of joyful worship, song, and prayer, we are committed to supporting and promoting a journey of spiritual growth that will serve the people of Trinity, the larger community, and the world.