History of Grace & Holy Trinity Church (2023)


History of Grace & Holy Trinity Church (1)

In 1858, Grace Church was planted at the corner of Foushee and Main Streets in the “near west end.” In 1874, Holy Trinity Church was planted a bit farther west, just across from Monroe Park, in what was then the “far west end.” Holy Trinity – originally called Moore Memorial Chapel – was established as a memorial to Bishop Richard Channing Moore, who led the revitalization of the Episcopal Church in Virginia in the 19th century.

In 1924, Grace Church and Holy Trinity Church merged. As Richmond grew into a major metropolis, Grace & Holy Trinity Church has found itself in the heart of the city. We enjoy the challenges and opportunities that this strategic location offers.

A strong music ministry and an abiding commitment to service and outreach have long been hallmarks of our church. Grace & Holy Trinity unites people from across the metropolitan area as they come for worship and education each Sunday, enjoy fellowship over a hot breakfast, and work together in a variety of ministries throughout the week.

(Video) Grace & Holy Trinity Church: A Video History

Learn More About Our Art and Architecture

Austin organ

History of Grace & Holy Trinity Church (2)The Holy Trinity building, completed in about 1894, contained a mechanical-action Hook & Hastings organ. When Holy Trinity and Grace Churches merged in 1924, Hook & Hastings enlarged the organ, using their new electro-pneumatic action to operate the existing windchests. Evidently the original windchests had problems, so that by World War II, the organ needed to be rebuilt and enlarged. The console shell was retained, and most of the pipes were replaced with ventil windchests.

By the 1970s the ventil chests and the console were beginning to show their age. In 1979, a new Austin organ was installed and the Hook & Hastings was sold. After the initial installation, additions were made through the years, such as the Trompette en Chamade in the back.

This Gallery Trumpet, installed in 1996, was made possible by a gift in memory of Richard Caswell Cooke, Sallie Lewis Broaddus and Gray Massie Broaddus. Around this time, the console also was converted from electro-mechanical combination action to solid-state. However, the work was entrusted to different firms at different times, each using the type of action they preferred. The result was a confusing array of devices that were not fully compatible. Lewis & Hitchcock recommended converting the organ to one system of operation, and in 2004 the console was removed to their factory, where it was fitted with a new system designed by the Peterson Electro-Musical Company of Chicago, Illinois. All the information is sent from the console over an ethernet cable. Each organist has a data bank available to keep combinations, which may be locked. The organ system software is updated regularly. In 2008 a gift in memory of Freda Hatcher Rollings was made for a moveable organ console. This makes our wonderful organ more accessible to the community.

Angel window

History of Grace & Holy Trinity Church (3)The prestigious Tiffany Studios of New York made the window on the north aisle of the church that depicts an angel. Opalescent glass, which transmits light but is not transparent, was used instead of clear glass. Tiffany archives our window simply as “angel window.”

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The window depicts an angel in flight playing an elongated trumpet. The angel’s garment is depicted with folds and feathers skillfully developed by a combination of details within the glass and the leaden strips. The designer chose to place the tips of the wings beneath the elaborate Gothic canopy and the trumpet in front of it.

The window was installed in 1905. It was given by Mrs. Byrd Warwick in memory of her husband, Byrd Warwick (1848-1894), and her son, Byrd Warwick, Jr., (1878-1901), who died while a student at the University of Virginia.

The window is inscribed: Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.

Reflection Questions for the Angel Window

The next time you have a quiet moment in the church, look at the Angel Window up close, and ponder these questions:

  • Notice the angel’s elongated trumpet. The long trumpet represents the call for the general resurrection. In what story in Scriptures did angels announce a resurrection?
  • By tradition, the Archangel Gabriel will make the call for general resurrection. Gabriel is typically depicted as a handsome young man. What other angels can you name?
  • Look closely to see how the artist crafted the details of the angel’s garment. In Scriptural references to angels, how are their garments described? What color are they?
Dorcas window

History of Grace & Holy Trinity Church (4)This window, a gift of Thomas Nelson Page, is by Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc. It is the only window in the nave signed by the maker (lower right corner). Although the exact date of the window’s installation is unknown, Mr. Page was given approval of the vestry in November 1889 to install it.

Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc., is a studio founded in 1847 by Joseph Gabriel Mayer (1808-1883) as the “Institute for Christian Art.” The first overseas branch of the studio opened in London in 1865, and in 1888 a branch opened in New York City, bringing the company to full international status. In 1892, Pope Leo XIII named the company a “Pontifical Institute of Christian Art.” Today the company is managed by Gabriel Mayer (b. 1938) and his son Michael C. Mayer (b. 1967), who is the fifth generation.

Dorcas is depicted under a fanciful gothic canopy, distributing food and clothes to the poor. Dorcas was a widow who lived in Joppa and was raised from the dead by Saint Peter; she was known for her acts of charity (The Acts of the Apostles 9:36-42).

The Dorcas window is dedicated to Anne Page, the youngest daughter of Charles and Sarah Seddon Bruce, who died unexpectedly at the age of 21, about two years after her marriage to Thomas Nelson Page (1853-1922). She is buried in Hollywood Cemetery.

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The window is inscribed: “The King’s daughter is all glorious within.”

Reflections Questions for the Dorcas Window

The next time you have a quiet moment in the church, look at the Dorcas Window up close, and ponder these questions:

  • How does Grace and Holy Trinity Church carry on the charitable spirit of Dorcas?
  • By what other name is Dorcas known?
  • What was so special about Dorcas that her friends took the extraordinary step to seek out St. Peter with a plea to raise her from the dead?
  • What did Dorcas leave as her legacy?
  • Read and reflect on the Dorcas story (Acts 9:36-43).
Murals behind the altar
The Annunciation to Mary
The Nativity

The Women at Jesus’ Tomb
The Ascension

For more than 80 years, four murals have graced the walls at the back of our chancel (behind the altar). Painted in Gothic Revival style by Frederick Auguste Benzenberg, they depict (from left to right) the Annunciation to Mary, the Nativity, the women at Jesus’ tomb, and the Ascension.

Done on canvas, our murals were applied to our walls by the Gorham Company in 1929. They are a memorial gift honoring Col. John W. Gordon from his children. Col. Gordon also gave two of our stained glass windows (on the south wall) and helped raise the money for the new stone church in the 1880s.

In 1947 a leak developed in the roof over the Ascension panel and badly damaged it. Vestry minutes from December 1948 reveal that after much searching, Benzenberg was located and then hired to paint a replacement panel, which was installed in 1949.

Before the age of air conditioning, outdoor air from open windows allowed in dirt that damaged the murals. In 2002, art cleaners were hired to restore them. Fun fact: When a variety of chemicals failed to clean the murals, one cleaner swabbed a Q-tip in her mouth and was surprised to find the saliva removed the soot. The murals were then cleaned with synthetic saliva!

Reflections Questions for the Murals

The next time you have a quiet moment in the church, look at these beautiful paintings up close, and ponder these questions:

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  • What symbol of the Holy Spirit is seen in the Annunciation mural?
  • How is Mary dressed in the Annunciation and Nativity murals? Does she look the same?
  • What background do you see that reflects the Gothic Revival style?
  • What is the source of light in the murals? What might this suggest about the artist’s intention?
  • What do you notice about the angels in the paintings?
General history of the building

History of Grace & Holy Trinity Church (9)The Moore Memorial Church was established in 1874 by the members of Saint James’s Church, then on Fifth Street at the corner of Marshall. They purchased a lot on Laurel Street facing Monroe Park and erected a frame building at a cost of $8,000. The new church commemorated the legacy of the Rt. Rev. Richard Channing Moore, a longtime bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. The first service was held in the church on July 24, 1874.

A larger structure was soon required, and B. J. Black (1834-1892), a Richmond architect, was hired to design it. Black projected a building 59 by 119 feet, seating 1,000, with an interior height of 70 feet and a spire reaching 160 feet. Stone for the church came from James Netherwood’s quarry along today’s Riverside Drive in south Richmond.

The first service was held in the new church on January 1, 1888. Though the nave was completed, there were insufficient funds to finish the façade, and a temporary board front was constructed.

By that time, architect Black had died. The building committee contacted New York architect J. Stewart Barney (1868-1925), a Richmond native whose late mother had been a member of Moore Memorial Church. He agreed not to charge for his services provided a memorial plaque to his mother was erected. If such a plaque existed, it has now been removed. Barney was engaged in February 1894, and the vestry determined that the church would be known as the Church of the Holy Trinity, a memorial to Bishop Moore.

Barney’s “late French Gothic” design was dominated by a 110-foot tower, featuring what is probably the largest belfry of any Richmond church; notably, it has never housed a bell.

The tower stood directly in the path of a tornado that struck city in May 1951. The pinnacle of the tower unfortunately needed to be removed; former rector Hill Brown referred to this as the church’s “crew cut.”

One of the few ornaments on the front of the building is the gargoyle positioned where the rounded interior stairwell intersects with the front wall. This one is purely decorative; the originals, hundreds of years ago, served as waterspouts.

The consolidation with Grace Church, formerly at Main and Foushee streets, took place on June 1, 1924, at the Laurel Street location. The merger meant a need for more Sunday School space. Architects Baskervill & Lambert provided plans for a new parish house on the north side of the church building. It opened in 1929, its façade a virtual match with the rest of the church building. The parish house was designated a memorial to Dr. Gravatt, who died just after the church consolidation. “Gravatt Memorial” is inscribed between the first and second story windows of the addition’s façade.

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Continued growth brought the need for more parking, which was made possible in the 1980s by a small land acquisition and the demolition of an old parish hall. A new parish hall was added in 1983; it was designed by Glave, Newman & Anderson in a contemporary style considered appropriate for the era. The Parish Hall was renovated in 2016.


Are there Christians who don't believe in the Trinity? ›

Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity that rejects the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity—the belief that God is three distinct hypostases or persons who are coeternal, coequal, and indivisibly united in one being, or essence (from the Ancient Greek ousia).

What are 3 beliefs about the Trinity? ›

This belief is called the doctrine of the Trinity: God the Father - the creator and sustainer of all things. God the Son - the incarnation of God as a human being, Jesus Christ, on Earth. God theHoly Spirit - the power of God which is active in the world, drawing people towards God.

What are the 4 types of grace? ›

John Wesley and the Wesleyan Traditions speak of four types of grace: prevenient, justifying, sanctifying, and glorifying.

Where did the doctrine of the Trinity come from? ›

The doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the early Christians and fathers of the Church as they attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions.

Is the Trinity proven in the Bible? ›

The New Testament contains no explicit trinitarian doctrine. However, many Christian theologians, apologists, and philosophers hold that the doctrine can be inferred from what the New Testament does teach about God.

Is the Trinity true in the Bible? ›

The word “Trinity” can be found nowhere in the Bible. It is completely incongruous with scriptural understanding of God. God is not three persons. There is only one God and it is the Father.

Why do some Christians not believe in the Trinity? ›

Some Christians do not believe in the Trinity because they think it may lead to the idea that there is more than one God. 5. Describe how Philippians 2:5–8 and John 14:16–17 can be used to support the Christian belief in the Trinity. Philippians shows that Jesus is equal to God as it says he was 'in very nature God'.

What are the 5 graces of God? ›

The name, “Five Graces”, refers to an Eastern concept — the five graces of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Each needs to be honored in the full experience of life.

What are the 3 Graces of God? ›

The number of Graces varied in different legends, but usually there were three: Aglaia (Brightness), Euphrosyne (Joyfulness), and Thalia (Bloom). They are said to be daughters of Zeus and Hera (or Eurynome, daughter of Oceanus) or of Helios and Aegle, a daughter of Zeus.

What is the full meaning of grace? ›

noun. ˈgrās. : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification. : a virtue coming from God. : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.

Who came up with the Holy Trinity? ›

The words 'the Trinity' are the English equivalent of the Latin word Trinitas, which was coined by the early Christian writer Tertullian. The word, which, etymologically, means something like 'the tripleness', is used to refer collectively to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Who created the theory of the Trinity? ›

Tertullian (155-200 CE) was the first to use the Latin term 'trinity'. He described it as a "divine economy" as in the household or monarchy of God. God the Father laid out the divine plan, God the Son carried out the will of the Father, and God the Spirit motivated the will of God in believers (Adversus Praxean, 27).

When did God create the Trinity? ›

Christians believe that the Trinity was present at the creation of the world. God the Father is the creator, but Genesis 1 shows that the Holy Spirit also had a role: The Spirit of God was hovering over the water.

Does God belong to the Trinity? ›

Christians believe that God is a Trinity of Persons, each omnipotent, omniscient and wholly benevolent, co-equal and fully divine. There are not three gods, however, but one God in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

What does the Bible say about the Holy Trinity? ›

1 Corinthians 8:6

6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Is OMG taking the Lord's name in vain? ›

"If you say something like 'Oh my God,' then you're using His name in vain, but if you're saying something like OMG it's not really using the Lord's name in vain because you're not saying 'Oh my God. ' It's more like 'Wow.

Do Baptists believe in the Trinity? ›

Shared doctrines would include beliefs about one God; the virgin birth; miracles; atonement for sins through the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus; the Trinity; the need for salvation (through belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, his death and resurrection); grace; the Kingdom of God; last things ( ...

Who exactly is the Holy Spirit? ›

For the majority of Christian denominations, the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and is Almighty God. As such he is personal and also fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and Son of God.

Why don't Muslims believe in the Holy Trinity? ›

The Quran repeatedly and firmly asserts God's absolute oneness, thus ruling out the possibility of another being sharing his sovereignty or nature. In Islam, the Holy Spirit is believed to be the Angel Gabriel. Muslims have explicitly rejected Christian doctrines of the Trinity from an early date.

Why do Pentecostals not believe in the Trinity? ›

View of the Trinity

Oneness Pentecostals believe that the Trinitarian doctrine is a "tradition of men" and is neither scriptural nor a teaching of God, citing the absence of the word "Trinity" from the Bible as one evidence of this.

Do Mormons believe Jesus is God? ›

Latter-day Saints are Christians on the basis of our doctrine, our defined relationship to Christ, our patterns of worship and our way of life. What Do We Believe About Christ? We believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh (John 3:16).

Is Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit the same? ›

In the scriptures, the Holy Ghost is called by several names, such as: “the Spirit,” “the Spirit of God,” “the Spirit of the Lord,” “the Spirit of Truth,” “the Holy Spirit,” and “the Comforter.” Some of these same terms are also used to refer to the Light of Christ, which may also be called “the Spirit of Christ,” and ...

Is the Holy Spirit a Person or a Spirit? ›

In the New Testament, the divine Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, becomes more personal. He now comes to be sealed within the believer.

What is the purpose of the Holy Trinity? ›

Because the Trinity helps us to understand how the Persons of the Godhead-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-relate to one another and so work in this world, as well as how the triune God has designed many relationships among us humans to take place.

What are two reasons why the Trinity is important? ›

The Trinity Provides a Framework for the New Testament

While he was fully human, he was also fully God, as he had been from the beginning (John 1:1) and will be forever. This is difficult to explain. But the Trinity helps. It also helps explain passages in which all three members of the Trinity appear.

How do Catholics explain the Holy Trinity? ›

The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion — the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another.

What are the 2 kinds of grace? ›

Theologians have defined two kinds of grace: common grace and special grace.

What are the 3 work of grace? ›

The authority, the power, and the wisdom of God enable us to enter the purpose of God, which is the third work or area of grace. The third work of grace is the creation, through Christ, of a living house for God in which He can rest for eternity.

What is God's gift of grace? ›

The Gift of Grace is Given to Us

The gift of grace has been given to us by God so that we may give it to others, even if we do not think they deserve it. Jesus was sent to the cross and died to save us from our sin when he did not deserve this suffering. However, he did this through the gift of sacrificial love.

Who is the goddess of grace? ›

Aglaea (/əˈɡliːə/) or Aglaïa (/əˈɡlaɪə/; Ancient Greek: Ἀγλαΐα, lit. 'festive radiance') is one of the three Charites or Gratiae (Graces) in Greek mythology.

Who is the mother of the three graces? ›

They were three girls that, according to the poet Hesiod, were daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, a sea nymph with whom the god of Olympus had a brief love affair. The Three Graces were called Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalya, and they were always together.

What are the seven levels of grace? ›

The strands we will consider are predestination, regeneration, effectual calling, justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification.

What is God's purpose of grace? ›

V. God's Purpose of Grace. Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end.

What is God's definition of grace? ›

grace, in Christian theology, the spontaneous, unmerited gift of the divine favour in the salvation of sinners, and the divine influence operating in individuals for their regeneration and sanctification.

What is the true meaning of God's grace? ›

The definition of grace could be “God's life, power and righteousness given to us by unmerited favor.” It is through grace that God works effective change in our hearts and lives. Grace gives us a new life which is not condemned by God.

Who is the first Person of the Blessed Trinity and why? ›

(a) The first Person of the Blessed Trinity is called the Father because from all eternity He begets the second Person, His only-begotten Son. (b) God the Father is called the first Person not because He is greater or older than the other two Persons, but because He is unbegotten.

What is the oldest Trinity? ›

The oldest extant work in which the word "Trinity" itself (Greek Trias, triados) is used is Theophilus of Antioch's 2nd-century To Autolycus. There it is used to refer to God, his word and his wisdom.

Who is God the Father in Christianity? ›

God the Father is a title given to God in various religions, most prominently in Christianity. In mainstream trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is regarded as the first person of the Trinity, followed by the second person, God the Son Jesus Christ, and the third person, God the Holy Spirit.

What religion does not believe in the Trinity? ›

Oneness Pentecostals reject the Trinity doctrine, viewing it as pagan and unscriptural, and hold to the Jesus' Name doctrine with respect to baptisms. Oneness Pentecostals are often referred to as "Modalists" or "Sabellians" or "Jesus Only".

How did God reveal the Trinity? ›

The revelation of the Trinity is accomplished by the coming of God himself into human history: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son (John 3:16); God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Rom 5:5).

Do all Christians accept the Trinity? ›

The Trinity is a controversial doctrine; many Christians admit they don't understand it, while many more Christians don't understand it but think they do. In fact, although they'd be horrified to hear it, many Christians sometimes behave as if they believe in three Gods and at other times as if they believe in one.

What percentage of Christians believe in the Trinity? ›

Trinity confusion

A clear majority of Americans (72%) say they believe in the classic Christian doctrine of the Trinity—one God in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Why do JW not believe in the Trinity? ›

Witnesses reject the Trinity doctrine, which they consider unscriptural. They view God as the Father, an invisible spirit "person" separate from the Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is described as God's "active force", rather than the third part of the Trinity.

What is the problem with Trinity? ›

The fundamental problem orthodox Latin Trinitarians face is that of maintaining a distinction between Trinitarian Persons sufficient to avoid Sabellianism, since orthodox Christians hold that the Persons of the Trinity are not merely aspects of God or God under different descriptions but in some sense distinct ...

Who invented the Trinity? ›

The words 'the Trinity' are the English equivalent of the Latin word Trinitas, which was coined by the early Christian writer Tertullian. The word, which, etymologically, means something like 'the tripleness', is used to refer collectively to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Do Muslims accept the Trinity? ›

However, Muslims and Christians also find themselves differing over how this God is one, with Muslims rejecting the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

Do Mormons believe in the Trinity? ›

Do Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Believe in the Trinity? Like many Christians, we believe in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. However, we don't believe in the traditional concept of the Trinity.

Do Pentecostals believe in the Trinity? ›

View of the Trinity

Oneness Pentecostals believe that the Trinitarian doctrine is a "tradition of men" and is neither scriptural nor a teaching of God, citing the absence of the word "Trinity" from the Bible as one evidence of this.

What religions do not believe in the resurrection? ›

Jehovah's Witnesses and Cremation

Members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, known as Jehovah's Witnesses, differ from many other Christians in that they believe in spiritual rather than physical resurrection.

Do Jehovah's Witnesses take the Bible literally? ›

The Bible. Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible was inspired by God and is historically accurate. They see the Bible as the main way in which God communicates his will to human beings, and they interpret it literally (except for passages that are obviously meant to be symbolic or poetic).

What is forbidden in Jehovah Witness? ›

The denomination requires adherence to a strict moral code, which forbids premarital sex, homosexuality, gender transitioning, adultery, smoking, drunkenness and drug abuse, and blood transfusions.

Why do Jehovah Witnesses believe only 144 000 go to heaven? ›

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that exactly 144,000 faithful Christians from Pentecost of 33 AD until the present day will be resurrected to heaven as immortal spirit beings to spend eternity with God and Christ. They believe that these people are "anointed" by God to become part of the spiritual "Israel of God".


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