FOUNDED IN 1841 AND STILL MAKING HISTORY
A storied past
Trinity Episcopal Church was founded by the Rev. Benjamin Eaton in 1841. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Mr. Eaton was a missionary for the Episcopal Church sent to the most important city in the Republic of Texas to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
The first church building was finished in 1842 on our current property but was destroyed by a hurricane in 1843. The current worship space was completed in 1857.
Trinity Episcopal Church survived the Civil War Battle of Galveston of 1863, though being struck by a cannonball during the fighting. The cannonball remains embedded in the bricks of the church.
During the yellow fever epidemics of the 19th century, two priests serving Trinity Church succumbed to the disease and died. A monument in the sacristy of the church remembers their sacrificial ministry.
In 1871, Mr. Eaton collapsed in the pulpit of the church and died. The grieving parishioners lovingly buried him in a crypt below the altar of the church that can still be visited today.
During the Great Storm of 1900, the entire south wall of the church was swept away by the storm surge. Eventually, the entire structure was raised four and a half feet in 1925 to protect it against future storms. The brick line of this engineering feat is visible all around the church.
Like so many parishes across the United States, members of Trinity Church served in the military in both world wars. Monuments to their service are stationed in the Narthex (entrance) to the church.
A set of bells was given by the Sealy family in the late 1920s that are still manually played during our worship services and throughout the week at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal School was started in the early 1950s to provide the children of Galveston Island with an excellent academic and religious education. This current iteration of the school is the third school to be associated with Trinity Church.
The current organ was installed after a successful capital campaign in 1985. The antiphonal organ was given by the estate of Mary Moody Northen following her death and burial at Trinity Church.
The church was damaged again during Hurricane Ike. A major restoration took place to repair the damage. Another restoration project took place in 2016 to renovate Eaton Hall, the fellowship hall for the church that is a memorial to first rector and is also a 1900 storm survivor. Both the church and Eaton Hall are registered as national historic landmarks.