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HISTORY OF HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Serving the Thermopolis Community

In 1903,Dora (Marin) McGrath appealed for help to The Rev. John Roberts. As Wyoming had no permanent bishops, Rev. Roberts promised to come to Thermopolis as often as possible. Over the next four years, he prepared five for the first Confirmation held on May 22, 1907. These were Dora McGrath, Carrie Cottle (later Mrs. Royal Balcom), Robert and Edith Houston and Robert’s sister, Stella Houston. Stella reported in later history, “Reverend Roberts taught us the principles of the Episcopal Faith, but greater than church doctrine, he left us convinced of living in the presence of a godly man, one who lived high above the friction of the mass mind…One can not be in his presence for long without knowing that there is a Christ…he taught principles of the Episcopal faith, but greater than Church Doctrine, he created followers of Christ. Our confirmation service was held in Shoops’ public hall. Still, the Sacred Presence and the Spiritual Light radiating from the two godly men (Rev. Roberts and Bishop J.B. Fungsten from Idaho, who confirmed them) truly transformed the atmosphere, and the place was made into a sacred and holy temple in which we were indeed blessed.”

Indeed the presence of the Lord was and is in this place.

Lorraine McGrath with Mike Goggles mother, Mike Goggles, Dora McGrath and Stella Houston about 1920.

Post card of the James A. Reid Plumbing building, circa 1920's. Located on Arapahoe St. between 5th St. & 6th St. The men gathered out front are not identified.

After the first confirmation class, a Sunday school was begun in what was later Jimmy Reid’s plumbing shop with rough furnishings prepared. This included a cross built from a board and covered with radiator paint. Classes were taught under Rev. John Roberts’ supervision.

 

On May 6, 1909, Bishop N.S. Thomas was appointed Bishop of Wyoming. On his first visit to Thermopolis, he decided to build a church and offered dollar for dollar for whatever money they could raise by public subscription. Many friends became members of the guild and gave their help to the undertaking, including a gambler who gave twenty-five cents stating that “no child could be expected to stand the sorrows of this earth without a religious training.”

Holy Trinity's bells were cast at the Bell Foundry of John Taylor & Co. Ltd. (Bellfounders) located at Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. The Peal consists of three bells, the largest weighing 560 pounds, the second 364 pounds, and the third 280 pounds.

In 1924 the church was moved to where it stands today, and the rectory at 12th and Johnson was purchased, and in 1958, the congregation undertook the building of a Parish Hall. During the 1960s, the staircase on the south wall of the church's nave, possibly leading to an attic, was removed.

 

Over the years, many priests have been assigned to Holy Trinity, offering their leadership, grace, and personal gifts of strength in our congregation.

 

After much study, prayer, and conversations, in 2009, we decided to be a Shared Ministry parish. Our Mission Statement demonstrates our commitment to our Lord, each other and our community as we prayerfully go forth with our various gifts to accomplish our individual and mutual ministries in our Lord’s name and to His glory.

 

Looking back, it seems that Holy Trinity Episcopal Church has always relied on the shared ministries of the gifted and committed lay members and those ordained to strengthen us through the sacramental presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Charlie Washakie & Rev. Roberts at Christmas, 1933. Charlie was Chief Washakie's brother and Rev. Roberts cevoted his life to working among the Indians.

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