HISTORY OF TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH
Trinity Baptist Church grew out of a Sunday School that began in June 1917 in Normandie Hall, then located at Normandie Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard, with fifteen children and three adults. The three adults were Mrs. Mary Porter, Mrs. Willa E. Williams, and Rev. Archie J. Williams. Rev. Williams was elected superintendent and served in this capacity until the church was formed five months later. Trinity was officially organized on the afternoon of Sunday, November 11, 1917. When Rev. Williams was asked to give the church a name, he decided on Trinity Missionary Baptist Church.
From 1920 to 1935, Trinity was nurtured by four pastors. The Reverend F. H. Davis 1920 – 1922, Reverend John A. Eldridge 1922 – 1926, Reverend W. H. Dickerson 1926 – 1932, and Reverend Arthur J. Johnson 1933 – 1935.
Dr. Mason’s 23 years as pastor of Trinity are characterized by the acquisition of new properties and a strong effective administration. Pastor Mason’s greatest contribution was the spiritual development of Trinity. His years as pastor brought a powerful and strengthening period of “Spiritual Renewal” through prayer and fasting. Dr. Mason retired as pastor of Trinity on March 31, 1985.In 1985, Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw became the eighth pastor of Trinity Baptist Church. Under Reverend Harshaw, more outreach ministries were established, including a jail ministry and a hot lunch program. Trinity also acquired the former Security Pacific Bank building located at the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Arlington Ave.
The ministerial and administrative staffs grew as Dr. Harshaw brought in people committed to God’s ministry. With the strong foundation of Trinity’s predecessors, Dr. Harshaw continued through his Biblical teaching and spiritual nurturing to emphasize “renewal and spiritual growth”. Pastor Harshaw resigned February 28, 1993 to accept the position of Area Director for Africa for the American Baptist Churches International.
In March 1993, the Trinity church family elected Reverend Eugene H. Marzette, Sr. as its Interim Pastor. Reverend Marzette was committed to bringing God’s message to the people of Trinity, and under his pastorate the Children and Youth Stewardship Committee was organized. Reverend Marzette resigned in April 1995.Reverend Ulysses McDonald was appointed as Minister in Charge of the Trinity Baptist Church May 1, 1995. Reverend McDonald has served on the ministerial staff of Trinity since 1949. He served as Minister of Christian Education and Minister of Business Administration under the pastorate of Dr. Mason. Under the leadership of Dr. Harshaw he was Minister of Pastoral Care and Director of the Senior Citizen’s Ministry. Reverend Mc Donald served as Minster in Charge until April 1996. Reverend Tunstill became the ninth pastor of Trinity Baptist Church on Easter Sunday 1996. He has launched the Army of God Campaign, a program of spiritual and financial growth. The spiritual aspect involves spiritual growth through prayer, fasting, and acts of service. The financial goals are a one million dollar endowment fund, the summer youth employment program, and special projects (monies for disaster relief and other special needs). He has established a time for children to participate in the altar prayer during the Sunday morning service. To foster closer ties between church members, the entire congregation is invited to the Friday Night Fellowship (a family night of fun and fellowship).
Trinity participates in the Annual Los Angeles Black Business Expo and Trade Show, and has its own Business Owners United Expo in the J. L. Caston Fellowship Center. Reverend Tunstill has formed a cheerleading squad for the Young Men’s Basketball Team and started a New Member Follow-Up Ministry. In 1998 Trinity purchased a new organ and hosted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in a free concert for the community. The Southeast Symphony Orchestra held its first concert series in Trinity’s sanctuary as it began its 51st concert season.
Additionally, in 2005, Trinity Baptist Church held its 1st Annual Family & Friends Celebration, an event for Trinity Family Members and the Community.