Trinity Episcopal Church
Columbus's Trinity Episcopal Church was founded in 1834. This sandstone Gothic Revival style structure was built by the Episcopal parish in 1869. After three years of construction, the church was opened for service and continues to serve the congregation. The building has many historic art pieces on display throughout the structure which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Backstory and Context
The church is home to numerous works of art, including a Russian 18th-century piece is on display above the credence table in the church. The stained glass windows of the church are sights to behold and collectively tell the story of the community with images of the Ohio Stadium, the Statehouse, Port Columbus, the Main Library, LeVeque Tower, and the Christopher Columbus statue that is at the City Hall of Columbus, Ohio.
Roger Nichols, the rector of the church from 1960 to 1969, first thought of the idea to install these stained glass windows in the church. The stained glass windows were created by the rector and memorials committee of the church in 1965. William Kielblock designed the windows, and James Helf of the Franklin Art Glass Company helped with the creation of the windows. The stained glass pieces were dedicated on May 2, 1965.
Rector Roger Nichols is said to have gotten the nickname St Brevity, because his sermons were never longer than ten minutes. He was also an Ohio State University fan and he would have the congregation sing hymns to the beat of “Carmen Ohio” as a way to celebrate an Ohio State University win.
Nichols tired to promote downtown revival. He and other clergy formed the Metropolitan Area Church Board. Even though Nichols held a modernistic view, some members of the congregation did not. A new organ was moved in 2 years after the windows were installed. The stained glass windows were hidden from view inside the church in 1970. The stained glass display was modern at the time.
The church, along with St. Joseph Cathedral and First Congregational Church, opened the Cracked Cup. In 1966 this was the first coffee shop ran by churches in Columbus, Ohio. The coffee shop featured open mic nights, folk rock concerts, and art exhibits. The Freshbox Café opened in May 2014 in the church’s basement as a place to feed the homeless of Columbus, Ohio. The church still engages with and gives back to the community.
Filchak, Devan. History, culture of E. Broad Street churches draw members Downtown. The Columbus Dispatch. July 31, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2019. https://www.dispatch.com/article/20140731/NEWS/307319904.
Motz, Doug. History Lesson: A celebration of Columbus history in stained glass. Columbus Underground. May 02, 2013. Accessed April 27, 2019. https://www.columbusunderground.com/history-lesson-a-celebration-of-columbus-history-in-stained-glass-dm1.
CML. "The Trinity Episcopal Church." Columbus Underground. May 02, 2013. Accessed April 27, 2019. https://www.columbusunderground.com/history-lesson-a-celebration-of-columbus-history-in-stained-glass-dm1.
Popp, Todd. "The Church in the World", stained glass window in Trinity Episcopal." Columbus Underground. May 02, 2013. Accessed April 27, 2019. https://www.columbusunderground.com/history-lesson-a-celebration-of-columbus-history-in-stained-glass-dm1.