HUNTINGTON, WV – 10 May, 2016 – Trinity Episcopal Church in Huntington, WV is not a typical church. It does worship, yes. It provides Bible study, yes. But it doesn’t stop there. Trinity does music in a big way! One of the reasons for the explosion of growth is due to their amazing music ministry. They do it all. On any given day it could be gospel, classical, jazz or even R & B. But one thing is clear. Trinity loves to share its musical talent with its local community.
Over the past several years, Trinity has developed a new strategy for doing church, Metro Theology. Metro Theology (www.metrotheology.com) is the practice of extreme Asset Based Community Development, utilizing the church’s assets to develop new ministries in support of its local community. Through this process, Trinity has developed a concert series for the city of Huntington. It seems to be working: attendance has tripled, their donations are up significantly, and the church has a renewed energy not seen in years.
As an example, on May 1st at 4PM, Trinity provided a tribute to the late jazz maestro, Duke Ellington. This concert featured one of Ellington’s signature pieces, the Sacred Music Concert, originally played at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1965. This was the first of three Sacred Music concerts, earning Ellington national fame. Trinity’s priest, the Rev. Dr. Chip Graves, declares that this is just one of several community music productions throughout the year.
Dr. Graves states, “Our Director of Music, Mark Smith, is a creative genius. One month he’s directing a Duke Ellington Concert, the next month he is conducting a Fright Night concert where the church choir become zombies, singing Halloween songs. And just when you think things will slow down, Mark begins to prepare a Christmas concert with country music legend, Kenny Rogers. In fact, Mark never ceases to amaze. Just last year, he produced an amazing 80-member cast version of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Broadway play, Jesus Christ Superstar, entertaining thousands in Trinity’s church pews.”
In addition to directing music at Trinity, Smith teaches choir and music at Marshall University, directs several productions of Community Theater, and arranges and conducts the music for, the nationally acclaimed singer, Landau Murphy, the winner of America’s Got Talent in 2011. And that’s if he’s in the United States. He recently toured Spain with the Marshall University Chamber Choir.
Several years ago, Trinity developed a musical scholarship program to support music students at Marshall University. The benefits are apparent. Trinity now has a fantastic choir under the leadership of Mark Smith; and a host of wonderful music concerts throughout the year. Their use of music as a form of outreach and support of their local community falls within Trinity’s various ministries to support their community.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has stated that, the Episcopal Church should share what he calls the “Jesus Movement”.
The Jesus Movement is the Episcopal brand of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Trinity Episcopal Church is doing just that, through the traditional means of worship and Bible study, but also in new ways such as the many concerts provided for their community at no cost. Trinity, a historical and traditional church, has discovered new ways to revitalize its ministry and garner new growth by giving back to its’ community.
By utilizing its assets in support of its local city, Trinity has become more vibrant. Trinitarians are doing the work of Jesus Christ by sharing the good news and serving others. Dr. Graves concludes, “We love our church. We love our city. We are very blessed.”
For more information, contact Trinity at:
Company Name: Trinity Episcopal Church
Contact Person: The Rev. Dr. Chip Graves
Country: United States