An account of the interment of Rev. Cornelius Cook in the Potter's Corners cemetery in 1789 is the first event that has any connection with our church around the time of its inception. The account further states: "This funeral was attended by residents of Morey's Corners."
The next historical tie with the past is an old deed, coded: L-15-P460, dated July 24, 1797 which describes (we believe) the plot of land in the Potter's Corners area which was acquired for the purpose of building a Methodist church thereon. It is not clear just when the church was built at Potter's Corners, but, from references alluding to the old Dutchess circuit which was established in 1821, it is quite probable that the building was constructed in or about 1827.
Information found in notes written by Rev. Seeholzer for his "History of LaGrangeville M.E. church" read as follows:
"The earliest record of the work of our church is found in the trustee's record book dated Dec. 22, 1821. (Read original document) At that time, a meeting duly announced by the Pastor, Rev. James M. Smith on successive Sundays Nov. 2 and Dec. 2 was held in the Beekman Methodist church and three trustees elected, viz: Darius Washburn, 1st: Jacob Snedeker, 2nd and Uriah Washburn, 3rd. For some inexplicable reason it is twice recorded, the second time names: Chairman presiding, James M. Smith and the Sec., Uriah Washburn attested the record as correct and signed and sealed the same Sealing wax was used over which pieces of paper were attached. The same was recorded in the County clerk's office on Dec. 24, 1821. The last meeting of the church in the Beekman church was held on Nov. 15, 1826. From 1827 the trustees meetings are recorded as being held in Trinity church, Union Vale."
In 1832 the Dutchess circuit consisted of thirteen churches or appointments. "Trinity" is mentioned as one of these and it is the writer's belief that this referred to the Methodist church in Union Vale. Apparently, then, Trinity church, Union Vale, was located at Potter's Corners.
Reverends James Horton and Henry Van Benschoten were its preachers from 1832 to 1834.
Reverends White and J. B. Mathias were the preachers in 1834; George Fuller in 1835; Cyrus Foss and John Reynolds in 1836; L. M. Vincent and John Reynolds in 1837; P. P. Sanford and L.M. Vincent in 1838 and G. Cochrane and J. H. Romer in 1839.
Other notes written by Rev. Seeholzer and some found in the Church Record of 1912 indicate that the first Sabbath School was organized at Morey's Corners in 1839 by a Miss Julia Lathrop.
On July 11, 1840, a committee was appointed to "inquire into the expediency of procuring a parsonage home." Note: As well as we can determine from available information, none was acquired until several years after the church was moved to its present site.
Reverends Nicholas White and J. H. Romer were the preachers in 1840; Henry Hatfield, Robert Travis, David Holmes and Samuel Wicks in 1841; David Holmes in 1842; John Campbell in 1843; Thomas Sparks and William Thacher in 1844; no record for 1845; J. G. Smith and Pilatioh Ward or Wasst in 1846; Marvin Richardson in 1847; D. B. Turner and Ben Adams in 1848 and John Sloat in 1849.
The record states that Methodism was organized in Morey's Corners in 1849.
Reverends Louis Clark and Uriah Mysiter were the preachers in 1850-51; David Holmes and A. N. Malnix or Mulnix in 185; George Knapp and David Holmes in 1853; A. Davis and Aaron Sanford in 1854-55; W. M. Curtis and Thomas Lodge in 1856. A gap in the record exists between 1856 and 1862.
Sources of information indicate that the church was taken down at Potter's Corners in 1863 moved to its present location, same year and rebuilt. Flagstones for the church were brought from Poughkeepsie on two stoneboats pulled by yokes of oxen. Some of the stone was nearly lost along the way, according to accounts of the undertaking.
Rebuilding the church resulted in a structure that had a ceiling four feet higher than in the
old church. The ornamental spires on the four corners were
fifteen feet high and on the belfry were eight feet high. No
mention is made of a bell being installed at this time.
Reverend I. H. Lent preached in 1862-63; George Clarke in
1864-65 and O. P. Matthews in 1866.
The fourth Quarterly Conference of 1866-67 contains an entry of the expenditure of $1,135 by "Dutchess" (circuit) for the acquisition of a parsonage. This building, now a private dwelling, was or had been a tavern (Morey's Tavern) at the time of purchase.
Reverend A. Vail preached in 1867-68. Rev. Tuthill in 1869-71; H. W. Barden in 1872-74; R. H. Travis in 1875-76; William Blake in 1877-78; CharlesGorse in 1879-81; J. Michell in 1882-84; Robert Kay in 1885-87; J. B. Price in 1888; Thomas Sweetman in 1889; H. W. Ackerly in 1890-91; G. B. Mead in 1892-94; J. H. Keep in 1895; A. H. Haynes in 1896-1900 and J. H. Lane from 1900 to 1902.
In the early 1900s, during the tenure of Rev. W. Tunnicliffe, 1902-05, the church was struck by lightening and the north-west corner side window and frame was blown out. Around the time that repairs were being made to correct the damage, it was decided to procure a church bell. The church's present bell was then purchased from Sears Roebuck and installed in the belfry.
Reverend N. O. Lent became the preacher in 1905 and remained at the LaGrangeville Methodist church until 1910 when he died. Rev. Frank H. Neal was the preacher for the period 1911-12; Isaac T. Stafford for 1912-14; A. Schleiermacher for 1914-16; E. Roy Myers for six months in 1916; R. J. Hodgson during and beyond the First World War years 1916-19. Rev. Harry Butcher was minister in 1919-21; Samuel Ardron in 1921-23; Milfred Douglas in 1923-25; Frank Bouton also in 1925; R. M. Markley in 1925-26; Frank B. Crispell in 1926-27; R. V. R. Worden in 1927-28 and R. M. Markey again in 1928-29.
Reverend Arthur Burnell served during 1929-30; E. K. Weisell during 1930-33 and Rev. Berthold Seeholver, whose penciled notes provided much of the early historical material, served from 1933 to 1940. Rev. Fred I. Lair served during 1940-42; R. J. Harrison during 1942-43; and R. J. thorn from 1943 to 1945, the latter part of the second World War. Reverend Harold L. Galloway served from 1945 to 1948.
Reverend H. J. R. Diekmann came to serve our church in 1948 and it was about this time that purchase of a new organ was being given consideration. A committee was formed, a new organ purchased and dedicated April 17, 1949. Around the early part of 1952, the Adult Fellowship group, which had been meeting in the old one room schoolhouse across the road from the church, began considering the possibilities of building a church community house or parish hall.
During 1952 Reverend Diekmann went on to another charge and Reverend Charles Melano came to preach.
Removal of the old kerosene chandelier which hung in the center of the church for many years was considered in 1955. It was not considered safe and thought was given to replace it with modern lighting. There were many objections, however, and in early 1956 the chandelier was taken down, cleaned and removed, wired for candle-type bulbs and resuspended.
Reverend L. P. Taylor came in 1957and stayed until 1962.
The above information was excerpted from the program used for the Dedication of Parish Hall, dated November 8 and 9, 1958.
In the early 1900s a famous doctor attended Trinity. His name was Dr. George Huntington. He documented the widespread neurological disease today known as Huntington's Chorea Disease. Dr. Huntington is buried in the graveyard next to the church.
During World War I and II, the Ladies Auxiliary became very strong. By 1921 the women of Trinity Methodist Church came together to serve the armed forces in many ways. These ladies became more authorized and joined to make bandages for Vassar Hospital. They also raised funds to help pitch in on the pastor's salary ($2 a week) and towards coal to help heat the church ($28 for 2 tons of coal). The Ladies of the church continued raising funds for our church and for our local soldiers.
Throughout the history of our church, memorial gifts have been given to the church in honor of loved ones. These gifts include the altar set, the baptismal font, trees, memorial gardens, scholarship and funding for special projects.
The church has been a strong supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the '60s, the Exodus Prison Ministry Program in the '70s and '80s. Other programs include a monthly food pantry, begun in 2009 and held the last Thursday of the month from 7 to 8pm, Vacation Bible School, the Heifer Projects, Dutchess Outreach and the homeless shelter. We have raised church funds through auctions, yard sales, dinners, picnics, musicals and quilting.
The pastors of Trinity from 1962 to the present have included: Rev. Donald Collier 1962-1964; Rev. Kennon Moody 1964-1971; Rev. Young Joon Cho 1971-1978; Rev. Sydney Parker 1979-1984; Rev. Nancy Wright 1985-1989; Rev. Linda Stein 1989-1994; Rev. Joanne O'Neill 1995-1996; Rev. Richard Allen 1996-2003; Rev. Moody as interim 2003-2004; Rev. Eumin Kim 2004-2009 and Rev. Amanda Iahn 2009-2011; Rev. Susan Chadwick 2011-2015; Rev. Eileen Freeman 2015-present.