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History of Trinity Church

This is the  history as edited by Dr. William Eugene Pollen, which recounts the origins of Trinity Church in Fernandina.  Trinity traces its existence back to February 1822, when the "St. Marys and the Amelia Island" circuit was established. The first church was erected in 1869. The present building was erected in 1891. (Assumed to have been written around 2012, for the 190th anniversary of the founding of the church)


The official beginnings of the Methodist endeavor in Florida, the Trinity United Methodist Church, dates from the Conference held during the winter of 1821-1822. Trinity United Methodist Church can trace its existence back to February 1822, when the “St. Mary’s and the Amelia Island circuit” was established. Trinity is located at the corner of 8th and Ash Streets. The history is based on memory and records of the oldest church member during the time of this research, Blanche B. Ray Willians (1892-1991). In 1822, a missionary named Joseph C. Emerson came to Amelia Island from Kings Ferry, Florida to do missionary work. According to Mrs. Williams, he came in a rowboat to establish the first known congregation at Trinity. In 1869, under the leadership of Rev. January Felder, the first church a wood framed building was erected just West of the present church on 8th and Ash streets. In 1891, the Rev. J. F. Elliot erected the present building. As you can see, it is a two-story masonry building noteworthy of its lancet arched windows with belfry and square tower. The beautiful etched stained glass windows were shipped from England. The original building has been altered by a single story masonry addition to the Westside.


Trinity Methodist Church is a sister church to Memorial Methodist Church on Centre St and served the African-American population of Amelia Island during the time of segregation in the south.  Now we have a more diverse membership with the common goal of deepening our relationship with Christ and sharing his love with others.  

Black Christian History of Trinity’s 

Formative Years and Our Future

compiled by William Wright, Feb 20