Plans for an Episcopal Church in Red Bank, NJ were started by the Rev. Harry Finch, Rector of Christ Church, Shrewsbury, in 1834 when their vestry approved about $65,000 for the establishment of an Episcopal Church in the neighboring town. Work on Trinity Chapel was started in 1845, completed in 1850, and consecrated as a mission of Christ Church, Shrewsbury, on May 2, 1851 by the Rev George W. Doane, DD. Trinity Church was incorporated January 5, 1859 as a separate parish in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey.
The Rev. William N. Dunnell, DD, originally deacon at Trinity Chapel, was ordained and called to be the first rector of Trinity Church. He served as rector until 1871. Five different men served as rector from 1871 to 1891. The longest tenure of these was that of the Rev. Joseph F. Jowett (1881-1891).
In 1892, Trinity called the Rev. Robert MacKellar to serve as rector and choirmaster. By 1907, the church had tripled its membership, from 100 to 300 members.
The Rev. Herbert S. Craig served as rector from 1931 to 1946. The Rev. Craig placed strong emphasis on youth work and the development of the choir. He also laid the groundwork for additional expansion of Trinity’s building. During his tenure, several women’s organizations were combined into the Women’s Guild. His successor, another much beloved priest, the Rev. Robert H. Anderson (1946-1953) was a champion of Christian Education. Rev. Anderson established an organization for young married couples.
In 1953, the Rev. Charles H. Best was called as Trinity’s rector. During the first 10 years of his tenure, Trinity grew rapidly. Canon Best retired at the end of 1979, and Trinity called the Rev. Kenneth D. Aldrich, Jr., formerly rector of St. Luke’s, Westfield to be its new rector, at the beginning of 1980. During the 1980s, Trinity made up about half of the attendance that it lost in the 1970s (see significant events). This was due in no small part to Father Aldrich’s efforts, and to his “Biblical Preaching”. Father Aldrich was a tireless evangelist for our parish, reaching out and truly being interested in new folk. In 1981, Trinity called the Rev. Charles R. Sakin, by day a teacher in the Matawan schools, to be Associate Rector. Also, in 1985, William J. Hefti, who had been advisor to our Youth Group, was ordained deacon. In 1988, Trinity participated in “Celebrate ’88,” an evangelistic event.
At the beginning of Father Aldrich’s tenure, the vestry, lay readers and chalice bearers at Trinity were exclusively male. The first vestrywoman (Mrs. Florence Gilmore) was elected in 1981. The first woman lay reader (Catherine Nevius) is identified in the 1982 annual report. The first woman chalice bearer (Mrs. Emily Worden) began her service in 1985 and served until recently. Female acolytes served on the altar during this time and are acknowledged in the 1991 annual report.
In 1990, Deacon William J. Hefti left Trinity for California. In May 1997, Father Sakin resigned as Associate Rector. Declining attendance resulted in no need for replacement.
After 25 years of faithful service Father Aldrich retired in May of 2005. Trinity called a part-time interim rector, Father Kenneth Gluckow, to pastor the parish through the transition in a similar orthodox, Anglican, and bible-based tradition.
In December 2006 the Reverend Christopher Rodriguez was called to be rector of Trinity Church. During the past five and a half years Father Rodriguez focused efforts on updating the physical church property, improving communications and growing the community through the building of family and youth ministry. Another strength he brought to Trinity was bible-based preaching and educational bible study.
In the Spring of 2012, the Reverend William C. Noble joined the ministry team at Trinity to further extend our pastoral ministry. Shortly thereafter, Father Rodriguez was called to the rector of another parish in August 2012.
In September of 2013, the Reverend John Mason Lock, former Curate at All Souls Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, joined Trinity Church as Priest-in-Charge. Father Lock has brought a warm heart of evangelical faith and a firm commitment to Christian orthodoxy. His tenure has been marked by a dedication to pastoral care, Christian education, traditional worship, and gospel preaching. Father Lock’s leadership has played a fundamental role in this moment of transition for Trinity Church and we look forward to his official installation as Rector later this year.