Sisters Bring New Life to Old Trinity

How did an old country church from Blackville become known as the oldest chapel in Oklahoma?

Old Trinity Anglican Church was built in 1842 in Blackville, New Brunswick. Constructed in the Gothic Revival Style, it was complete with pointed arched windows and doors serving the community continuously for more than a century.

A new church, Holy Trinity, was built in the village in 1970 to meet the needs of the growing population. Old Trinity was still used for memorial services.

In 1991, the Canadian government declared Old Trinity a provincial historic site. However, time and weather took its toll on the little church and the original bell tower began to pull away from the main body. The building was deconsecrated in 1997 and dismantled by Renovator’s Resources, a Halifax based company that salvages old buildings.

Tom Lee, photographer and entrepreneur, discovered Old Trinity on the internet and bought it sight unseen. Soon Old Trinity found a new life, arriving in the Paseo Art District in Oklahoma City in November 2000. The two flatbed trucks carried 17 wall sections, 2 entries, 3 gables, 8 original stained glass windows, and 6 gothic doors. These pieces were reassembled to give new life to the old church in 7 months. Only the original bell tower did not survive and was replaced to complete the original exterior.

Old Trinity Anglican Church / Old Trinity of Paseo

The truck drivers who delivered Old Trinity reported that their great grandfather had donated the land upon which the church had been originally built. The land where it now resides also had never been built on. Father Dale Petley of All Souls Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City began his ministry at Old Trinity in Blackville in 1982 and was present at the completion of the church. Old Trinity faced east-west in Canada and was rebuilt to face east-west in Oklahoma City. Some things are meant to be.

In October of 2007, Tom Lee had to sell his beloved Old Trinity to pay for his ongoing medical expenses. A friend in the neighborhood bought Old Trinity.  The church is now used as a wedding chapel, Simply Sisters Weddings, operated by Amy and Sara McCord.

18 Responses to Sisters Bring New Life to Old Trinity

  1. I think Roy & Doris were the last couple married in that church and Lynda & I were the 1st. in the new church.

  2. This is the church I attended from the time I was a little girl until I was a teenager and we moved into the new church. I was confirmed in this beautiful little church and loved going every Sunday. I will never forget Mr. and Mrs. Morgan. Mum and I would walk to church every Christmas Eve and the closer we got you could see the church all lit up(the stained-glass windows were beautiful), and you could hear the organ playing. Just lovely. We sat in the second seat from the back (on the river side) every time. My aunt and uncle, Hayward and Gladys Vickers, sat in the seat ahead of us, and Roma and Iris Underhill and their father, Vern, sat in the back seat behind us. At the Sunday afternoon services Daisy Gillespie would sit with us. She would walk all the way (must have been 3 miles or more), and Mum and her would have some nice talks. I think someone would give her a drive home, I can’t remember. She was such a nice, kind lady. Anyway, there are lots of nice memories of days gone by. So glad to see the old church!!

    • What a great story! I attended St.Peters in Millerton but we were confirmed in the new church in Blackville. I remember Mr. and Mrs. Morgan. I also remember Dale Petley when he used to drop in to visit at our parents place!!

      • I belonged to J.A, and G.A. Mrs Morgan was our leader and Geraldine Kennedy(lovely lady) helped her.When I was in G.A., we used to have dances and rummage sales in the hall. We raised enough money to buy the big stained-glass window in the end of the new church. Nice memories!

        • I remember going up to the rummage sales in Blackville with Grammie. We also sang in the church choir and Mrs.Morgan was the leader (and boy she did not want to see anyone with gum in their mouth!!) lol. They were a great couple. Sure are great memories of years gone by

          • Great stories and memories. What truly great lives we’ve been blessed with when it comes down to it

  3. My husband and I have visited the church in Oklahoma City. Tom Lee was a cordial host and had done a remarkable job in restoring the church. We met Father Petley at the nearby Episcopal Church. His first church assignment was Trinity in Blackville. He was the one who completed the history of the church.
    My grand parents were Bert and Grace Mitchell Underhill and my parents were Wallace and Helen Underhill Graham.
    I am thrilled that the church is in such wonderful condition and is still being used.

    • Thanks for sharing Kelly. I remember when we were students at Blackville School, we took a field trip to all the cemeteries in Blackville to trace headstones, and when we went to the Anglican church, they allowed us to go inside of Old Trinity (this was probably a couple years before it was dismantled). It was a beautiful church, and I’m glad we were able to view it before it was moved.

  4. I work for the County Assessor here in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. I came across this building and found out that it was an old church that we were told was from Halifax Nova Scotia. My family is from Joggins Nova Scotia and Memramcook, New Brunswick so this was very interesting to me. I did some research and found out that it actually came from Blackville, NB. Here is a picture of it that was taken by our appraisers in 2010. It is such a beautiful church.

Leave a reply