Trinity Church grew from a small group of settlers served by Episcopal missionaries beginning around 1842. Church records credit William and Ann Fitzhugh with founding the church. On March 4, 1854, fourteen people led by the Reverend Voltaire Spaulding, formally organized the parish in what was then Lower Saginaw (renamed Bay City in 1857). Members worshipped in "the brown school" and "the ball (bowling) alley" until their first church was built in 1860. By 1883 Trinity's membership had reached 175 people. Spurred by a monetary bequest from Elizabeth Birney, and a donation of land from her daughter Florence Jennison, the congregation planned a new church. The present church opened on April 14, 1887. In 1942 the parish bought the Frank and Lottie Shearer House for use as a rectory.
Trinity Episcopal Church
Episcopalians celebrated completion of this building in 1887. Designed by Bay City architect Philip C. Floeter, the sandstone church features bold Victorian Gothic elements, such as pointed arch windows and heavy buttresses. Many of the brilliant stained glass windows were dedicated in memory of parishoners. Lumberman Thomas Cranage and his wife Julia, donated the three-panel window in the main facade in honor of their daughter Sarah, who died of scrlet fever in 1875. An 1884 chapel was incorporated into the parish hall addition in 1924. That year the parish installed an ornately carved reredos (or altar screen), crafted by Bavarian-born artisan Alois Lang of Grand Rapids.