How many stained-glass windows are there in Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church, a structure that dates to 1925?
A correct answer in the “Great TAPC Counting Contest” will get you a piece of birthday cake and a chance to help blow out the candles on that cake.
The church at the corner of Trinity Avenue and Gregson Street is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its building and the recent refurbishing of its beautiful stained-glass windows.
Anyone may enter the contest by submitting a slip with their count in the box in the church narthex.
Winners with the correct number will be recognized at the 11 a.m. service of window dedication on Sunday, Jan. 31, and winners will deal with the candles during the chili luncheon at noon.
Looking back, the church building was completed in 1925 for a cost of $77,800. Translate that into 2016 dollars and it would be an investment of more than $1 million. The stained-glass windows were a part of that amount, and old church records say they cost $2,000. That amount today would be around $27,000.
Over the years, the windows have been refurbished twice. In 2015 Sanctuary Glass of Burlington made extensive repairs, including re-milling some framing and replacing rotted casements. Some windows were removed and taken to the company’s studio in Burlington for reinforcing struts and repairing cracked glass. These were also cleaned of all the old caulk and re-installed with new longlasting caulking products.
A historic narrative about the church’s history was written in 1990 by ruling Elder Robert L. Blake.
It was in 1894 when the Rev. L.B. Turnbull, minister at First Presbyterian Church, opened a mission at the Pearl Cotton Mill on Trinity Avenue. At first, the group met in a mill cottage on Washington Street. A year later a chapel was built on the mill property.
George Watts and Leo Heartt led a regular Sunday afternoon Sunday School and a Friday night prayer meeting at the chapel.
Blake’s history notes: “When it was Mr. Watts turn to conduct that service, he was there even if it meant a train trip from Baltimore or New York, interrupting business, and with the knowledge that there may be only a handful of people at the chapel.”
It was Dr. E. R. Leyburn, who came to First Presbyterian as minister in 1802, who became a supporter of the chapel. In 1805 when the chapel group was officially organized and given the name “Second Church,” Leyburn was chosen to provide pastoral care for the new congregation. The Rev. R.G. Matheson was named assistant pastor.
The next years were rocky. Its financial situation became so weak and workers so scared that Presbytery dissolved Second Presbyterian Church.
But in 1921, three elders from First Presbyterian organized a special revival service with the Rev. O.G. Jones, evangelist in the Synod of North Carolina, doing the preaching. The purpose was to seek spiritual power to get the church on its feet again.
The evangelist’s powerful preaching resulted in 70 people deciding to reorganize the church and take the name Trinity Avenue Presbyterian.
But financial support in the congregation again reached a dangerous point in 1924. Deliverance came when 38 members, again from First Presbyterian, moved their memberships to Trinity Avenue in January of that year.
Later that year, the re-invigorated congregation decided to build a church. The first service in the new church was held in October of 1925.
Over the years, Trinity Avenue Presbyterian, one of the city’s older congregations, has been a force in justice issues in the city, its members have been active in the work of Durham Congregations in Action and its pastors have been leaders in the clergy community.
Talk on Islam
Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, is hosting a two-part talk on Islam today, Jan. 13, and Sunday, Jan. 24.
Islam, the religion of peace, is now identified with violence. The heart of Islam is the Koran and its pages announce a mixed message on violence. So the question is How do we decode a seventh century Arabic text in 21st century America?
At 7 p.m. today, Omid Safi, director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, will present a program on the need to combine social justice and spirituality in work and in the ways that aesthetics and spirituality intersect with Christianity in Turkey.
Safi is a Duke graduate who specializes in classical Islam and contemporary Islamic thought. He has led the center since 2014 and is a columnist for the National Public Radio program “On Being.”
Bruce Lawrence, founder and former director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, will preach on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. on Islam and violence. He is a scholar of pre-modern and modern Islamic movements, is an adjunct professor in Civilization Studies at Faith Sultan Mehmet Vakif University in Istanbul and is an ordained Episcopal priest in the Diocese of North Carolina, serving as priest associate at St. Matthews’ Episcopal Church in Hillsborough.
Also at Eno Fellowship, the Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, will visit on Wednesday, Jan. 20. He will lead a conversation about the UU Association today and its vision for the future during a 7 p.m. dessert and coffee session in the fellowship hall. All are welcome.
Nazeeh Abdul-Hakeem will read from his book “The Athaan in the Bull City: Building Durham’s Islamic Community” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Regulator Bookshop on Ninth Street.
A retired city planner for Durham, Abdul-Hakeem became a Muslim in 1979. He has made several pilgrimages to Mecca and Madinah in Saudi Arabia and to Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.
The Rev. M. Keith Daniel, director of Operations and Strategic Partnerships for StepUP North Carolina, will peach at 11 a.m. on Martin Luther King Sunday, Jan. 17, at First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St.
Ordained in the American Baptist Church tradition, Daniel has degrees from Duke University and is in the thesis writing stage of completing the Doctor of Ministry at Duke Divinity School. He was a student athlete and member of the 1989 ACC Champion Duke football team.
MLK Day sermon
Rodney S. Sadler Jr., associate professor of Bible at Charlotte’s Union Presbyterian Seminary and one of the leaders in North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement, will talk about Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy when he delivers the MLK Day sermon at 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, at Watts Street Baptist Church, 800 Watts St.
A Duke University Ph.D. graduate and former Durham resident, he has led the push to extend the state’s Medicaid coverage to the 500,000 impoverished people who have been shut out by the state’s decision not to take federal “Obamacare” money.
His sermon will be followed by a luncheon and a question and answer session in the church’s fellowship hall. No reservations needed. All welcome.
Contact Flo Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910-361-4135.