Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Trinity Church Brings Together Bryan, Defiance Members

Story by Heidi Shoemaker

All things happen in His time. That is what members of the Bryan and Defiance churches were reminded of as they recently merged into a single, new church now known as the Trinity church. Former pastors from both churches joined the members at the church’s grand opening and consecration. 

Over the years, conditions in the economy and other circumstances brought shifts in the people clustered in the surrounding county, impacting the district containing Bryan and Defiance. So in 2006, the two churches decided to merge and build a new church facility. Proceeding without a pastor, families from both original churches met during numerous business meetings, forming a committee to scout prospective locations. After the land was purchased, a building committee was formed, and committees for everything from the kitchen and bathrooms to sanctuary to landscaping were established. Some worked every Sunday for three years. A few took vacation time to work on the church; others worked evenings. Children from aged 4 and up had jobs in this project. Those physically unable to work prayed for the new building as “their job.” 

“Our new facility was the culmination of hard work and long-time vision of a group of people that have been part of the Bryan and Defiance communities for more than 70 years,” said Pastor Peter Simpson.

Trinity is located on an 8-acre parcel in Defiance. The 57,000-square-feet building seats 120 people. It is valued at more than $750,000 but constructed for $400,000. “The former churches in Defiance and Bryan were not handicapped accessible. We had a few people who were unable to come before, and now it’s great to have them back at worship,” said Simpson. 

During the entire process, they “never had one disagreement or argument over anything,” one member wistfully recalled. “We thank God for His leading!”

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