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    Texas | Columns | Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories

    Trinity Episcopal Church
    22nd and Winnie, Galveston

    by Bill Cherry
    By the time the Korean Conflict was going strong in the early 1950's, Galveston’s Trinity Episcopal Church was 109 years old, and it and its congregation had been through a lot together.

    Twice after this Gothic-Revival style church was designed and built by Irish architect and master builder, John De Young, a massive fire broke out a few blocks away, each time destroying more than a hundred buildings and barely missing the church. And then the famous 1900 Storm came along and blew down the whole south wall of the church, and filled the inside with the salty gulf water. More than six thousand people drowned. Many were congregants of this church.

    Nevertheless, those who survived raised the money to rebuild that wall, brick by brick, and then the entire church was jacked up several feet by hand screw jacks, one inch at a time, and then dredge material from the bay was pumped under it.
    Galveston TX Trinity Episcopal Church after 1900 Storm
    Trinity Episcopal Church - The south wall blown down as the result of the 1900 Storm. Photo courtesy Bill Cherry
    WWI Victory Parade passing the Trinity Galveston's Episcopal Church in 1918
    World War I Victory Parade passing the Trinity Episcopal Church in 1918 - Photo courtesy Bill Cherry
    And there had been the casualties of three wars – the Civil War, and the two World Wars. Through it all, the members of Trinity Episcopal Church, Galveston kept their faith.

    But then only five years after Trinity’s losses in World War II, once again it was shipping its young overseas to fight, some being injured; the less fortunate, dying. This one was called the Korean Conflict.

    During the Lenten season of 1953, nearly three years after the conflict had begun, the members of this church made a decision. They would hold a vigil 24 hours a day throughout Lent. The church would never close. At least one church member would be in the nave of the church, praying for peace.

    People on the streets, at whatever the time, could come in and pray for an end to the Korean Conflict, too.

    At 10 PM on the April 4, 1953, the Saturday night before Easter, my daddy, W.W. Cherry, came in there to take over the very last shift before the glorious Easter services were to being on Sunday. Daddy had just turned 44 years old.

    About 5 o’clock Easter morning, the brass cross at the altar began to glow, and within mere moments it was shining as brightly as if it were in a spot light. But the only manmade light in the huge church was coming from two candles.
    Galveston, Texas - Trinity Episcopal Church Tiffany Window
    Trinity Episcopal Church Tiffany Window
    Photo courtesy William Henry Morgan
    William W. Cherry
    William W. Cherry
    Photo courtesy Bill Cherry
    My daddy went to investigate, and found that there was a small BB hole in this stained glass window way up here at the back of the church.

    The rising sun was shining at just the right intensity and the BB hole was providing just the right aperture. The sun’s rays were lighting the cross, and only the cross, and it was at least 100 feet away.

    Daddy thought it was the perfect end to the Lenten vigil and the beginning of Easter morning.

    Daddy said that he knew God had heard the prayers, and that peace would soon be restored. Sure enough, shortly thereafter peace came into sight and then the armistice of the Korean Conflict was signed. It was June 30, 1953, just 86 days after Easter.


    Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories
    April 8, 2011column
    Copyright William S. Cherry. All rights reserved

    See Also:
    Churches Have Been Doing Their Best to Mask Financial Troubles by Bill Cherry
    More
    Texas Churches
    Related Topics: Galveston, Texas
    Texas Churches | Columns | TE Online Magazine | Texas
    Galveston
    Galveston Hotels


    Bill Cherry, a Dallas Realtor and free lance writer was a longtime columnist for "The Galveston County Daily News." His book, Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories, has sold thousands, and is still available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com and other bookstores.
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    Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories
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    This page last modified: April 8, 2011