History of Trinity United Methodist Church
Keeping the Faith
The first Methodist Church in Sequim was built in 1895 on Sequim Avenue. A drawing of the church is shown below.
However, the first Methodist Church in the Dungeness Valley was built in 1889, in Old Dungeness, five miles north of Sequim, with eleven members. After three years the population moved east of the Dungeness River, and a new church, Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, was erected. Another shift in population caused a church to be built in Sequim.
In building the first Sequim church, trustees paid $100 for the framework of the original church at Old Dungeness. It was dismantled and moved to Sequim, along with the original church bell, which came by ship around the Horn and still appears on display in our present church. A donation of $250 and a loan of $200 from the Church Extension Society made the Sequim church possible, opening in 1895.
Sequim first appeared among conference appointments in 1897. The next year saw 36 members and 75 in Sunday School.
The church had one large room that seated about 50 and was heated by a big pot-bellied stove. Some of the handmade pews are in our present church. An old pump organ provided music. The parsonage, built among the trees, was a two-story house with a veranda.
Sequim Avenue, in front of the church, was then a dirt road with an open irrigation ditch on the church side. Those who came by horse and buggy put their horses in a shed-like barn behind the church.
The church was called the Methodist Community Church, and the social life of the community centered around it. It was the only church building in Sequim, and those of other denominations also attended. In 1915, Sequim became the center of population with the coming of the highway and railroad.
By 1925, the church was too small to house the growing congregation of 104 members and 303 in Sunday School. Pledges had been taken for three years when the minister left the church, taking some members and their pledges, to start a different church.
There were hard feelings over the split, but the Methodists were determined to go ahead with their building plans. It was then that seven families mortgaged their homes and farms.
The last church service in the old building was on March 3, 1929, after which it and other buildings were demolished to make room for the new church called Trinity Methodist Episcopal. The cornerstone was laid on March 13, 1929, and the church was dedicated on September 8, 1929. The total cost of the church was $17,500.
The church grew, always a center for community activities, through the hard times of the 1930s and through the war years. When soldiers were stationed in Sequim after Pearl Harbor, the church doors were open for them, and the social hall became a USO center.
The last loan of $2,000 was finally paid off, and a mortgage burning ceremony was held on January 5, 1949. This was the first time in the church history it was free of debt. Through the years the Ladies Aid had raised money for over half the building cost. It was the men and women working together in the congregation who built the church.
The name of the church was changed to Trinity United Methodist Church in 1968, with the reunification of the Methodist Church in America. During the 1960s the doors of the church were locked for the first time because of vandalism. A new kitchen, classroom, and choir room addition was dedicated in 1973.
The 1970s and 1980s brought many new people to the valley and to the church family, causing the congregation to consider expansion. A generous gift of five acres of land at a reduced price enabled the church to acquire our present site. A building committee was elected in 1989, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 2, 1990. The last service in the Sequim Avenue church was November 24, 1991. The property was sold to the Boys and Girls Club and later became the Olympic Theatre Arts Center.
The first service in the new church on Blake Avenue was on December 1, 1991, with a consecration service on January 19, 1992. The 16,820- square-foot building at a cost of $1,400,000 has a lovely sanctuary, fellowship hall, classrooms, meeting rooms and kitchen. Furnishings in the sanctuary include memorial pieces from the Sequim Avenue church. The stained glass windows with nameplates underneath were gifts to the church many years ago. The rose window above the altar was designed by artist Nels Lofgren; he also painted the picture of John Wesley that hangs in the narthex. The beautiful intarsia doors leading into the sanctuary were handcrafted by G.C. and Evelyn McDaniel. Members donated time, talent and money for pews, carpeting, a grand piano, the wooden cross behind the altar, and many other items throughout the church.
In succeeding years, Sequim continued to attract retirees, and this was reflected in the church’s congregation. Discussions in 2002 led to the creation of a 9:30 a.m. contemporary service to go with the traditional service at 11 a.m. Gradually, attendance shifted to the contemporary service, and in 2012, the church returned to one service, incorporating types of music presented in both previous services. By late 2018 (at this writing), average attendance was approaching 240 and the sanctuary was nearly full on some Sundays.
This summary of our church was compiled in 1995 and periodically updated by members of the History Committee, using church records and “A History of the Methodist Church in the Dungeness Valley” by Virginia Keeting.
Trinity’s Intarsia Doors
The beautiful Intarsia doors leading to the sanctuary were handcrafted by G.C. (Mac) and Evelyn McDaniel.
Intarsia design is of Italian origin and produced by inlaying wood in a background of wood. The intarsia panels on the doors leading into the sanctuary of the Trinity United Methodist Church of Sequim are unique. Bringing together elements and symbols of the Christian faith, the architect, Ken Hays, drew the designs.
The fine drawings came alive with the wonderful intarsia work of G. C. McDaniel. He chose pieces of wood, mostly cedar, some mahogany, in various shades of dark brown to light tan, and carefully cut the many shapes. Then he skillfully fitted them into place to form the final image. In addition, his skill in carving is shown in the lettering on the blocks above the doors as well as in the phrases seen on each panel.
Working with Mac was his wife, Evelyn, who did the sanding and the application of polyurethane, giving the project a lasting and beautiful finish. The borders of the doors are of Douglas fir and were a gift from the McDaniels.
The congregation at TUMC will always be grateful for this labor of love given by Mac and Evelyn to the church.
Symbolism of the Images Used on the Sanctuary Doors
The doors are facing the Narthex at the entrance to the Sanctuary.
Panel One, labeled Scripture, accented with the phrase: “Book of Books, Our People’s Strength.” The triangle and the icon within the top point represent God (halo and eye), and the Trinity (triangle); the angel holding the book was traditionally the symbol for Matthew, borrowed here to represent scripture and man. The rising sun at the bottom of the panel represents hope. The small orbs with crosses at each side center are borrowed from the chalice and cross symbol (used primarily on panel two) which represents faith. The symbols at each panel side are grains representing life and growth.
Panel Two, labeled Tradition, accented with the phrase: “For All the Saints.” The triangle this time is a hint at architecture and the house of God. The crown represents Jesus, the King of Kings. The symbol of the chalice and cross rep resent the passion of faith. The symbol at the bottom represents the circuit rider, a fundamental aspect of Methodism, and how the word was spread and shared. The symbols at each panel side are another abstraction of grain, this time meant to suggest maturity and strength through growth with the Lord.
Panel Three, labeled Reason, accented with the phrase: “Holy Spirit Truth Divine.” The triangle and icon within the top point represent again the house of God and faith. The triangle, trefoil, and dove represent the Holy Spirit, our leader and guide in an age of reason. The canoeist is a localized symbol of the circuit rider, Brother Mac, who first spread the word in the Sequim Dungeness Valley by canoe or on foot. The symbols at the panel sides are repeats of panel two, for visual and spiritual continuity.
Panel Four, labeled Experience, accented with the phrase: “Amazing Grace.” The triangle and the icon of God at the panel top, the grain, and the rising sun are repeats of panel one, again for visual and spiritual continuity. The sheep and shepherds staff represent Christ and the divine experience; Christ living with and within us, with all.
Ken Hays, (Hays Architects), Artist; C. & Evelyn McDaniel, Craftsmen
Prepared by the History and Archives Committee