Early records show that in 1796 a Methodist Chapel was built in the Western District of Nassau by a band of slaves under the leadership of a godly negro named Joseph Paul. This Church was founded and led by lay persons as the first Methodist Minister, Rev. William Turton, did not arrive in The Bahamas until 22nd October, 1800.
In the year 1814 a large house was adapted to make the original Methodist Chapel, seating 500 persons. This West Chapel was at the southern end of Nassau Court.
In 1830, a new and larger West Chapel was built on the same site which later became the Government High School, and then more recently housed offices of the Ministry of Tourism.
The Congregation at the West Chapel felt the need for a larger and more centrally situated place of worship and by the middle of the 19th Century the Synod was considering possibilities. This led to the building of Trinity Methodist Churchon the present site.
The following quote from the Missionary Notices of November 1861 in the Archives of the Methodist Missionary Society gives some facts and figures:
The foundation-stone of a new Wesleyan Chapel was laid at Nassau on the 21st day of August by His Honour Charles Nesbitt, Esq., Lieutenent-Governor of The Bahamas, administering the government in the absence of His Excellency Charles John Bayley, Esquire, Governor of the Colony. Addresses were delivered on the occasion by His Honour the Lieutenent-Governor, the Rev. Hilton Cheesbrough, General Superintendent of the Mission, and the Rev. Messrs. Thomas Lofthouse, Thomas Bate and Thomas Cannel; and prayer was offered by the Rev. J. Davy, Baptist Minister and the Rev. George C. Huxtable. The building is to be constructed on plans furnished by W. W. Pocock, Esg., of London, and is intended to serve as a chapel and a schoolroom and to accommodate a congregation of 800 persons. The cost, is is estimated will amount to Pds. 6,200.
During the four years it took to construct the building there were many difficulties. There was a special dedication service held on Sunday 2nd April, 1865, commemorating the official opening of the new Wesleyan Chapel called Trinity Church. Just 18 months later, a hurricane almost totally destroyed the building. The Nassau Guardian issue of 3rd October, 1866 stated:
The Wesleyans, we believe, suffered most, their new and beautiful Trinity Chapel, Frederick Street, with its large and powerful organ being entirely demolished, leaving only the class and schoolroom beneath entire.
The Church was completely rebuilt with the roof lowered by ten feet. Then yet another natural disaster reeked havoc on Trinity Church on the 16th September, 1928. Two-thirds of the Western end was blown away, which resulted in the gallery disappearing and the remains of the organ were found in the basement. The building was soon repaired and restored, but the gallery was not replaced and the organ and choir were relocated to the eastern end of the sanctuary.
Queen's College, a Methodist School, was started at Trinity in January 1890. It relocated to its present campus on Village Road in 1961.
The Hall organ, which was installed in 1929, was replaced by a three-manual Wicks Pipe Organ in 1964. In 1973 the stained glass windows were installed, and were dedicated on Sunday 17th June of that year. These beautiful windows (with the exception of three) -- tell the story of Jesus from His birth, through boyhood, the the calling of the disciples, the telling of parables, to His triumphant ride into Jerusalem followed by his death on the Cross and His glorious resurrection on that first Easter Day. They were all given in memory of loved ones by members of the congregations.
-- History researched by Colin G. Honess