(563) 323-9989
121 W. 12th St., Davenport, Iowa 52803

Beliefs & History

Historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral is the historic cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. As Episcopalians, we are part of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Trinity Cathedral is a Eucharist-centered parish. Our ministry begins at the altar, where we gather to celebrate, through Holy Communion, God’s love, grace and mercy in our lives. Our liturgy reflects traditional Anglican practices and theology, and our music program underscores the beauty, majesty and joy of this ancient liturgy.

Building of the cathedral was spearheaded by The Right Reverend Henry Washington Lee, first Episcopal Bishop of Iowa. The cornerstone was laid in 1867, and the building was completed in 1873, when the structure was consecrated as Grace Cathedral. It was renamed Trinity Cathedral in 1910, when Grace Cathedral and Trinity Parish united.

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral has been called one of the finest gems of English Gothic architecture in the entire country. It is constructed of native Iowa limestone, trimmed in Indiana limestone, adorned by wrought iron Gothic ornamentation and highlighted by 19th century stained glass windows.

The 131 ft. tall spire was added in 1998.

For a history of the Episcopal church in Scott County, click here.

Read more

History of the Episcopal Church in Davenport

Trinity Episcopal Parish was established in 1841 worshiping in the residence of Dr. John Emerson at 219 East Second St. The first missionary was the Rev. Zachariah Goldsmith of Virginia. The first church that Trinity Parish erected was a small frame building at Fourth and Main Streets, with a rude altar, plank benches and a round stove in the nave. Trinity’s second church at Fifth and Pershing (then called Rock Island) Streets was built in 1852 in a Gothic style with a rose window and was the first church in Iowa to have a pipe organ. This building was destroyed by fire in 1874. Trinity then erected a new stone church with bell tower, rectory and day school at the S.W. corner of Seventh and Brady Streets. For a timeline of the Episcopal Church in Scott County, click here.
From…HISTORY OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN DAVENPORT
By Hazel Williamson
The first Episcopal services in Davenport were held in 1836 and were conducted by a traveling Episcopal clergyman. When the Wisconsin Territory was set with boundaries to include Iowa, Bishop Jackson Kemper was petitioned and Davenport was adopted as a mission station in 1838.
Trinity Episcopal Parish was established in 1841 worshiping in the residence of Dr. John Emerson at 219 East Second St. The first missionary was the Rev. Zachariah Goldsmith of Virginia. The first church that Trinity Parish erected was a small frame building at Fourth and Main Streets, with a rude altar, plank benches and a round stove in the nave. Trinity’s second church at Fifth and Pershing (then called Rock Island) Streets was built in 1852 in a Gothic style with a rose window and was the first church in Iowa to have a pipe organ. This building was destroyed by fire in 1874. Trinity then erected a new stone church with bell tower, rectory and day school at the S.W. corner of Seventh and Brady Streets.
Another parish,  St. Luke’s, built a large brick church on the N.W. corner of Seventh and Brady Streets in 1857 but had financial problems and sold it in 1864 to the Presybyterians who later sold it to Putnam Museum and this was where the museum was located for many years. in 1864, Christ Mission Church was built at Third and Pine Streets. It was a timber strecture with vertical siding and a bell tower.
In 1854, The Rev. Henry Washington Lee of Rochester, N.Y. was elected first Bishop of Iowa. Lee had dynamic ideas, a driving energy and he created a fund for the Diocese with the sale of lands he had purchased in the West, through contacts with Eastern churchmen and generous gifts from friends at St. Luke’s Church, Rochester, including a large gift from David J. Ely. With this fund, Bishop Lee’s dream of a beautiful cathedral was realized. Lee contacted one of the leading church architects in the country, Edward Tuckerman Potter of New York City who designed the new building. It was Gothic in architecture and of such construction that it would remain through the centuries as a witness to the Christian faith. In 1873, the structure was consecrated and named Grace Cathedral since that was the name of the New York church from which gifts had come predominately from two families. Less than 10% of the funds came from Iowans. The cathedral’s name was changed to Trinity Cathedral in 1910 when Grace Cathedral and Old Trinity Parish united to become a single parish. In 1928, Christ Mission Church merged into the Cathedral.
In 1960, St. Alban’s Church was organized, largely financed by Trinity Cathedral, and was located in N.W. Davenport. In 1966, St. Peter’s Church was organized and a modernistic church was built in Bettendorf.
The C.C. Cook Parish House of Trinity Cathedral was built in 1917 and it served the parish well for many years until it deteriorated and had to be replaced. In 1993, the new Haines Parish House was completed after a parish-wide fund drive had raised more than two million dollars to build it. It was named for Elizabeth Haines who made the largest single gift toward its construction. Haines Parish House is connected to the Cathedral building through two cloisters enclosing an outdoor garden or garth. The Parish House features a Great Hall, an octagonal chapel, kitchen facilities, classrooms, offices and a children’s chapel.
In 1998, a 131 ft. tall spire and bell tower was erected due to the desire and generosity of a lifelong parishioner, Elizabeth Haines, who totally paid for it. The spire had been part of Architect Potter’s original plans but it was not included when the cathedral was built due to lack of sufficient funds. Now more than 130 years after the cornerstone was laid, Bishop Henry Washington Lee’s dream of a beautiful cathedral atop the hill in Davenport is finally complete with a magnificent spire and bell tower.
Read more

Sacramental Practices at Trinity

Sacraments are an important part of the faith and worship life in the Episcopal Church and at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. The seven sacraments are Holy Baptism, The Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Confession, Anointing and Ordination.


Holy Baptism is offered five times each year: on the Feast of the Baptism (early January), the Easter Vigil (springtime), Pentecost (early summer), the Sunday after All Saints’ Day (early November) and on the occasion of the Bishop’s visitation. Baptismal instruction/preparation is required.
The Holy Eucharist is offered to all baptized Christians who repent of their sins and seek to be in love and charity with their neighbors.
Confirmation is available annually for those who complete a course of preparation, make a public affirmation of their faith and wish to receive the laying on of hands by the bishop.
Marriage in the Episcopal Church is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God. It is required that at least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian and that a minimum of 30 days notice be given to the clergy to allow for pre-marital preparation. At Trinity Cathedral marriages are primarily for members of the congregation and their families.
Confession of sin to God in the presence of a priest may be scheduled by appointment with the clergy.
Anointing of the sick for healing is offered on the first Sunday and first Wednesday of each month or by appointment.
Ordination to service as a bishop, priest or deacon requires discernment, preparation and affirmation by the wider Church. Lay persons too are ministers by virtue of their baptism and giftedness.
Read more

What We Believe

EPISCOPALIANS BELIEVE in the Christian religion as stated in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. We believe in the Holy Bible as the historical and classical expression of Christian faith and life, and regard the Holy Bible as our faith’s central and defining element.

EPISCOPALIANS BELIEVE in the essential elements of faith and order in the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist.

EPISCOPALIANS BELIEVE there is much of great value that is traditional in nature such as the ancient liturgies and devotions, the works of the saints, and the great thoughts of the intellectuals throughout Christian history. More-over, the church teaches how to apply Christian faith to the problems of modern life.

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH has the three-fold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. The worship of the Episcopal Church is liturgical. It is orderly and is set forth for all to follow in the Book of Common Prayer. The chief service is the Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion which is celebrated with dignity and beauty. Other services of worship are Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and the Litany.

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH is part of the world-wide Anglican Communion with 70 million members in more than 160 countries. The Anglican Communion constitutes a branch of the One Holy Church initiated 2,000 years ago when Christ sent the Apostles into the world. The Anglican Communion has the Historic Episcopate and maintains a visible continuity from Christ’s time to the present.

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH was brought to America by the English with the establishment of the American Colonies. Christianity had been brought to the British Isles as early as the third century when there was but one Christian Church in the world. It was not until the sixteenth century that reforms were made within the English Church. These reforms left intact the essential Christian faith passed on through the years from Christ’s time. Thus the Anglican Church is catholic and protestant, ancient and reformed.

Read more

Episcopal History Timeline

HISTORY OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN SCOTT COUNTY

 

1836    First Episcopal service in Iowa

 

1841    Trinity Parish organized, worshipped in the residence of Dr. John Emerson, 219 E. 2nd St. First church building of Trinity Parish on northwest corner of 4th and Main Sts.

 

1852    Second church building of Trinity Parish on southeast corner of 5th and Pershing Sts. The first pipe organ in Iowa is installed. Pine Hill Cemetery is purchased

 

1855    St. Luke’s Parish organized

 

1864    Christ Church, a mission church of Trinity Parish, is built at 3rd and Pine Sts.

 

1867    June 27 – cornerstone laid for Grace Cathedral, named after the parish in New York City whose members provided much of the funding

 

1873    June 18 – consecration of Grace Cathedral

 

1879    Clarissa C. Cook Home for the Friendless established

 

1884    St. Katharine’s Episcopal School for Girls (now Rivermont Collegiate)

 

1893    St. Luke’s Hospital established (now part of Genesis Hospital)

 

1909    Trinity Parish and Grace Cathedral begin worshipping together

 

1910    Grace Cathedral renamed Trinity Cathedral to preserve the name of the original parish

 

1928    Christ Mission Church merged with Trinity

 

1941    Cancel and Sacristy remodeled to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Trinity Cathedral

 

1960    St. Alban’s Church organized by members of Trinity Cathedral

 

1966    St. Peter’s Church organized by members of Trinity Cathedral

 

1979    New tracker organ installed in the Cathedral by Hellmuth Wolff of Quebec

 

1983    Sacristy remodeled (after old organ was removed)

 

1984    Bell tower memorial; the cathedral is finally finished after 117 years!

 

1991    Trinity Cathedral celebrates its Sesquicentennial

 

1993    October 10 – Haines Parish House dedicated and consecrated

 

1994    Positive Parenting at Trinity established

Read more
X
X