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We are an Independent Bible Church proclaiming God's truth as it is revealed in His Holy Word, The Bible. Believing that "All have sinned and come short of God's glory," we believe that God provided atonement through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, on Calvary's cross and confirmed His approval of this sacrifice by Christ's bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day. We further believe that whosoever confesses themselves a sinner and Jesus Christ as their Savior, are saved from wrath and receive the gift of Eternal Life. We believe in Jesus' promise to return to receive us unto Himself, and until that time, we are to evangelize the world, as God commanded us to do.
You are invited to worship with us. Please view the Calendar on the Homepage for the times of our services. A warm and loving welcome awaits you.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord: II Corinthians 4:5
Article one: Scripture
The Bible is the infallible Word of God, the supreme rule for faith and practice.
The sixty-six books of the Old and New testament came from the very mouth (verbal) of God and are without error (plenary) in the originals. Scripture is therefore the unique and final authority for all it affirms, including both belief and behavior.
From these convictions flow the following articles of faith.
Article Two: God
There is one God, infinitely perfect, without change, creator of all yet not created, distinct from His creation yet everywhere perfectly balanced in all His attributes, omniscient over all time, wholly sovereign. He alone is the sole object of worship.
God exists eternally in three persons - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - equal in essence and divine perfection, all three uncreated, executing harmonious offices.
Article Three: God the Son
God the Son is fully God and fully human, without confusion or mixture, the unique and only Son. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died on Calvary's cross as the sacrifice for our sins, was physically raised from the dead as prophesied, ascended into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for the saints as the sole mediator between God and man. He will return physically and visibly to the earth. To Him every knee shall bow.
Article Four: God the Holy Spirit
God the Spirit is sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He fully indwells every true believer as a guarantee of his inheritance, guides and empowers them, interceding in accordance with the will of God.
Article Five: Anthropology
(The Doctrine of Man)
Adam and Eve were both created in the image of God, Adam from the dust of the ground and Eve from Adams side. They disobeyed God and died, spiritually and physically. Therefore, all people are under God's wrath, sinners by nature and by choice. They are dead in their sins and incapable of pleasing God, totally depraved. Without the direct intervention of God, they will live separated from God, die in their sins, and receive the condemnation that their sin deserves.
Article Six; Soteriology
(The Doctrine of Salvation)
Salvation from sin and access to God is available only through the finished work of Christ on the cross, given by God's grace, mercy, love, and received solely by faith. In conversion, the believer is drawn by God to Himself, redeemed from his sins, declared wholly righteous, born again, made alive in Christ as a new creature, reconciled to God, becomes a child of God, and is filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit through whom he is empowered for a life of obedience.
Article Seven: Sanctification
(The Doctrine of Holiness)
God's will for every believer is his sanctification. It is the necessary and certain fruit of salvation, yet not meritorious (not of our own good works); it is God alone who saves. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, saints are called and enabled to live lives of holiness, "in" but not "of" the world, fully dedicated to Jesus Christ, persevering to the end. Disciples are declared to be sanctified through the finished work of Christ and are also called to become sanctified in the experiences of life.
One of the many results of sanctification is the desire to share the gospel (the good news) of Jesus Christ with sinners; Witnessing grows out of an awareness of what Christ has done for you.
Article Eight: Ecclesiology
(The Doctrine of the Church)
The church consists of all true disciples of Jesus Christ. All things exist under the supremacy of Christ, and therefore Christ and Christ alone is the head of the church. The local expression of the church is comprised of disciples who are gifted for the work of building up the body of Christ. While different local expressions may have different emphases, all are commanded to make disciples, which includes both evangelism, teaching obedience to all that Christ taught. The church is to be committed to the reading of the Scriptures, the Lord's Table, Baptism, the exhortation to obedience, the teaching of doctrinal truths of Scripture, as well as to all that is necessary for edification of the body, including worship, singing, prayer, and service. All are to be done to the Glory of God.
Article Nine: Eschatology
(The Doctrine of Last Things)
Jesus will return-personally, physically, visibly, suddenly-and all disciples living and dead will be bodily caught up to meet Him at the final judgment, the unrepentant will be raised to the resurrection of judgment and everlasting punishment in Hell. Believers, while already passed from darkness to light, will be raised to the resurrection of life, granted immortality, and will enjoy the everlasting, personal presence of God in His Heavenly Kingdom. God's plan of creation, redemption, and glorification will be complete.
This is the hope for which we long, which helps to motivate us now toward godly living, and which compels us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world.
The Early Years
Early in November of 1926, two woman, Mrs. Kate Wagner and Mrs. Elizabeth Kenney, seeing the need of a church in the community, discussed this need with Mr. Robert Keel, owner of Brightside Manor. Mr. Keel stated that if a survey showed that the people of the local community wanted a church he would donate the ground and erect a church. The rent for the church was to be one rose a year to be paid at a pageant for that purpose.
A house to house canvas was made to determine if the community would support a church. The following week, all were invited to the home of Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Mohr for a community meeting where a lengthy discussion was held and plans were laid with a building committee being formed. The new church was to be called the "William I. Keel Memorial Church."
On Sunday, November 13, 1926 the Valentine residence on Newport Road and Bancroft Avenue was opened for the first meeting of worship. Over 50 people were in attendance and Rev.Earl Hathaway, Executive Secretary of Presbytery North had charge of the service. A Sunday School was organized. At this first meeting an announcement was made concerning the procurement of speakers for the services. Speakers included people from all walks of life: from ordained preachers to laymen that included lawyers, editors, Bible students and blacksmiths; anyone with a message from the Word of God was included. Many speakers were procured through Mr. Stewart, Religious secretary of the Trenton, New Jersey YMCA.
At the first meeting Rev. Hathaway said that the Presbyterian Church would be willing to take over the church and make it a mission church if the people so desired. A vote was taken and the answer was "NO." The people wanted a non-denominational chapel for all.
With the growth of the congregation, the Valentine residence became to small and so in December of 1926, Mr. Keel was approached about using two rooms in the stone mansion as a chapel. Mr. Keel agreed and some alterations were made with a wood stove being set up and oil lamps installed. Chairs were gotten from the Manor theater in Croydon.
On Thanksgiving Day 1927, a special celebration was held in which the people gave thanks to God for His abundant blessings throughout this first year.
In the Spring of 1928 the committee purchased the present chapel building, a former barracks from Fort Dix, New Jersey, from Mr. William L. Stackhouse. The land was purchased from Mr. Otto Grupp. The building was erected in the rough after the men and women worked side by side to dig and lay the foundation.
It was decided that the name of the chapel would be "Newport Road Community Chapel." The men of the community built the pulpit and installed a stairway to the basement after the floor was poured. The walls were plastered and lights were donated by Alpha Baptist Church in Philadelphia. A former Lutheran pastor in Bristol donated a communion set. Dedication services were held beginning January 20, 1929. The week of celebration consisted of various speakers coming in for evening meetings to once again Give God The Glory for His Unspeakable Gifts.
For the first five years (1926 - 1931) the people preferred using various speakers rather than calling a pastor. This changed in October of 1931 when Rev. Wilbert E. Fite was called as the first pastor. He served until March, 1933. Mr. Ernest Hunter became the next pastor, serving from April, 1933 - October, 1937, at which time he felt called of God to move his family to the rural mountains of eastern Kentucky to begin a new work with the people of that area. He and his wife Catherine opened and orphanage for young children as well as serving in the local church. Ernest and Catherine both served in this ministry until God called them home. Mr. Hunter was ordained in the chapel and they became the first missionaries to be sent out and supported by this local church.
From April 1938 - 1940 Mr. McIllhenny was the pastor of the chapel. He attended the reformed Episcopal Seminary and took another pastorate in Philadelphia.
In August 1940 Mr. Cotter became the pastor. he resigned in December of 1945 with his resignation to be effective January 1946, to become a full-time pastor in Massachusetts.
On March 26, 1946 a special service was held at which the mortgage was burned.
In March 1946, Mr. Edwin Thomas, was called as pastor. The church continued to grow in spirit in number. Mr. Thomas was ordained in the church in June 29th, 1951. In April 1953, the Bethel Evangelical Congregational Church suggested that we join their denomination, but the congregation declined. Pastor Edwin Thomas, served as pastor from March 1946 until May 1958 at which time he submitted his resignation. Pastor and Mrs. Thomas went on to minister at a Church in Philadelphia, where they served until God called him home.
In January 1959, Mr. Donald Nichols, a graduate of Philadelphia College of Bible was asked to speak for the month and was later appointed pastor of our church. Pastor Nichols served until October 1960.
On May 1961, plans were revived to remodel the chapel with a new front and enclosing the porch. A letter was read from Philadelphia College of Bible recommending Mr. Ralph Stahley as a candidate for pastor and it was agreed to contact him to speak after July, since speakers were already engaged up until July 1. Mr. Stahley agreed to take charge of our Vacation Bible School and also to speak in July. Two other speakers had already been engaged for August and the first two weeks of September.
On Sunday, August 20,1961, the congregation approved the remodeling of the front of the chapel.
On Sunday October 8, 1961 the congregation voted to accept Mr. Stahley as the seventh (7th) and current pastor of our church. It was agreed that he would officially begin as pastor on November 5, 1961. The dedication of the remodeled church and installation of Mr. Ralph Stahley as pastor took place on Sunday, February 25, 1962 in an afternoon service.
On March 13, 1962 Pastor Stahley held his first baptism as our pastor in an afternoon service at Calvary Baptist Church in Bristol. Ten young people and two adults were baptized.
Pastor Stahley was ordained in our church on Friday, September 7, 1962 with Oxford Valley Chapel in Levittown being the ordaining church.
On October 27, 1963 our church was incorporated in the state of Pennsylvania as Newport Road Community Chapel
On July 26, 1965 the name of the church was changed to Trinity Chapel.
On October 24, 1978 our name was changed again, to Trinity Bible Church, seeking to honor our God, identifying ourselves as a church centered in the Bible, The Word of God.
MORE TO COME