Property Projects

Property Projects

Property Project Checklist Completed/Pending/Wishlist
February 2019 - Pastor Felix called a Board of Trustees meeting at the very beginning of February. Because our building needs were so great, it was decided that the church would create an itemized wish list of repairs that were desperately needed. In addition, a second offering would be collected for the property fund. This list would be posted on the sanctuary door. The damage to the bell tower was so evident that the city of Fernandina Beach wrote the church a letter concerning the condition of the bell tower. Not only was it an eyesore but they were concerned that the condition might be dangerous.

An anonymous member of the congregation gave enough money to the repair of the bell tower. The work was completed in a week. In May, the church was awarded a plaque called Beacon of Hope issued by the City of Fernandina for the work completed on the bell tower. This public recognition was a great encouragement to the congregation which reminded them they were going in the right direction. There were funds leftover so this money became the seed money to begin the Property Fund Account.
July 2019 - Pastor Felix began to use a projector during the worship service and he needed a surface to project the images on. Two members of the congregation purchased projection screen paint and painted the alcove behind the pulpit.
December 2019 - The first Christmas open house was held and donations for repair projects were given by the visitors. A large anonymous donation was given by a member of the community. This was added to the amount already in the property fund so we were halfway to our goal for the repair of the roof.
Jan 2021 - Two members of the congregation volunteered to remove the very ragged taped old red carpet located down the aisle and in the front and the back of the sanctuary. They planned to refinish the 3 respective areas. Another member of the congregation added money to the building fund so that plush carpet could be purchased for the altar area. When the old carpet was removed from the floor in the front and the back of the church, it was discovered that under the carpet was unfinished original heart of pine flooring which had never been sanded, stained or or sealed. It was a sight to behold. The two members spent 5 days sanding, staining and then sealing those three sections.

One of the heater/air conditioner units broke and had to be replaced. The interior of the sanctuary continued to deteriorate because of the leaking roof.

A family donated enough additional funds to begin the roof repair process.
February 2021 - A roofing company was hired and the roof was completely restored.

The pot belly stove, which originally heated the sanctuary, was found under the stairwell in the parsonage. It was in pieces and was covered in rust. The stove was made in 1901 by the Hanks Stove Company located in Rome, Georgia. Two members of the congregation restored the potbelly stove

Even though the monetary goal for the roof had been raised, members continued to donate to the property fund to insure that other improvements on the buildings could continue.
March 2021 - Recognizing a severe lack of storage, members installed cabinets in the parlor hallway.

The active church membership had grown to 38 members
April 2021 - Ten members of the congregation met, and it was decided that royal blue carpet would be purchased for the narthex, the parlor and the altar area. Blue carpet was chosen because of the dominate color in all the beautiful stained glass windows. A member of the congregation donated funds so the carpet could be installed.
April 8th, 2021 - The exterior white trim around the stained glass windows was caulked and painted.
May 4th, 2021 - Gutters were installed to help keep so much rain from getting to the stained glass windows, window and door sills.
July 2021 - In order to install any landscaping improvements around the church, the old, non-working sprinkler system had to be completely restored to proper working order. Members of the congregation replace broken pipes, solenoids, and sprinkler heads so that the system could again function correctly.

The door sills to the main entrance, the parlor and the sanctuary back door were showing significant water damage. A member repaired the sills so that water damage could be eliminated and minimized in the future.
August 2021 - A generous friend of Trinity sold rum cakes to raise money to have the pulpit chairs reupholstered to match the new carpeting. Three appliqué symbols of the Trinity were purchased and a member sewed them on the material before the chairs were reupholstered.
September 2021 - Another donation from a church family made it possible to move ahead with the landscaping project. The landscape architect, Trey Dennard, gave a generous donation in honor of his late mother, Peggy Dennard.

Not only was landscaping installed along 8th and Ash Streets, but Pastor Felix oversaw the installation of landscaping lighting.

Pastor Felix had been in discussion with the insurance company that had paid the original claim following the hurricanes. Because of the small award, Pastor Felix negotiated the reopening of the insurance claim.
October 2021 - The insurance company re-evaluated the claim and awarded Trinity $75,000 so the roof could be repaired. Since we had already raised funds and repaired the roof, the insurance money could go towards the repair of the water damage to the interior. A contractor was hired to discover where the damage in the sanctuary was located. The contractor discovered that the window caulking around both the Star of David window and the Floral window was missing which was allowing water to leak in and destroy the plaster on the surrounding walls. Water damage was evident on the ceiling of the balcony on both sides. The decorative korbels along the upper walls suffered major damage to the extent they would need to be completely replaced
November 2021 The restoration process of the interior (replastering, wood replacement, painting and caulking) was begun and completed. Because this work needed the use of scaffolding and ladders, parts of the floor was were severely scratched. We agreed the entire heart of pine flooring in both the balcony and the main floor needed to be professionally refinished.
December 2021 In an effort to make better use of the balcony, it was decided to install a storage shed in the back corner of the parking lot and move all the surplus A/V and lighting equipment and other clutter from the balcony to the shed. Thirty blue chairs were ordered to be installed in the balcony.
December 2021 The older heating system failed so that zone’s A/C system had to be completely replaced with one that could heat as well as cool.
February 2022 - A professional flooring company, Just Floored, was hired to restore the original heart of pine flooring to their original beauty. During the process, the floors were sanded 3 times and finished with three coats of polyurethane. There were then approximately 40 active members attending church every Sunday. The flooring company also moved pews from the balcony to make a conversation area/children’s church area at the back of the sanctuary.
March 2022 - The original pews are in need of repair. About one fourth of the pews needed some kind of attention with damaged end pieces, split benches and insufficient bottom supports. Members began working on the pews, repairing seats, mending end supports and reworking or installing needed under pew supports.

Thirty blue chairs and a sofa were installed in the balcony. One picture shows the custom clamp designed be used in gluing the seats back together, the other shows the balcony seating area.
April 2022 - Pastor Felix entered into an agreement with the beauty parlor next door on 8th Street to replace the worn wooden fence that separated our properties with a more open and more decorative metal fence. Our neighbors generously offered the use of their courtyard for special events.
June 2022 - To protect the A/C units and the new storage shed, bollards were installed to keep cars from backing into things they shouldn't.
July 2022 - In preparation for the parking lot upgrade, members used brick colored landscaping blocks to define flower beds around the North and West sides of church where there was none before. A team of six members (Charley Preus, Dave Schulte, Dave Anstine, Dick Burnett, Norman Hill and Lee Scofield) worked with Liberty Landscaping delivery driver and Cole McAfee (The Tractor Guy) to level and spread the limestone gravel over the 4,000 sq ft parking lot.
July 2022 - The very long and involved process of getting an historic marker for Trinity church finally came to fruition when the marker and post were delivered. A member installed the marker in the designated location. The front side of the marker reads, “In 1891, the Rev. J.F. Eliot was assigned to Fernandina. He and the other congregation members began construction on the present church that same year. The brick building was constructed in the masonry vernacular style, and included pilasters, gothic arches, and a bell tower, floral themes are repeated throughout the sanctuary from the lancet stained glass windows to the pew entrances and ceiling brackets. Local historians say Trinity is “Florida’s oldest brick church built for African Americans”. Notable former church members include Nassau County educators, Dr. William H. Peck, and the Rev. Dr. William E. Pollen, Florida Rep Riley E. Robinson, Chief of Police, Robert “Friday” Smith and Judge John H. Stays. Church members Margurite Sheppard, Florence Holzendorf, and Selestine Shine remembered the days when there were three services each Sunday with the congregation filling the sanctuary and the balcony. An orchestra, featuring a violin, played for the worship services. In 1973, Trinity United Methodist Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource in the Fernandina Beach Historic District. As gateway to the district, it remains an integral part of Fernandina’s history.”
July 2022 - During a wedding, we discovered the balcony is almost too hot to use in the summer months. We had an additional dedicated HVAC unit installed to service that area as needed.
Sept 2022 - Due to the generous donation of biblical research books, commentaries, bible dictionaries, and books of prayers, by retiring Rev Conrad Sharp, we had more resources than we had space to display them. A member built a new book case for the parlor and another member helped install it, which increased the size of our reference library by about 50%.
Oct 25, 2022 - We had the pre-1950 windows replaced in the parlor addition to the historic sanctuary.
Oct 26, 2022 - We had Southern Fumigation and Pest Control treat the bell tower for dry wood termites. Every opening in the church was sealed to contain the poison inside the church for two days before it was cleared and tested to ensure that all spaces were again safe for normal use. The process was in compliance with and inspected by a representative from the Florida Department of Agriculture.
Oct 31, 2022 - We had a young man from Mason Air Conditioning and Heat replace the duck work under the church and parlor so that the parlor would be included in the central HVAC system. (No picture was taken)
Even though we have completed an impressive list of projects since 2019, we have various outstanding projects remaining in the pipeline that need funding:
- Update our bathrooms in the 1940’s parlor addition.
- There is an on-going effort to install under-pew supports throughout the sanctuary.

During this time, the restoration projects have been completed under the direction of Pastor Felix. The Holy Spirit has blessed this church with strong, loving members and a very supportive community. Our work continues as members reach out to the community through work at the Hope House, the Communiy Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, America’s Youth, Sober Living and other organizations.