A Rich History of Ministry & Mission

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral is celebrating more than 200 years of life and ministry and mission. We look ahead with anticipation as we look back at a rich past. Click here to view the digital archive collection that has been digitized through the University of South Carolina Library.

From Country Church to Majestic Cathedral

From its beginnings as a country church of fewer than twenty-five communicants, Trinity has grown to an urban parish numbering more than 3,600 baptized members. Throughout its history the parish has played a leading role in the affairs of the city, the state, and the church. Six of her rectors have become bishops, and she has numbered among her congregation members of Congress, judges, legislators, and governors.

In November 1976, the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, in convention assembled, voted to make Trinity Church, Columbia, its cathedral parish. The necessary documents were proclaimed in January 1977, and a magnificent liturgical celebration commemorating this event was held in May 1977. A significant restoration of the aging church structure was completed in 2011.

In 2012 the church celebrated 200 years of its life with a grand celebration, beginning worship services in the State House across Sumter Street, and processing into the church.

A Churchyard of Distinguished Graves and Historic Trees

Under the ancient oaks and magnolias of Trinity’s Churchyard are buried some of South Carolina’s distinguished sons and daughters: General Wade Hampton, General Peter Horry, and Private Robert Stark (all Revolutionary heroes); Dr. Thomas Cooper, president of the South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) and friend of Thomas Jefferson; General Wade Hampton; Henry Timrod, Poet Laureate of the Confederacy; six governors of the state; and eight bishops of the Episcopal Church.

The church’s members continue a legacy of vital worship and formation in faith, along with service, outreach, and presence in the community, in the diocese, and beyond.