Trinity Evangelical Free Church

…came into being 35+ years ago. In April of 1983, Pat Ferguson shared with Eileen Johnson (two of the founding families) a vision from the Lord concerning a new work He wanted to begin in Eustis. For two weeks, Jim and Pat Ferguson, Bill and Marijane Sprouse, Gary and Pam Stoltz, and Dale and Eileen Johnson met together in prayer. On May 20th, 1983, they felt led two begin a new church in Eustis.

The Sprouse House

Trinity Church met for worship for the first time on May 29th, 1983, at the home of Bill and Marijane Sprouse. Those were “great” Sundays: worship services in the living room, children’s church in the bedrooms, covered dish dinners and swimming afterwards. They quickly grew too large for the Sprouse House. Jim was a gifted teacher of God’s Word,

and the hearts and minds of these first families were like sponges soaking up the truth contained in Gods Word.

In July of 1983, we began services at the Women’s Club in Eustis. The facilities were sufficient for a short time, however there was no room for children’s ministry. Jack Prickett offered the use of his professional office building to house children’s Sunday School classes and a nursery.

THE CITRUS AVENUE CHURCH

September 25th, 1983, we voted to purchase the old Calvary Baptist Church on Citrus Ave., contingent upon receiving $25,000.00 as a down payment in 30 days. The Lord graciously provided the money. The first Christmas Eve service was held at the Citrus Avenue Church, although we did not “officially” take possession of the property until January 1st, 1984. Finally, there was room for a church office, Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, a fellowship hall and a place to meet during the week. But not for long!

March 4th, 1984, we purchased a house just north of the church for additional Sunday School classes. The summer of 1984 we hired our first Youth Pastor, John Glad. And in September 1984, we offered to pay $92,000.00 for 7.09 acres of land on Abrams Road.

The abrams road church

Abram’s Road church (Sanctuary, offices, and classrooms)

Abram’s Road church (Sanctuary, offices, and classrooms)

In December of 1987, our present building on Abrams Road was completed. Shortly after moving into the new facility, our first pastor, Jim Young, accepted a call to a pastor a church in California. David Whitney served as the Interim Pastor for 18 moths and eventually left to begin a church in Maryland. In December of 1989, David Stone became the Pastor. Besides revising the by-laws, two vitally significant ministries began during this time. AWANA ministries (a program that ministers to children from age 3 to the age of 5th grade) and NDY (Not Done Yet, a program for retired people who met for fellowship, bible study and service) began operating in the church. Pat Sword joined the staff as Church Secretary in 1990 and is still with us today!

The Impact center

Impact Center (gym, classrooms, and kitchen)

Impact Center (gym, classrooms, and kitchen)

In January 2002, the Impact Center was completed and ready to be used. Again, the Lord provided for our needs and gave us room for our AWANA program, for our youth, for adult classes and more flexibility to do Kidzone. To this day, the Impact Center serves our church and ministries in a variety of ways. Our Youth Group, AWANA program, and service ministries use the church weekly, however, we find our greatest use of the Impact Center by outside groups within the Eustis, Tavares, and Mount Dora communities. We are blessed to serve our community with the resources God has blessed us with!

The Book of Acts

The various names and dates during the first twenty years of Trinity do not begin to capture the pure, unexplained excitement that has been possessed by those who have lived and experienced these first twenty years of our history. It is as if we are living like the first century church in the book of Acts.

We’ve seen God do amazing things and provide in many ways - money for pastors, buildings and ministries, and talented and gifted lay people. God has motivated and inspired our people to minister in every imaginable way at Trinity and around the world, from Kidzone to Guatemala, fulfilling our goal of equipping lay people to do the work of ministry.

Just like the book of Acts, the first twenty years have brought not only joy, but also sorrow, disappointment and sometimes disagreement. But “thru it all” God has been faithful. He has used difficult times to mature us, to force us to depend upon Him and Him alone, and to help us refocus on His vision and His purpose for Trinity.

What do the next twenty 20 years hold for Trinity? the next twenty years are in God’s hands, just like the first twenty years have been guided by and provided for by the Lord. Let us keep our eyes on the Lord, seek His agenda and join him in bringing a lost world to salvation. I believe the next twenty years Trinity will be even more exciting than the last twenty!

Information, writing, and gathering of this material was put together by Eileen johnson - August 31st, 2003.