WOODBRIDGE – Trinity Episcopal Chruch will commemorate two milestones in May – the 150th anniversary of the current church building’s consecration and the 30th anniversary of The Rev. Robert L. Counselman’s tenure as rector.
The celebration will begin on Thursday, May 12, with the opening of an exhibit at the Barron Arts Center. Attendees will be able to view highlights from more than three centuries of church history, including historical artifacts discovered on the property. The arts center, at 582 Rahway Avenue in Woodbridge, will host the display until Thursday, June 2.
Because the consecration occurred just after the start of the Civil War, the era will be represented by a living history exhibit. The event will take place on the church’s grounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Company A of the 7th Virginia Cavalry, a New Jersey-based group of Civil War re-enactors, will put on the program. In case of inclement weather, the exhibit will be moved indoors to the Parish House.
Historical tours of the property, which is listed on the National and New Jersey Register of Historic Places, will be conducted during the program. Highlights will include the church building, which is being preserved with the help of the New Jersey Historic Trust, and the rectory, originally the Jonathan Dunham House. Dunham was an ancestor of President Barack Obama, and several Dunham family members are buried in the churchyard.
An anniversary gala will follow on the evening of May 21 at the Renaissance Woodbridgeg, a 515 U.S. Highway 1 South in Iselin. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception, followed at 7 p.m. by the main program which will honor the church and Father Counselman. A silent auction and super 50-50 drawing will be included.
Tickets for the gala are $75 each. All proceeds will benefit the Trinity Campaign, a fundraising effort to help cover the cost of the preservation work. Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac is the event’s honorary chairman, and Robin Vitale is the chairman.
The weekend will conclude with an anniversary Eucharist and reception following, beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, in the church. The Right Rev. George E. Councell, Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey, will be the celebrant. There will be a reception in the Parish House following the service.
Trinity Church is located at 650 Rahway Avenue at Trinity Lane in Woodbridge. For more information, call the Parish Office at 1-732-634-7422.
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