ABOUT TRINITY AME CHURCH
During the November 2010 Louisiana Annual Conference, Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry planted a New Work slated for Gonzales, LA, and appointed the Reverend Orin Blouin as Pastor.
A group six adults and four children met at home of Pastor Blouin and agreed to name the New Work Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church. The congregation initially met as a Bible Study on Wednesday evenings. The Reverend Herbert Spears, then President of the Western New Orleans Baton Rouge Ministerial Alliance and former Pastor of the Blouin family was very supportive of the home-based Bible studies. He and the members of Greater Greene Chapel Baton Rouge were great encouragers.
On June 3, 2012, (Trinity Sunday) Trinity AMEC held its first public worship service at the American Legion Post 557. Members noted that it was reminiscent of the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s founding in a blacksmith shop in Philadelphia. Reverend Orin Blouin designed a portable altar, and Sister Bertha G. Pitts, Western New Orleans Baton Rouge District Stewardess, assisted with draping the altar and prepared the Holy Communion elements. Sister Gloria Spears, the late wife of Reverend Herbert Spears encouraged the congregation with a vision of Trinity worshipping in a white and blue sanctuary.
Sister Spears passed in September 2012, and within a week of her passing, Sister Ruby Cornish found the current sanctuary, 1420 South Darla Avenue, Gonzales, Louisiana available for lease. The 5,000 square foot building is blue and white.
In October 2012 the congregation moved into the former Word of Faith Ministries building founded by Pastor Matthew Stephens. Shortly after moving into our new worship facility, Trinity hosted a musical to show appreciation to the American Legion Howard Johnson Post 557 for the use of their building. The musicals continued with great support from the community for four years.
The Women’s Missionary Society and the Young People’s and Children’s Division were very engaged in the community. The Louisiana Annual Conference awarded Trinity AMEC the New Vision Award in 2015. Sister Vickie R. Smith, a founding member of Trinity, was elected Louisiana Conference WMS President and Sister Pedrina Blouin was appointed Area YPD Director for Western New Orleans Baton Rouge Area. Trinity AMEC hosted Louisiana Conference WMS Mission Education Studies for five (5) years. The church also hosted District Meetings for then-Presiding Elder David Campbell.
During a transition, Presiding Elder Lloyd Washington took charge of Trinity in March 2017. During a medical leave, Elder Washington appointed the Reverend Marques D. Smith, who served until the Annual Conference. At the 2017 Louisiana Annual Conference, the Rev. Ritney A. Castine was appointed as pastor by the Rt. Rev. Julius Harrison McAllister, Sr., Presiding Bishop. Under Rev. Castine’s leadership, the ministries and membership have increased considerably. The Class Leader’s council, Children’s Church, Youth Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry and a vibrant music ministry with various choirs were all established.
Through focus, determination, and intentional ministry, Pastor Ritney led Trinity through transformational change. The church experienced significant spiritual, physical, and numerical growth. Several families joined, and many new ministries were developed, including a daily radio broadcast ministry, and internet streaming ministries that reached several thousand. Under his leadership, the congregation purchased a modern building and five acres of land in one of Louisiana’s fastest growing cities. Shortly afterward, a debt-free major renovation of the facilities was completed, which positioned the church for 21st century ministry in a post-pandemic world. Pastor Ritney was instrumental in connecting the church to the broader community, and leveraged several relationships to facilitate partnerships and increase the church’s budget through grants, corporate giving, and through cultivating individual donors outside of the church’s membership.
Trinity remains active in the Gonzales community and within the Western New Orleans-Baton Rouge District/Louisiana Annual Conference. Trinity regularly engages members of the community through its quarterly Community Conversations series, events organized to convene community stakeholders and allow them to engage with distinguished speakers to challenge their collective thinking, promote tolerance, and create social change. Trinity’s banner is simply “Trust God”, and we are a family of believers who trust God to direct our paths. To God be the Glory!
Trinity’s history was written in April 2020 with contributions from Sister Vickie Robinson Smith and the Reverend Ritney A. Castine.