What We Believe
Trinity United Methodist Church is a gathering of Christians seeking to be faithful to God in our daily lives. We are both traditional and progressive and, while not perfect, we strive to put God first in our lives, our work, and our worship.
Purpose of Worship
We believe that worship is the heartbeat of the community of faith, and we express our worship in hymn and song, in liturgy and spontaneity, in Word and in Sacrament.
Meaning of Membership
We are a traditional church for the 21st century, open to all who seek God, and we invite you to join us this Sunday as we follow the risen Christ together.
As United Methodists, we believe that salvation is an ongoing, life-long process guided by God's grace. We recognize the power that sin has over our lives and the guilt caused by our broken relationship with God. God's grace surrounds us with a gentle, quiet invitation to turn to God, recognize our sinfulness, and allow God into our heart to begin restoration. Once we recognize our brokenness and turn to God, God's grace makes us right with God, beginning to remove the power and guilt. God's grace then leads us on a journey toward being made perfect in God's love, a grace-filled process that continues as long as we live on this earth, until we are finally united with God in the life to come.
United Methodist History And Trinity's Historical Place in Kannapolis
We believe that there is more to life than what we can know with our five senses. We believe that God is the creative center of the universe. We believe that Jesus of Nazareth, given the title "Christ" after his death and resurrection, is the human and divine representative of God on earth. We believe the living Christ exists in our hearts and in our communities of faith through the continued presence of God's Spirit, which offers quiet, subtle guidance when we take the time to listen.
What is now the United Methodist Church began as a reform movement within the Anglican Church of England in the early 1700's. Two young Anglican priests, the brothers John and Charles Wesley, felt that the Anglican Church was not meeting the spiritual needs of the people of England as England's economy was shifting into the Industrial Age. Factory workers labored seven days a week. Poverty was rampant as farm jobs gave way to mechanized harvesters. Debtors prisons were overflowing. The Wesley brothers, along with a core group of friends, felt that the church needed to take the Gospel of Christ where the people were, but church leaders were content to sit in their gilded sanctuaries and cathedrals, serving only the people who had the leisure time to attend.
The Wesleys, however, took to the streets, holding open-air services at the factory gates as the shifts changed, sharing the gospel with people who didn't have an opportunity to attend church. The Wesleys then began organizing small group meetings, called "Holy Clubs," whenever people could attend. These clubs eventually grew into Methodist Societies in England, and by the 1760's had spread to the American colonies.
After the Revolutionary War and American Independence, John Wesley ordained two Anglican priests, Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke, and Methodist Bishops, and sent them to the newly formed United States organize the American Methodist Societies into a new church, then called the Methodist Episopal Church.
The Methodist Episcopal Church grew quickly, but not without occasional divisiveness and problems. In many parts of the US, African-American Methodists were treated as second class Christians, and they eventually formed three eparate denominations known today as the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The Methodist Episcopal Church also split over slavery in 1844, and did not reunite until 1939.
Trinity United Methodist Church was founded in 1908 in the new mill town of Kannapolis, only one year after production at the new Cannon Mill began. Trinity has grown along with Cannon Mills and Kannapolis, and as the city grew, Trinity sent out teams to start other Methodist Churches in the various Kannapolis communites. At one point in the 1950's, Cannon Mills was the largest textile company in the world, and Trinity UMC was one of the strongest Methodist churches in Western North Carolina.
In the 1980's, the textile industry began to undergo seismic changes, and Cannon Mills, once the largest textile company in the world, began to struggle. In the early 1980's, the Cannon family sold the mill and the surrounding real estate to developer and venture capitalist David Murdock, and Mr. Murdock subsequently sold the mill to Fieldcrest Mills, but kept the surrounding real estate. Fieldcrest - Cannon continued operations until 1997, when they were bought out be Pillowtex Corp. By this time, the textile industry in the United States was in free fall, and Pillowtex filed for bankruptcy in 2001, finally closing the gates of the mill permanently in 2003. The plant that had once employed over 20,000 people in Kannapolis along laid off over 4300 people in Kannapolis, the largest permanent layoff in the history of the state of North Carolina.
After the layoff, Trinity UMC joined other Kannapolis churches in providing services to those affected by the layoffs, but Trinity and the other churches were also hurting as many members were themselves laid off, or had family members or friends who were laid off. In 2015, the City of Kannapolis is just beginning to emerge from the economic impact of losing that many good jobs, and the churches as well are just beginning to recover and look to the future. Trinity is rebuilding a solid spiritual foundation based on a deepening understanding of who we are and whose we are, and who we are called to serve. Our past, our present, and our future are intimately tied to the city of Kannapolis and we are planning the next 100 years here of sharing God's grace with Kannapolis, the surrounding area, and all God's creation.