I was cooking dinner Saturday night when a storm blew up in our neighborhood. It had rained earlier but had pretty much stopped. There was still the rumble of thunder in the distance. I remember distinctly a flash of lightning while I stood over the stove. I thought it seemed really close. I didn’t have time to count the seconds between the lightning and the boom of thunder. This confirmed my suspicions of a direct hit somewhere in close proximity to us.
I got busy and didn’t think about it again, until a little while later when I had to run out for something at the store. That’s when I saw the fire truck up the street and smoke billowing over the trees. Something was definitely on fire.
I sat in my car at the end of my driveway wondering what to do. My curiosity wanted to turn left and head up the hill to investigate but my common sense warned that I would just be another car in the way of emergency vehicles. In a minute, a car slowed and its driver confirmed what I already suspected. Trinity Presbyterian Church, or school, or both were on fire, probably caused by lightning. I decided to back up, park and walk up the street.
I am told Trinity Presbyterian was once the location of a night club. I am too young to remember anything other than the beautiful steeple that pointed to heaven as I walked in the neighborhood. My older children attended school there for all their early years and I taught P.E. there for a while. It had been the home of a little classical ballet academy where my oldest learned to dance under the guidance of Sally Ann Doyle.
Trinity was indeed on fire. I walked as close as I could to see if I could get a picture but the pines were in the way. A parade of cars flowed by hoping to find out what the sirens were about.
I stood thinking about all the good that little church and school had accomplished. I selfishly grieved the loss of the chimes. So many times in the afternoons I have stopped and listened to “The Old Rugged Cross” and other hymns coming from the hill and breathed in peace and comfort from them.
I was thrilled to read on Facebook that the sanctuary had not been destroyed in the fire. I saw a video that looked as if the building would collapse at any moment, to find the walls inside were still white and the pews and hymnals were all still in place was simply amazing.
I know quite a few of the precious people who are part of the Trinity Family. I know their commitment to teach their children and their love for God. I know they will do whatever it takes to be back in their church soon.
Trinity, please know that your India Road neighbors share the sadness of your loss but look forward to the rebirth that comes from it. I know I will rejoice when I hear the chimes again.