The Holy Spirit swept through Knoxville in early 1970 and a Charismatic Movement began to grow. Many people, who were involved in traditionally affiliated churches, were introduced to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. As a result, a group of believers from one of these churches moved out to begin a fellowship of their own. In 1974 they began coming together, to study the Scriptures and pray, in one another's homes. By January of 1975, they had outgrown these small spaces and began meeting at the Volunteers of America Chapel on Church Street.
As the men of this new fellowship of believers sought after God, He began to show them a vision for establishing a new kind of church…HIS church…a church where the men and women of God would be taught about and led into the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Lord soon gave them a Scriptural foundation for His new church. "Who were born not of blood, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" -John 1:1-3
Trinity Chapel was born, given and anointed by God and named for the Father God, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God blessed His ministry and, in April of 1975, Trinity Chapel was officially chartered as a non-profit organization. (Click here to read the original By-Laws.) In the Autumn of 1975, Jack Wright, Charlie Riggs, Hugh Brashear and Harold Rutherford were ordained as the first elders.
God continued to bless and, soon the Volunteers of America building was too small, so the men of Trinity began to search out a larger one. The Holy Spirit took the lead by speaking through a man in the body named Charles Scruggs. Charles was greeting men at the door and setting up chairs for one of Trinity's "Men's Meetings", when he spoke out in a loud voice…"GOD HAS US A BUILDING." Charles had no idea what God had in store for the people of Trinity Chapel, but God began to minister to him. Charles drove a bus for another local church and, while on his route one day, God showed him a building on Deadrick Avenue that was grown up with weeds, seemingly abandoned. Charles began visiting the building and seeking God, and soon became convinced it was the building God had chosen. One afternoon, he took Cas Snodderly, another member of the body, to look at the building. Charles and Cas stopped to pray on the front steps, and Cas told God that if He would give that building, the people of Trinity Chapel would praise Him in it. Although Charles was convinced this was what God wanted, others didn't quite share his enthusiasm. Many people went to see the building and it really wasn't much to look at, as it had not been occupied for a while. It happened, though, that Bob Timco, newly introduced to the Holy Spirit, worked at TVA where he had an excellent view of this particular building. The Holy Spirit took the lead again and, one day as Bob looked from his window, revealed the cross above the building, with an aura of radiance all around it like a sunburst or a halo. Taking this as confirmation from the Lord, Charles and the rest of the body sought God for finality. The decision was soon made to purchase the building for $76,000. The people came together and worked hard, getting the building ready for occupancy. In August of 1976 Trinity Chapel moved into the building on Deadrick Avenue.
In the early years, Hugh Brashear and Charlie Riggs did most of the preaching, and Jack Wright led the worship. Later, Russ Porcella became a part of the fellowship and, for many years, he taught the adults on Sunday mornings in the sanctuary. However, Trinity still needed a Pastor, an official leader of their flock of believers. On December 7, 1982 Trinity held a special business meeting and decided to call on LTC David Kithcart as Pastor, however, he stayed only for a short time. On May 17, 1982 another business meeting led the call of Don Estes as Pastor, who also stayed only a short while, but the Lord began to bless tremendously!
People came from long distances to be a part of our worship. On Sunday night, the sanctuary would fill completely. Many people would go to their traditional church on Sunday morning and come to Trinity on Sunday night. In time, we bought several adjoining lots for parking and then paved the front lawn and rear.
A few of the men in our church body had heard Steve Fatow preach at a local Business Mens' Meeting, and a couple attending Trinity who knew Steve had recommended him for the Pastoralship. Steve was soon invited to visit and speak at Trinity and he accepted. The decision was then made to call on Steve Fatow as Pastor and a proposition was drawn up and made. Steve and Sandi prayed together and decided that God had called them to Trinity Chapel. Steve accepted the position in April of 1984 and is still the Pastor here at Trinity.
God used Steve and Sandi's commitment along with a team of elders to undergird the growth of Trinity Chapel, as well as the elders' commitment to Steve and to the people. There were many people saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit, delivered and healed during our years in the Deadrick Avenue building and Trinity continued to grow! The elders knew we needed more space yet again. They began a search, looking at various properties with buildings, but couldn't find anything suitable for our situation or affordable. There was much prayer going into our need for more room. It was at a prayer meeting at Sam Oakes' house on October 12, 1998 that God spoke and the Elders unanimously agreed that God's will for us was to find land and build. A Realtor was contacted and he immediately went to work searching out land. After exhausting many possible prospects, the land on Haynes Sterchi Road was found…but it was not for sale. Jack Wright went to visit with the owner and, after a bit of negotiating (and God's great urging!), the owner decided to sell it to us for a drastically reduced rate. On March 13, 2000, the land sale was finalized. The building construction began in October of 2000, and we held our first service on Sunday, December 9th of 2001. It took time and hard work, but God has truly blessed us. God has given to us with such great measure because He has a great purpose in the future of Trinity Chapel…an awesome destiny for us to fulfill.
In 2011, the leadership of Trinity Chapel felt lead to ask Neil Silverberg to come and be the Senior Pastor of Trinity. In June of 2011, the transition was complete and now God has brought us Neil with his many years of ministry and leadership experience, authentic love for people, and excellent teaching ministry to Trinity Chapel. For this we are so thankful. Steve Fatow continues to minister around the world in crusade ministry and blessing churches with his God given gift and still attends Trinity Chapel when he is in town. We are so excited to see what God is going to continue to do in the years to come as we strive to be a Gospel-driven community of fully devoted followers of Jesus on mission together. By His grace we have developed an atmosphere where people are trained and released into service in His kingdom. This includes many opportunities to grow in knowledge of God and in relationships corporately and in House Churches, many services to our church members, outreaches in our community, a crusade ministry to every country in Latin America as well as missionaries on four continents. And this is only the beginning!
Creating environments where people are equipped and encouraged to point up, point in, and point out!
Be sure to check out our Life Groups.
We have many areas of interest to choose from - and they meet in all areas of town.