Any building that is still standing after 100 years in Sea Isle City is impressive, but for Trinty Community Church to celebrate a century of being a part of the community is big. Surviving the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012 are just a couple of examples of how Sea Isle City has been bombarded but this Church is still the same as it was when it was first built a century ago.

Trinity Community Church is hosting a 100th Anniversary Lunch on July 15th at The Beachwoods At the Dunes located on Landis Avenue between 86th and 87th streets, which is just a couple blocks away from the church building.

I spoke with the church's Pastor Chuck Swanson and he knows how unique it is for his church to be celebrating a 100-year anniversary:

"In this day and age, it is rare that a church can retain its character and mission for 100 years. We have stayed true to the word of God for all of these years. One neat fact: the land was purchased from Mr. Landis, who owned all of what was Ludlam Island...He wrote the deed in such a way that it always has to be a church on that spot (and) it can never be sold for development. We are thrilled to be entering a second century and hope to continue to bless the people of Sea Isle City with solid Christian teaching and preaching for another hundred years!"

The history of this small church at the corner of 85th Street and Landis Avenue is uniquely intertwined with the history of Sea Isle City.

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A group of ladies originally from Philadelphia, calling themselves “The Ladies Aid Society” wanted to build a church on the south end of the island, so they raised money to build what would be referred to as "The Little Church in the Inlet" over the decades.

"Townsend's Inlet was just a fishing hamlet in those days (and those ladies) would sell baked goods to the locals, offered cruises on the bay, and knitted doilies for sale." Pastor Swanson explains what led to the church's opening in 1923. "Originally, the church was affiliated with the Lutheran Church but has been non-denominational for about 30 years or so."

Trinity Community Church - Sea Isle City via Facebook
Trinity Community Church - Sea Isle City via Facebook

The little church is really an architectural marvel because it has stood tall through all the powerful hurricanes that have hit Sea Isle City over the last 100 years.

Aside from the infamous Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, there have been numerous other storms that have left devastation and property damage in their wake. But between the storms and the makeover that Townsends' Inlet has undergone over the last 30 years, Trinity Community Church is still standing and thriving:

"Trinity's history with families in the area has always been very strong. We are now attended by third and fourth-generation families. We are a true neighborhood church with most of our attendees walking or riding bikes to each Sunday service. With so much change taking place on the island, there are very few historic buildings and institutions left. We want to continue to be here both for our Christian purpose, but also for our historic value to the community."

You can learn more about the history of Trinity Community Church at their 100th Anniversary Celebration Lunch on Saturday, July 15th at the Beachwood at The Dunes located on Landis Avenue between 86th and 87th streets on July 15th.

The Luncheon will be from 1130 AM to 230pm featuring a special lunch for attendees, some presentations about the history of the church, along with thoughts from local dignitaries. Click here to purchase tickets to the Lunch Event with proceeds going to support this church that is a part of Sea Isle City history.

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