In the early months of 2011, several hundred members of The Village Chapel in Pinehurst, North Carolina, began to sense a leading of the Holy Spirit to form a new interdenominational church. This sense was confirmed at a meeting held in the Pinehurst Village Hall on April 6, 2011, at which time, by common assent, Trinity Christian Fellowship was established. From the beginning of its existence, Trinity has been marked by a remarkable sense of God’s presence, guidance, and blessing in an atmosphere of joy, love and excitement.
In the weeks following its founding, committees and working groups were formed to serve a number of immediate needs. These included finding suitable spaces in the Pinehurst area for worship, fellowship, education, ministry and administration and for satisfying the legal requirements for starting a church, establishing governance structures, clarifying the shared spiritual vision, and nurturing and communicating with the congregation.
The first worship service of the new fellowship was held on April 10, 2011 – just four days after the decision to form – in the Cardinal Ballroom of the Carolina Resort Hotel. Worship was held at the Carolina until May 1st, when Trinity Christian Fellowship moved its services to the Hannah Marie Bradshaw Activity Center auditorium at The O’Neal School in nearby Southern Pines. After spending several Wednesday evenings during April and May at the Pinehurst Village Hall for organization and fellowship meetings, members of Trinity were invited by Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst to hold midweek programs in its Founders’ Hall during the summer of 2011.
On June 8, 2011, Dr. Larry H. Ellis and Dr. Al Hill, former pastors of The Village Chapel, accepted the unanimous call of the membership to serve as co-pastors of Trinity. Many others who had served as ministry leaders at The Village Chapel assumed similar duties with Trinity, and many members took on new and expanded responsibilities for both spiritual ministry and practical support of the new church.
In mid-July of 2011 an administrative office and a ministry center were opened at 6 Carter Street in Pinehurst, after weeks of hard work and long hours on the part of many members and friends to make the spaces ready. A former American Legion Hall nearby was rented, refurbished and renamed “Trinity Hall.” It began serving as the site for Trinity’s first Vacation Bible School, which met in the evenings of July 25th through 29th. In August, a weekly prayer breakfast – which had been meeting at the Country Club of North Carolina – and the Wednesday Fellowship dinner and study – which had been meeting at Sacred Heart – were relocated to Trinity Hall.
The broad-based congregation that was formed in April of 2011 continued to worship in the auditorium at the O’Neal School. Trinity’s leased spaces near the intersection of Highway 5 and Monticello Road in Pinehurst were crowded with other activities that included scouting and music programs for children, military support ministries, and adult Bible studies led by Trinity’s first pastors, Dr. Hill (as Senior Pastor) and Dr. Ellis (as Pastor Emeritus).