“The Church stands as a symbol of our faith in the Lord. Honesty of construction is essential to all good architecture in the same way as we regard honesty and truth essential in our relationship with the Lord.” (Martin Gravely Hedmark, Architect)
Trinity Baptist Church embodies treasures of scriptural symbolism in a structure of inspired creativity. The church’s Swedish roots are expressed by its massive black granite cornerstones and the soaring heights of its Baltic Gothic facade–capped by two replicas of Nordic bell towers. The building’s modern steel construction expands the quintessential square American Baptist worship space to a suitable urban scale. No one enters the interior without being impressed by the remarkable artistry of the frescoes, stained glass, Orrefors crystal, carved and inlaid wood, hammered black iron, fine metalwork, and numerous other details. The acoustics in this remarkable building provide an atmosphere for the congregation in which singing is a delight.
Illumined by the Light of Christ in the stained glass window above the altar, and the Latern Dome underneath the Eye of God above, Trinity’s sanctuary proclaims everywhere the Living Lord–and the growth He demands of us! The exquisite decorative style harmonically blends:
The wheat & wind, garden, and growth themes pervasive in the Judeo -Christian Scriptures: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the Gardener.” (John 15:1).
The organic design themes popular in the Art Nouveau artistic movement,
The theory of the “American Garden” as a superb blend of cultures from diverse origins
Steel Construction – “The modern steel construction gave us the key for building a Church which we could look up to with respect and joy. The big spacious room–formed as a square with it circular, light transmitting dome and the eight diagonally placed steel columns, the only means of support– is, in itself, through its monumental scale, a glorification architectural value than all the decoration and ornamental details, and this Church will be one of the pioneers.”
“Cornerstones of black granite, the gift of a friend in Sweden, one of the finest and strongest stones in the world, remind us of the genuine qualities and strength of the traditions we should nourish.”
Windows – “The small windows under the balconies illustrate the life of Christ. The main window over the platform is the figure of Christ presenting him as he was preaching from a boat when he told the Parable of the Sower. In the upper part of the window where we see the people standing on the shore listening to the message, is also to be seen a detailed illustration of the Parable. The five small windows above the arch into the Baptismal fount are symbols of the five wounds of Christ. The tall windows above the balcony are arranged in color to give the room a feeling of peace and restfulness, in one of them, as a symbol of peace, a small white bird sleeping. The round window in the wall toward the street is the symbol of benediction given to the visitor as he leaves the Church after service and an inscription in Swedish, ‘God Bless You’.”
Baptistry – “The iron gates we see through the opening into the Baptismal fount symbolize, with their golden flames, the prayers from the congregation during the Baptismal service, and on the ceiling above is the dove, the symbol of the Holy Ghost.”
Columns – “The eight slender columns supporting the roof and the dome are all covered with hand modeled terra cotta, shaped to follow the profile of the steel column as the muscles of the human body cover the bones. The ornamentation is the old Christian symbol of the grapevine, and each column has on its capital the symbols of the four Evangelists–the angel, the lion, the ox, and the eagle.”
Dome – “The dome is given a strong but simple decoration in lime color with the repeated symbol of the cross making it appear, above our heads, as a sanctuary, undefiled by human hands, and from which, the eye, the symbol of God’s all-seeing power, will always follow us.”
Worship and Meditation – Our church building inspires worship– and we appreciate it, not for itself, but for the source in the Word of God to which its symbols direct our attention. Spend a silent afternoon, or a day, in the Trinity sanctuary, with a Bible and a concordance. See what you have not seen before. Meditate on the significance for each of the references represented here: the scenes in Christ’s Life and Ministry, the Baptism of the Spirit and Water, the vine, the garden, the bread and wine, sowing and reaping, the dove of the Holy Spirit, the all-knowing God, and a multitude of other themes. Such a quest will enrich your every moment of worship experience at Trinity–and equip you well for the life in Christ