Trinity Episcopal Church Gifts Over $2K to Help Restore a South Dakota Chuch

The Bethlehem-based congregation was inspired to help the Holy Innocents Episcopal Church through the commonality of both congregations losing the use of their building.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (March 25, 2024 )—Trinity Episcopal Church gifted $2,210 to the Holy Innocents Episcopal Church on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Parmelee, South Dakota. The gift, presented through Trinity’s Centennial Fund, follows the destruction of the 170-year-old wooden church in a fire last October.

“Your words, prayers and donations will help us build a new church that the entire community can use for worship, family events, and large community events,” said the Rev. Lauren Stanley, acting rector of Holy Innocents.

The Centennial Fund gift is granted to a local, national or international cause each year, and the commonality of each congregation losing the use of their building swayed the local congregation to the choice of helping the modest church located on the Pine Ridge reservation.

Trinity Episcopal Church congregation in Bethlehem decided to send this gift less than a month after a water main break in front of the historic church on East Market Street caused devastating damage to their building, leaving the structure unusable.

“We feel supported by the prayers and hopes of people throughout the Episcopal Community worldwide, and by the people in Bethlehem, for restoring our building,” said the Rev. Dr. Pamela Payne, rector of Trinity, Bethlehem. “Our grief has been transformed into generosity to those suffering a similar tragedy. Trinity Episcopal Church has always been a place of service and mercy to the community and the larger world.”

Studies of Trinity are underway to determine what is needed to restore the building so that it can be used once again. On the week of March 11, volunteers from the congregation emptied the building’s contents into a storage facility so that work could begin.



Founded in 1871, the historic building at 44 East Market Street is a Bethlehem Historic District Association member. Trinity has been an active congregation serving the community since its founding. Early outreach projects of the church contributed to the establishment of many social services in Bethlehem and surrounding areas. These include Wiley House, which became Valley Youth House, New Bethany, Victory House, Integrity Bethlehem, Center City Ministries, Interfaith Peace Resource Center, and Northeast Ministries. The church ran the Trinity Soup Kitchen, feeding nearly 100 people each day from the early 1980s through 2021, and established the Bethlehem Emergency Shelter in the winter of 2008-09. It has been, over the years, a place that has welcomed AA and NA groups and interfaith and ecumenical groups. The church boasts a magnificent Aeolian-Skinner organ and has hosted many musical events for the public since the late 19th Century, including folk music, Celtic music, Early Music and sacred music. For more information, visit


Information provided to TVL by:
Amiee Goldy