Trinity Downtown has been on its current campus since 1926 and through the decades has expanded to one of the largest church campuses in downtown Orlando. We are thankful to the Lord for all the good gifts He has given us! Now it’s time to use His gift of property more efficiently.
We have begun our latest project of matching the campus to our mission of bringing children and families one step closer to Jesus.
In February, 2014, Trinity began an initiative to match the campus to our mission of bringing people one step closer to Jesus, with a $7.1 million school ministry expansion. The project is the first phase in the 97-year-old congregation’s Century II Campus Renewal Project to redesign its 5.2-acre property at 123 E. Livingston Street, one-block east of the Orange County Courthouse.
“In 1919, Trinity’s founding congregational membership set out to establish a Christ-centered ministry to share the message of God’s love to people in the early, 20th-Century downtown community,” said Tommie Smothers, then president of the congregation. “Now nearly 100 years later, Trinity Downtown’s congregation seeks to prepare ourselves for Trinity’s Century II Mission -- outreach to the community by committing God’s people through Word, Worship and Community to be actively engaged to meet the many diverse needs in sharing Christ’s love through educational opportunities in the Downtown Orlando community.”
Trinity Lutheran School, a ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church, has two programs; K-8 and the Child Development Center. Trinity Lutheran School’s K-8 program is celebrating its 62nd anniversary this year and the Child Development Center (infants through VPK) is in its 33rd year. The purpose of Trinity's school ministry is to nurture Christian character and promote academic excellence.
Nestled in the Lake Eola Heights Historic District, Trinity Downtown has just completed Phase I of a comprehensive campus development plan, the "New Century Center," which included a state-of-the-art facility for its Child Development Center on the first floor. This 28,000 square-foot building has enlarged Trinity’s Child Development Center and can accommodate more than 300 children from infants up to 4-year-old children.
Parishioner Matt Wheeler of Affiniti Architects (Orlando and Boca Raton) and the congregation worked passionately to develop the design that utilizes the scale and architectural detailing of the Lake Eola Heights Historic District in order to allow the building to work harmoniously within the surrounding residential neighborhood. The streetscape of Ruth Lane was sensitively designed to emulate the craftsman cottage feel of the historic neighborhood and will feature what will appear to be 7 historic homes (three of which are existing 1920s homes), and the congregation’s historic sanctuary, built in 1926. “We are excited about the campus transformation and invite all to come see our progress,” Wheeler said.
To make room for the new building and comply with requirements of the City of Orlando Historic Board, three historic houses on the church campus, which had been used for part of the CDC program, have been preserved and will soon be renovated for residential use. Relocating the houses north along Ruth Lane toward the Amelia Avenue corner of the church property was the first step in the Phase I project. Modern Movers of Orlando performed this work. Other campus improvements completed with the first phase include an interior courtyard redesign, new traffic flow patterns, children’s playground and additional parking.
Doster Construction, headquartered in Birmingham, AL, and with offices in Orlando, is the construction management firm; Burkett Engineering in Orlando did the civil engineering. Lutheran Church Extension Fund, based in St. Louis, MO, is providing the financing for the project. Laborers For Christ, an affiliate of LCEF, will be remodeling the residential houses and constructing a concession stand on the soccer field, which fronts Amelia Avenue.
The kindergarten through 8th grade education center, designed for 240 students, is housed in buildings along Livingston Street and includes a classrooms, kitchen, lunchroom and full-size gym. In the Summer 2015 the gym went through a complete renovation with the installation of new wood flooring and a new roof. Five modular classrooms were eliminated as part of the final construction site work as well.
The Trinity Downtown campus also includes a two-story office/ministry center, the "Magnolia Center" at 427 North Magnolia Ave.
In late 2017, improvements to the sanctuary were made, including paint, sound system and carpeting improvements.
There are five phases in the congregation’s long-range development of the campus master plan that was approved by the City of Orlando on Feb. 4, 2013 in Ordinance No. 2012-52. The entire church property has been rezoned to Planned Development District with the Traditional City and Historic Preservation Overlay districts (Trinity Lutheran Church PD).
We eagerly anticipate many more changes to this Downtown Orlando campus as we look ahead to the next century of ministry in Orlando, bringing people one step closer to Jesus. Trinity celebrates its 100th anniversary in the Spring of 2019! Trinity's mission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through ministries which strengthen and equip people for Christian witness and service in downtown, metropolitan Orlando, and the world.