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History of Trinity Cathedral


Overland immigrants begin pouring into the area from the Oregon Trail. Among them is the Rev'd Michael Fackler, a recent graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, who had taken the long trip in hopes that the climate might be beneficial to his failing health.


On his arrival, he became the first Anglican clergyman in the vast area which is now Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Montana. Although he was never well enough to establish a parish, he did obtain permission to hold occasional services using the Book of Common Prayer in the first Methodist Church in the area.


Trinity is established as an Episcopal parish.


 Trinity has grown to twenty-five regular worshippers, enough to call a permanent rector (the Rev'd John D. McCarty).

Construction of a new building on 2nd & Oak Street begins on land donated by parishioner Benjamin Stark, one of the earliest leaders of Portland.


Portland grows very rapidly in the years following the Civil War. The congregation grows to over 200 regular members. The church building, meant only to hold fifty or so worshippers, becomes overwhelmed.


The members of the parish purchase a half block lot at the corner of 6th & Oak Street and set about building a new “permanent" church, a building that will lend an air of permanence to the city itself. Very different from its log cabin predecessor, the new building includes stained glass windows, an organ, and a steeple with a bell made from melted down cannons.


As it grows, Trinity parish becomes actively involved in the life of the growing city. It is instrumental in the establishment of Good Samaritan Hospital (1873) and the Trinity Mission Chapel (St. Mark's parish). Eventually it establishes the "spin off" Ascension Church, originally a Sunday School chapel for Trinity children.

c. 1900

By the turn of the 20th century, many of Portland's most prominent citizens call Trinity Church home. Several streets in modern-day Portland’s downtown area are named after Trinity’s early vestry members. The area around the church becomes less residential and more commercial.


The building at 6th and Oak is destroyed by fire.


The parish makes the decision to build its new building elsewhere, ultimately settling on the fashionable district of NW 19th Street, where many parishioners live.


The new church, which still houses Trinity parish today,

is consecrated on Oct. 14, 1906.


The parish hall is constructed.


The church sanctuary is remodelled.


Dedication of the Rosales Organ, Op. 11.


The Rev'd Anthony C. Thurston is appointed rector.


Trinity is consecrated as cathedral for the Diocese of Oregon.

mid- to late-1990s

Under Dean Thurston's leadership, the parish undergoes a time of rapid expansion in terms of numbers and diversity.


The Very Rev'd William Lupfer is installed as Dean.


Dean Lupfer accepts a call to Trinity Wall Street.


The Very Rev'd Nathan LeRud is installed as Dean.

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2015-06-16 27 Trinity Episcopal Cathedra

Trinity Cathedral recognizes and honors those who stewarded this land for many generations before us: the Multnomah and Clackamas bands of the Chinook peoples. The Chinook Nation continues to thrive today, and we support their struggle to achieve federal recognition.

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