Rector's Office


William Vesey | Henry Barclay | Samuel Auchmuty | Charles Inglis | Samuel Provoost | Benjamin Moore | John Henry Hobart | | Morgan Dix | William Manning | Caleb Stetson | Frederic Fleming | John Heuss | John Butler | Robert ParksExecutive Assistant to the Rector

Rector’s Office, 1711-1987


241 boxes; 120.5 linear feet plus oversize

Historical Note:

Trinity Church’s charter of 1697 decreed “that there shall be a Rector to have care of the souls of the inhabitants of said Parish, and a perpetual succession of Rectors there.” Only sixteen rectors have served during the first 300 years of the parish. Trinity’s first three rectors after the American Revolution were also Bishops of the Diocese of New York. In the 20th Century, William Manning resigned as Rector of Trinity Church to become Bishop of New York.

The current rector heads an influential parish, oversees approximately 200 employees, directs a major New York real estate corporation, and manages a grant program that serves the world-wide Anglican Communion.

Scope and Content Note:

The bulk of the material in this record group dates from the late 1930s through 1987. Records that date earlier than 1930 were donated from various sources. The records consist primarily of subject-based office files. Biographical material such as correspondence, diaries, induction items, and obituaries can also be found for some rectors.

Filing systems of individual rectors were retained, when applicable. See scope and content notes for further information on each rector.

The Reverend William Vesey, D. D., (1697-1746)

No records

Birth:  August 10, 1674, Braintree Massachusetts       

Education:  Harvard University, graduated 1693; Honorary MA, Oxford, 1697

Ordained:   August 2, 1697

Inducted as Rector:  December 25, 1697 in Dutch Church on Garden Street.

Died:  July 11, 1746                           

Burial place: Trinity Church, location unknown

Historical Note:

William Vesey was called as Rector of Trinity Church at the age of 23 on November 2, 1696. Not yet a priest, Vesey sailed immediately for England, as required, where he was ordained by the Bishop of London in August of 1697. He was inducted as rector by Benjamin Fletcher, the Governor of New York, on December 25, 1698 in the Dutch Church as the first Trinity Church had not yet been completed. Under the Reverend Vesey’s long tenure, Trinity Church was endowed with the Church Farm, a Charity School was established in 1709, and a catechist was appointed to instruct Indians and Africans. Vesey, a commissary to the Bishop of London, struggled unsuccessfully to have his Church recognized as the established Church in a city where Anglicans were in the minority. Nonetheless he saw his congregation grow while setting the Church on a sound footing.

Scope and Content Note:

The archives has no papers of William Vesey. See Vestry Minutes and Vestry Papers for information on the Rev. Vesey’s rectorate.

The Reverend Henry BarclayThe Reverend Henry Barclay, D. D., (1746-1764) 1711-1764

1 file

Birth:  1712, Upstate New York     

Education:   Yale, BA, 1734, MA 1740; Oxford, D. D., 1760

Ordained:    January 1738

Inducted as Rector:  October 22, 1746 by Governor George Clinton

Died:  August 20, 1764         

Burial place: Trinity Church, family vault

Historical Note:

Henry Barclay followed in the footsteps of his father, the Reverend Thomas Barclay, as a missionary to the Mohawks and Rector of St. Peter’s Church in Albany. As Rector of Trinity Church, the Reverend Barclay saw to the erection of a building for the Charity School on the South Side of Rector Street between Broadway and Church Street. In addition, he had the first Chapel of Ease, St. George’s Chapel, built on Cliff and Beekman Streets in 1752 and by 1755 was making plans for the Chapel that would become St. Paul’s. Trinity Church contributed to the founding of King’s College, now Columbia University, endowing it with a portion of land from the Church Farm in 1754.

Scope and Content:

The archives contains sermons dating from 1711 to 1764 donated by the Archives of the Diocese of Pennsylvania and the Reverend Henry W. Ducachet, Rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Philadelphia. See also Vestry minutes and Vestry Papers for information on the Rev. Barclay’s rectorate.

The Reverend Samuel Auchmuty, D. D., (1764-1777) 1751-1797

1 file

Birth:  January 26, 1722, Boston Massachusetts

Education:  Harvard, graduated 1742; King’s College, 1767

Ordained:  1747 by the Bishop of London

Inducted as Rector:  September 1, 1764 by Lieutenant Governor Cadwallader Colden

Died:  March 4, 1777                         

Burial place: St. Paul’s Chapel, under chancel

Historical Note:

Samuel Auchmuty was appointed catechist of Trinity Church by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 1748. His work included assisting the Rector in his parochial duties. The Rev. Auchmuty succeeded as rector in 1764 seeing the completion of the Chapel of St. Paul’s in 1766. The colonies soon became roiled with the discontent that led to the Revolution. The Rev. Auchmuty sided with the loyalists and because of ill health, retired to New Brunswick, New Jersey in the spring of 1776. His assistant minister, Charles Inglis, shut up Trinity’s churches after the Declaration of Independence had been read rather than forego prayers for the King. After the British regained control of New York, Auchmuty made his way back through Patriot lines to discover Trinity Church and his own house destroyed in the Great Fire of 1776. The Chapels of St. George and St. Paul were re-opened for worship but Auchmuty died a year later.

Scope and Content Note:

The archives contains sermons and a few family letters. For more information on the Rev. Auchmuty’s rectorate, see also Vestry minutes and Vestry Papers.

The Right Reverend Charles Inglis, D. D., (1777-1783) 1783

1 item

Birth:  1734, Glencolumbkille, County Donegal, Ireland

Education: BA, King’s College, 1767; D.D. Oxford, 1778

Ordained:  1758 in London

Inducted as Rector:  March 20, 1777

Died:  February 24, 1816       

Burial Place:  Under chancel of St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Historical Note:

Charles Inglis immigrated to America in 1755 and taught in the Free School of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1758 he made his way to London for ordination into the priesthood, after which he returned to serve his first ministry at the mission in Dover, Delaware. In 1765, Inglis became an assistant minister at Trinity Church. An active Loyalist, he countered Tom Paine’s pro-independence pamphlet Common Sense with The True Interest of America Impartially Stated. Since the ailing Rector, Samuel Auchmuty, was away in New Jersey, Inglis took responsibility for closing Trinity Church and its chapels after the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed. He wrote of the clergy’s dilemma, “To officiate publicly, and not pray for the King and royall family according to the liturgy, was against their duty and oath, as well as dictates of their conscience; and yet to use the prayers for the King and royal family would have drawn inevitable destruction on them.” Inglis removed himself to Flushing but returned September 16 after the British re-occupied Manhattan. During the Great Fire of September 21, Trinity Church was destroyed but Inglis sent bucket brigades to water down the roofs of St. Paul’s Chapel and King’s College thereby saving those buildings. After becoming rector in 1777, Inglis continued to write Loyalist tracts under the name of Papinian. On November 1, 1783, his cause lost, Inglis resigned his rectorship and fled for England. In 1787, he was consecrated in London as Bishop of Nova Scotia where he spent the remainder of his life.

Scope and Content Note:

The archives contains Inglis’ farewell sermon to the Congregation of Trinity Church, a gift from Andrew Oliver as noted in the Vestry meeting of February 8, 1960. For other information on the rectorate of Charles Inglis, see Vestry Minutes and Vestry Papers.

The Right Reverend Samuel Provoost, (1784-1800) 1760-1787

3 items

Birth:  Feb 26, 1742, New York

Education:  King’s College, 1758

Ordained:  March 25, 1766 by Bishop of Chester, Rt. Rev. Edmund Keene

Inducted as Rector:  April 22, 1784

Died:  Sept 6, 1815               

Burial Place:  Trinity Church Cemetery, Plot 732, W.D.

Historical Note:

Samuel Provoost graduated in 1758 from the first class of King’s College. He then went to England in 1761 to attend St. Peter’s College Cambridge. In 1766, Provoost was ordained a priest after which he returned to New York where, on December 23, he was made assistant minister of Trinity Church. Provoost resigned this position in 1771 and retired to upstate New York. After the English accepted defeat in 1783, Charles Inglis resigned the rectorate of Trinity Church and fled New York. The vestry immediately called the Assistant Minister, Benjamin Moore, to take his place. However, Whig Episcopalians led by James Duane were unwilling to allow the Church to continue under a Loyalist vestry and rector. Benjamin Moore reluctantly stepped down and Samuel Provoost, who had always supported American independence, was called to the rectorship in 1784.

Provoost was also appointed regent of the University of the State of New York and in 1785 chaplain of the Continental Congress. He was elected the first bishop of New York at the Convention in Wilmington, Delaware on October 10, 1786. He then went to England with William White of Pennsylvania for consecration by the Right Rev. John Moore, Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1789, Provoost officiated at the service held in St. Paul’s Chapel after the first inauguration of George Washington. In March 1790, he consecrated the re-built Trinity Church. When Provoost resigned the rectorship in 1800 for personal and health reasons, the Vestry again called Benjamin Moore to the position. The House of Bishops refused to allow Provoost to similarly resign the bishopric but Benjamin Moore was installed as bishop coadjutor allowing Provoost to withdraw from active ministry.

Scope and Content Note:

The Archives contains a seal, a 1760 Book of Common Prayer, and a letter dated 1765. All items were received as gifts. For information on Provoost’s rectorate, see Vestry minutes and Vestry papers.

The Right Reverend Benjamin Moore, S.T.D., (1800-1816) 1776-1812

3 volumes, 3 files

Birth:  October 5, 1748, Newtown, Long Island, New York

Education:  King’s College, 1768; D. D. Columbia College, 1789

Ordained:  June 29, 1774 by Richard Terrick, Bishop of London

Inducted as Rector:  December 22, 1800

Died:  Feb 27 1816               

Burial Place:  Trinity Church, George Bind vault

Historical Note:

Benjamin Moore graduated first in his class from King’s College in 1768, then studied theology under Samuel Auchmuty before going to England for ordination. He became Assistant Minister of Trinity Church in 1775. A Loyalist, Moore served as president pro tempore of King’s College after their official president had fled a Patriot mob and returned to England. When Charles Inglis resigned the rectorate of Trinity Church, Moore was inducted as Rector; however, he was turned out by Whig Episcopalians in favor of the patriot, Samuel Provoost. Moore continued to serve as Assistant Minister between 1784 and 1786. He was also Professor of Rhetoric at Columbia College, formerly King’s College. When Provoost resigned the rectorate in 1800, Moore was again called to assume the office. He was also consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor and assumed Provoost’s Episcopal duties. In the same year, he became the third President of Columbia College.

Under Moore’s rectorate. the Society for Promoting Religion and Learning was organized to encourage learning among the clergy. St. John’s Chapel was consecrated in 1807 and Trinity’s first Chapel, St. George’s, was made independent. In February 1811, Moore suffered an attack of paralysis. Abraham Beach was appointed as Assistant Rector to assume his parish duties. John Henry Hobart was named as bishop coadjutor to deal with diocesan duties.

Scope and Content Note:

The few items contained in the Archives are the result of gifts. They include marriage registers, chapel assignments, and sermons. For more information on Moore’s rectorate, see Vestry minutes and Vestry papers.

The Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, D. D., (1816-1830)

No records

Birth:  September 14, 1775, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Education:  B.A. College of New Jersey (Princeton), 1793; MA 1796

Ordained:  1801 by Bishop Samuel Provoost of New York

Inducted as Rector:  March 11, 1816

Died:  September 12, 1830               

Burial Place:  Under chancel of 2nd Trinity Church

Historical Note:

John Henry Hobart was appointed Assistant Minister at Trinity Church in 1801. A charismatic preacher, he had a keen intellect and an energetic zeal. Hobart was a prolific writer and his titles include A Companion for the Altar(1804), The Clergyman’s Companion (1806) and An Apology for Apostolic Order and its Advocates (1807). Since 1809, Hobart was a frequent contributor to Churchman’s Magazine. In his writings, he articulated his high church position. He stressed that the Episcopal Church derived its authority from its adherence to the practices of the primitive Christian church with a bishopric descended in direct line from the apostles. The Church, he believed, offered a special place to receive God’s grace.

In 1806, Hobart established the Protestant Episcopal Theological Society, later named the General Theological Seminary. In 1822, he founded Geneva College, eventually renamed Hobart College, in upstate New York. In 1809, he founded the Bible and Common Prayer-Book Society of New York.

Hobart was elected Assistant Bishop of New York in 1811 and, in 1813, he was chosen as Assistant Rector at Trinity Church. Both appointments were due to the incapacity of the ailing Right Reverend Benjamin Moore. Hobart became rector of Trinity Church and Bishop of the Diocese of New York in name as well as in fact in 1816 following Moore’s death.

Despite frail health, Bishop Hobart threw himself into his work. At certain times, his authority reached to the Dioceses of New Jersey and Connecticut in addition to New York. Hobart became seriously ill in 1822 and he took a two year visit (1823-1825) to England and Scotland to recover his health. He filled his leave with study, writing, and conversations among the British clergy. He returned to the United States revived and immediately resumed his former workload without regard to the consequences. He was taken ill and died while on a visitation to a Church in Auburn, New York in 1830. Hobart was buried under the chancel of the second Trinity Church. When the third Church was built, his burial monument was moved to the room currently known as the Verger’s Office.

Scope and Content Note:

The papers of John Henry Hobart are housed in The Archives of the Episcopal Church, For other information about the rectorate of Hobart, see Vestry Minutes and Papers.

The Reverend William Berrian, D.D., (1830-1862)

No records

Birth:  April 20, 1787, New York

Education:  Columbia College, 1808

Ordained:  1812 by Bishop John Henry Hobart

Inducted as Rector:  October 12, 1830

Died:  November 7, 1862     

Burial Place:  Family vault, St. Mark’s in the Bowery

Historical Note:

The Reverend William Berrian was called as Rector in 1830 having served as Assistant Minister of Trinity Church since 1811. A disciple of Bishop Hobart, Berrian continued support of Hobart’s principals, firmly aligning Trinity Church with the high church party. Benjamin Onderdonk, also a high church supporter, succeeded Hobart as Bishop of the Diocese. In 1845, Bishop Onderdonk was suspended by the General Convention for licentious conduct. Many believed the true cause of his ouster was his high church tendencies. The Rev. Berrian and Trinity Church offered the fallen Bishop financial and spiritual support throughout his ordeal.

Reportedly an uncompelling preacher, Berrian immersed himself in the duties of a parish priest and the details of parish administration. During his tenure, the Trinity Church Cemetery between 153rd and 155th Street was purchased and burials were discontinued in the downtown Churchyard. The second Trinity Church, found to be unstable in 1839, was replaced by 1846 with the third Trinity Church, designed by Richard Upjohn in the Gothic style. A new chapel, Trinity Chapel, was opened in 1855 on West 25th Street to serve the northward moving congregation.

Toward the end of his rectorate, Berrian’s health declined. Morgan Dix was appointed assistant rector in 1859 and took on many of the Rector’s duties. The Reverend Berrian died at the age of 76 in 1862.

Scope and Content Note:

The archive has no records. For information on the rectorate of the Reverend Berrian, see vestry minutes and vestry papers.

The Reverend Morgan Dix, S.T.D., D.C.L., D.D. (1862-1908) 1851-1945

18 Boxes, 9 linear feet

Birth: November 1, 1827, New York      

Education:  Columbia College, 1848; General Theological Seminary, 1852

Ordained:  1853

Died:  April 29, 1908             

Burial place:  Under altar of All Saints’ Chapel, Trinity Church

Historical Note:

During the Rev. Dr. Morgan Dix’s forty-six year rectorship, the Parish of Trinity Church grew in a number of ways. Trinity added the chapels of St. Chrysostom’s (1866), St. Augustine’s (1868), St. Cornelius’ on Governor’s Island (1868), St. Luke’s (1892), St. Agnes (1892), and the Chapel of the Intercession (1908). Charities that were formed under Dix’s leadership include the Sisterhood of St. Mary (1865-66), Trinity Church Association (1880), St. Margaret’s Guild (1873), the Home for Aged Women (1874), and Trinity Mission House. In addition, the old Varick Street rectory was converted into Trinity Hospital.

Dix served as president of the Standing Committee of the Diocese and represented the Diocese to the General Convention from 1877 on. He was a trustee for the new Cathedral of St. John the Divine, whose charter was granted in 1873. Dix was also a member of several clubs and societies.

The Rev. Dr. Dix was an avid supporter of the high church movement. He was intellectually curious, and pursued research on a wide variety of theological and historical topics. Dix was a patron of the arts, and was active in the development of musical standards at Trinity during his rectorate. His literary activities included numerous publications, most notably a biography of his politically and militarily prominent father, John A. Dix. Dix began the institutional history The Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York (since expanded to seven volumes), as well as the practice of issuing parish yearbooks.

Morgan Dix died on April 29, 1908 and was buried under the altar of All Saints Chapel in Trinity Church. The Chapel had been completed in 1913 to honor Dix’s life and ministry.

Scope and Content Note:

The records of Morgan Dix were donated to Trinity from outside sources, most notably the Dix family. The bulk of this material is diaries that detail the rector’s daily activities over a 50-year time period (1856-1907). Correspondence is arranged primarily by subject, and deals with a variety of issues. Also included is material used by Dix in preparation of his writings, especially a biography of his father, John A. Dix.

The Right Reverend William Thomas Manning D.D., S.T.D., D.C.L., (1908-1921) 1908-1933

12 Files

Birth:  May 12, 1866, Northampton, England

Education:  University of the South D.D.

Ordained:  1891

Died:  Nov. 18, 1949                         

Burial place: Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Historical Note:

Prior to his rectorate, Manning served as vicar of Trinity’s St. Agnes’ Chapel in 1902, and in 1903 was elected Assistant Rector for Trinity parish.

Soon after Manning’s induction, the parish was plunged into the controversy surrounding St. John’s Chapel, slated for closing in late 1908 due to the changing nature of its Hudson Square neighborhood and its diminishing congregation. The announcement of the closing attracted much negative press, with Trinity facing opposition from St. John’s congregation as well as from preservationists who wished to save the historic chapel building. A committee representing St. John’s congregation filed for an injunction before the State Supreme Court in an effort to prevent the closing. Judgment was made in favor of Trinity in the spring of 1909 and the Rev. Manning closed the chapel.

The controversy over the closing of St. John’s Chapel stirred up interest in Trinity’s real estate holdings, leading to accusations of poor conditions in the parish’s Church Farm tenement housing. The Rev. Manning called for an independent investigation of the tenements, which was conducted in 1909 by Emily Dinwiddie, of the Charity Organization Society. The results of the survey were generally favorable, and Trinity undertook improvements in its housing structures and policy where necessary. In response to these events, the Rev. Manning issued a rare public account of Trinity’s finances in 1909.

During Manning’s rectorate, open air services were conducted on Wall St. from 1909-1917, church pews were made free in Trinity Church in 1919, and the finances of the parish were reorganized. Manning served as a chaplain to U.S. troops at Camp Upton, Long Island, during the First World War.

Manning had a strong interest in church unity, and was very active in the development of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. In 1921, he left Trinity to become Bishop of New York, a position he held until 1946.

Scope and Content Note:

Manning’s material includes a small amount of general correspondence, and several office files arranged by subject. Two files concern the controversy over the closing of St. John’s Chapel. Also included is a diary of Manning’s from 1908.

The Reverend Caleb Rochford Stetson, S.T.D., (1921-1932 ) 1899-1933

1 Box, .5 linear feet

Birth:  April 16, 1871, Boston Massachusetts

Education:  Harvard A.B., 1894; Johns Hopkins; Virginia Theological Seminary; General Theological Seminary

Ordained:  1899

Died:  June 15, 1932                          

Burial place:  Trinity Church Cemetery

Historical Note:

The Rev. Caleb Stetson studied medicine prior to entering the seminary. Before being elected rector, Stetson served as vicar for Trinity Parish from 1907-1911 and as rector of St. Mark’s Church in Washington D.C. from 1911-1921.

As rector, Stetson was strongly high church in sympathies, and outspoken on the issues of divorce and the remarriage of divorced persons—both major social concerns during the 1920s. During his tenure, Trinity broadcast sermons over the radio, the parish conducted a ministry outreach to Wall Street, and the mission Chapel of St. Chrysostom’s was closed. In the years before Stetson’s sudden death in 1932, Trinity organized Depression relief assistance and faced a diminishing congregation.

Scope and Content Note:

Only a small amount of material exists for Stetson’s rectorate, the bulk of which is office files, arranged alphabetically by subject. Some personal items of Stetson’s include a diary and two files of correspondence with his father.


The Reverend Frederic Sydney Fleming, D.D., LL.D, S.T.D., (1932-1951) 1918-1951

20 Boxes, 10 linear feet

Birth: March 7, 1886, Calais Maine

Education: Western Theological Seminary, 1911

Ordained:  1911

Died:  June 19, 1956                          

Burial place:  Trinity Church Cemetery

Historical Note:

Frederic Fleming began his working life as a baker’s assistant for the National Biscuit Company at age 14; by the age of 20 he was an assistant to the company president. After becoming ordained, he served as rector of the Church of Atonement in Chicago (1915-1927), rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Providence, Rhode Island (1927-1930), and vicar of the Chapel of the Intercession of Trinity Parish (1930-1932). In 1924, he was twice called to the rank of bishop, but declined.

During his rectorate, Fleming advocated the creation of an Archbishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and opposed the admission of women as wardens and vestrymen. He instituted a five-year plan to revive work at All Saints Church on Henry St., which was later acquired by the parish and renamed St. Augustine’s. During Fleming’s tenure, Trinity purchased the office building at 74 Trinity Place (1934), and celebrated anniversaries of the construction of the present church and the founding of the parish (1946-1947). St. Agnes’ Chapel and Trinity Chapel were closed in 1943.

Scope and Content Note:

The Rev. Fleming’s material consists primarily of office files, arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by subject within each designated time span. Subjects pertain primarily to Parish matters, especially the chapels, the vestry, and events. Fleming’s files also concern New York organizations he served as a trustee, for example Sailors’ Snug Harbor, Seamen’s Church Institute, and the Leake & Watts Children’s Home. In addition, topics include other churches and local societies. Also included are several boxes of Fleming’s sermons, as well as some biographical information.

The Reverend John Heuss, D.D., S.T.D., L.H.D. (1952-1966) 1951-1966

66 Boxes, 33 linear feet

Birth:  July 30, 1908, Hastings-on-Hudson New York

Education:   St. Stephen’s (now Bard) College, 1929 B.A.; Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, 1931 B.D.

Ordained:  1932

Died:  March 20, 1966                       

Burial place:  Trinity Churchyard

Historical Note:

The Rev. Heuss was the rector of St. Matthew’s Church in Evanston, IL from 1937-1947.

During Heuss’ rectorate, Trinity instituted the Trinity Episcopal Conference Center at West Cornwall, the Every-member Canvass, and weekday programs for businessmen in the Wall Street area. Heuss was the author of several books, and his articles appeared in such publications as Anglican Church World, Living Church, and Reader’s Digest. 

Heuss died suddenly in his office on March 20, 1966 from a heart attack.

Scope and Content Note:

The Rev. Heuss continued the Rev. Fleming’s practice of arranging office files chronologically, then alphabetically by subject within each year. Subjects pertain primarily to Parish matters, especially the chapels, the vestry, and events. Heuss’ files also concern New York organizations he served as a trustee, for example Sailors’ Snug Harbor, Seamen’s Church Institute, and the Leake & Watts Children’s Home. In addition, topics include other churches and local societies. Heuss’ material contains numerous boxes of sermons, arranged alphabetically by title, as well as biographical material. Financial material is generally located at the end of each year. Office files from 1966 contain some material for Bernard C. Newman, who was named Acting Rector following Heuss’ death in March. Some office files from 1966 continue into the Rev. Butler’s subgroup.

The Reverend John Vernon Butler Jr., D.D., S.T.D., (1966-1972) 1950-1983

33 Boxes, 16.5 linear feet

Birth:  April 29, 1906, Worcester Massachusetts

Education:  B.A. Amherst, 1927; S.T.B. General Theological Seminary, 1932

Died:  Sept. 19, 1983                         

Burial place:   All Saints Episcopal Church, Princeton, NJ

Historical Note:

The Rev. Butler was curate at Trinity’s Chapel of the Intercession from 1931-1933. Prior to his selection as rector, he served as the Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1960-1966). Butler was called to Trinity after the sudden death of the Rector John Heuss.

Butler determined at the outset that he would bring reform to Trinity Church and that he would retire at age 65 guaranteeing a short tenure. To effect reform, a strategic plan entitled “One Peppercorn” was developed. It called for the eventual elimination of the chapel system and a renewed focus on service and outreach.

Dr. Butler established Trinity Institute, a continuing education program for clergy and laity, in 1967. The Trinity Grants Program was organized in 1971. The basement of 74 Trinity Place was converted into a coffee house for music and conversation. Dance, theatre, and music performances were celebrated in and around the Church. Dr. Butler updated the liturgy, making changes in the chancel and sanctuary to bring the congregation closer to the service. In line with this objective, the altar was made free-standing so that the celebrant could face the congregation.

As he promised, Butler retired in 1972 leaving the implementation of “One Peppercorn” for his successor.

Scope and Content Note:

The Rev. Butler’s office files are arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by subject. Subjects pertain primarily to Parish matters, especially the chapels, the vestry, and events. Butler’s files also concern New York organizations he served as a trustee, for example Sailors’ Snug Harbor, Seamen’s Church Institute, and the Leake & Watts Children’s Home. In addition, topics include contemporary issues, other churches, and local societies. There is a small amount of biographical material. Butler filed chapels under “C,” and financial material was placed at the beginning of each year.

The Reverend Robert Parks, D.D., S.T.D., 1972-1987

101 Boxes, 50.5 linear feet

Birth: Jan. 2, 1918, Ty Ty Georgia

Education: University of the South, Sewanee

Died: 2009                                         

Burial place: Trinity Churchyard

Historical note:

The Rev. Dr. Parks implemented the parish re-organization plan “One Peppercorne” developed under the rectorate of his predecessor, John Butler. The vestry and the staff were re-structured to encourage participatory management, three chapels were made independent, new emphasis was put on downtown ministry, and the Grants Program was established.

Dr. Parks supervised the construction of St. Margaret’s House to provide housing for the elderly and established The Frederic Fleming House for the frail, homeless elderly. He instituted Trinity Center for Ethics and Corporate Policy to minister to Wall Street. He expanded the Communications Department and saw to the establishment of a state-of-the-art television studio.

Under the rectorate of Dr. Parks, Trinity Church began the development of Hudson Square, providing office space at reasonable prices and joining with the surrounding neighborhood and the city to nurture a vibrant community around its real estate holdings. Before retiring, Dr. Parks initiated the construction of the pedestrian bridge that united the Church to the parish center and church offices.

Scope and Content Note:

The Rev. Parks’ subject-based office files pertain primarily to Parish matters, especially the chapels, the vestry, and events. Parks’ files also concern New York organizations he served as a trustee, for example Sailors’ Snug Harbor, Seamen’s Church Institute, and the Leake & Watts Children’s Home. In addition, topics include contemporary issues (such as the ordination of women and arms control), other churches, and local societies. Parks’ material contains several boxes of files concerning General Conventions, and Ellis Carson's reminiscence on his years as a Vestryman.

The arrangement of office files in this subgroup reflects the various systems kept by Parks. The first group of files is arranged alphabetically by subject. A second group is filed by subject based acronyms, then alphabetically within each designation. The third group of office files are also arranged alphabetically by subject, and appear to be distinct from the first set.

Executive Assistant to the Rector

11 boxes, 5.5 linear feet

Historical Note: 
The position of Executive Assistant to the Rector, initially entitled Associate Rector, resulted from the 1970 re-organization known as “One Peppercorn.” The position was created to relieve the Rector of the burdens associated with the daily administration of the parish and, as originally envisioned, was to be held by a priest. Duties included, but were not limited to, supervision of vestry support staff and services, acting as representative of the Rector, and oversight of a variety of parish programs.

Barring a brief period in 1993-4, when the position was eliminated as a cost cutting measure, the Executive Assistants to the Rector continued to fulfill these functions until 2004 when the Rector James Cooper eliminated the position.

Scope and Content Note: 
This subgroup comprises the office files of the Associate Rector and Executive Assistants to the Rector. Files document Trinity Church departments and programs, vestry coordination, and communication with other religious and/or local organizations.


The Revd Canon Bertram Herlong

Associate Rector, 1972-1976

The Reverend Canon Bertram Herlong was Associate Rector from 1972 until 1977 when he became vicar of the newly joined unit Trinity/St. Paul’s. The records of the Reverend Herlong can be found in the Congregational Office where he served as vicar.


The Revd George Henry Woodard

Ex. Assistant to the Rector, 1976-1977

The Reverend George Henry “Jack” Woodard succeeded Fr. Herlong under the title Executive Assistant to the Rector. Fr. Woodard had helped to write “One Peppercorn” as a consultant to Dr. Butler and then aided Dr. Parks in implementing the re-organization. He resigned in May 1977 to become missionary to the Dominican Republic. The Reverend Woodard’s files can be found in the Grants record group where he served as director.


The Revd Richard L. May

Ex. Assistant to the Rector, 1977-1979

The Reverend Richard L. May was Executive Assistant from 1977 until appointed vicar of Trinity/St. Paul’s in November 1979. The records of the Reverend May can be found in the Congregational Office where he served as vicar.


The Revd James G. Callaway, Jr. 

Ex. Assistant to the Rector, 1980–1987

11 boxes, 5.5 linear feet

After a nation-wide search, the Reverend Jamie Callaway received the call to assist the Reverend Parks and served until 1987, when he became Director of Grants.

Office files are in two sets: arranged alphabetically by subject in the first set and divided under Organization [Org] and Technical [Tech] in the second. The files cover staff, clergy housing, Parish programs and the Vestry.