While minimal history is written about Trinity Baptist Church, that which we possess is a profession of our great Baptist heritage.

Trinity Baptist Church has existed for 99 years, an unincorporated and incorporated body.

 The church had its origins in a religious society in 1924. This society's basic philosophy was to extend God's programs through prayer and Christian doctrine. With Rev. Emmett Moore as pastor, the group worshipped for four years as an unincorporated body, following the conviction of a free church body. 1929, this small group of dedicated Christians was incorporated under New York State Law.

 The period from around 1929 to 1950 was a radical change and utter turmoil for the church. Very little historical information was recorded, and as much as only scattered bits of information are known. However, from what little information was communicated, we know that the following did transpire: The church moved to 14 different localities during this period. Around 1940, a significant split occurred in Trinity. Half of the members left and formed a new church because of a disagreement with the church policies.

 Seventeen different ministers served as pastors of Trinity during the period 1924-1950.

 In March 1950, Rev. J.H. Pratcher was called to Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church. The congregation was at a record low, with only seven active members, and services were held in various private homes. The church was almost financially destitute, unorganized, and on the verge of collapse.

 Under the leadership of Pastor Pratcher, Trinity experienced its first necessary rebirth. With the increase in membership, a need for larger quarters became necessary. The church soon located an appropriate site at 1912 Maryland Avenue. Because of a shortage of funds, Trinity could not immediately begin constructing a new church. Therefore, a large canvas tent was purchased, and services were held there. This was in the fall of 1950.

 With the onslaught of winter and because of a larger pattern of growth, it became apparent that a permanent place of worship was essential. In the spring of 1995, the congregation decided to build a new church. Construction began with erecting a basement on the Maryland Avenue site, where worship occurred from 1952-1955. Not too long after the completion of the basement for the new church, the congregation suffered another adversity. The city rezoned the area; therefore, the church could not complete the building.

 In 1956, Rev. Pratcher, after securing a successful building fund, recommended that the site for a new church be pursued. The search was successful, and in September of the same year, the Jewish Temple of the Congregation of Havas Sholem at 309 Tenth Street was purchased. Membership at the time had reached 205.

 Despite this apparent triumph for the congregation, the membership in the church began to fall off, and the church finally lapsed into a period of recession. From June to November 1958, the church continued without a pastor.

 In November 1958, Rev. Glen Raybon was called to pastor at Trinity Baptist Church. At the time of Pastor Raybon's installation, approximately 35 active members were left in the congregation. Undaunted by his situation, Pastor Raybon immediately contacted members who had fallen away from the church. His continued efforts proved fruitful. Many former members returned to the church during the next three years of his ministry. The membership surged to an all-time high of 257.

 The financial condition of Trinity also brightened during Rev. Raybon's pastorate. The final mortgage payment was paid in August of 1961. To spur the church's building fund, Pastor Glen Raybon instituted the pledge system, and later, the tithing program was started. An effective financial program was stabilized to success under his leadership.

 The church progressed beyond the seating capacity at the 10th Street locale. Facing the overcrowded dilemma and still growing, the church set its sights on purchasing a new church. In the fall of 1964, The Trinity Baptist Church purchased the old St. James Methodist Church at 1366 South Avenue. The new church building offered many advantages for the expanding congregation, now numbering 320 members.

 The church was purchased for $29,500.00 with a 20-year mortgage paid off precisely in 7 years.

 The Trinity Baptist Church has been a force against social injustices. The Trinity Baptist Church has been involved heavily in social action programs, such as the Civil Rights movement in the ‘60s. Trinity was at the forefront of letting its facilities be used in the successful Boycott of the W.T. Grant store in Niagara Falls. At that time, Otis Cowart was President of the Congress of Racial Equality, better known as C.O.R.E., Robert E. Porter was vice president, and Pastor Raybon was Chairman of the Advisory Board.

Trinity Baptist was represented at the March on Washington in 1964. Pastor Raybon and the congregation have been at the forefront of breaking down racial barriers in securing jobs.

During his last years of pastoring, as he grew weaker, the Rev. Charles Searcy served faithfully by his side, assisting with his Pastoral duties.

 In 2014, Pastor Glen Raybon retired as Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church with 56 years of dedicated service.

 In July 2015, Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hardaway Jr., D.Min., was called to pastor the Trinity Baptist Church. He was installed as Pastor on Oct. 9, 2015. We were also blessed to have his wife, Rev. Dr. Karen M. Anderson Hardaway, D.Min, as Leading Lady (First Lady).

Pastor Hardaway is a Pastor who moves by the Spirit of God. He has instituted many new programs. Under his leadership, a handicap lift has been installed, security cameras, air conditioners, revival services have been reestablished, necessary maintenance has been done to the exterior, including the chimney, roof, and stairs, the computer system has been updated, and he continues to represent Trinity not only in Niagara Falls but Western New York as well. He serves on several boards in the Western New York community and is President of the Student Housing Board at Niagara Community College in Sanborn, New York. He has served as a chaplain on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship. He is a substitute teacher for the City of Buffalo School District, working when time allows.

His wife, Rev. Dr. Karen Anderson Hardaway, D.Min., stands consistently by Pastor Hardaway's side, assisting and enhancing the ministry. The members and outsiders often call upon her for prayer, assistance, and ministry. She also represents our church well, often called to preach or speak. She is a former Habitat for Humanity board member and the former Evening Chaplain at Buffalo City Mission - Cornerstone Manor (for Women And Children). She also serves on the City of Niagara Falls Board of Ethics. She is currently employed in a managerial position at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The coronavirus of 2020 would cause a challenge for many houses of worship, including Trinity. Under Pastor Hardaway’s leadership, services continued virtually and outdoors during the warmer months. Several additional improvements were made, allowing accessibility to the basement and other necessary repairs. Pandemic grants were accessed to help with the continuation of the needs of the church.

While things are difficult, focusing on the future works better than just looking at things going wrong.

“The focus should be, how can we become a better church—rather than, how do we re-create what we used to have?”

It is indeed a measure of strength and faith, but we will continue to uphold the faith of our fathers and mothers.