Trinity Ecumenical Parish, Understanding Our Name


There is one God; three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We are one church; three expressions - Episcopal, Lutheran, and Presbyterian. However, people from many denominational backgrounds are drawn to us.
One God + One church = One joyous life together!


Promoting or relating to unity among the world's Christian churches.
We are what our name implies; a church that seeks unity among various traditions, not division.


The word "parish" denotes a church that serves a large area. People drive to Trinity from all over the region, some from over an hour away, all desiring to worship and serve together in this unique Christian setting.

Organizational Documents

If you are interested in the development of our parish, you may wish to read the following documents.

Our History

In the Beginning...

In 1985 a feasibility study was performed by the Presbytery for the possbible creation of a new Presbyterian church in the Smith Mountain Lake area. James Earhart, Church Planning Consultant, wrote,"...we now believe that new church development should take place but not on a unilateral basis. Consequently, we are recommending new church development can be carried out ecumenically with the Lutheran and/or Episcopalian Church, both of which have recently made similar studies..."

"It Works"

The following bullet points are from an article written by Pastor Emeritus Gary Scheidt for the celebration of the parish's 25th anniversary. We hope you will want to read the full text.

Trinity Ecumenical Parish works because:

  • it is grounded in Scripture. 
  • it is centered in worship.
  • it has been open to the leading and the power of God's Holy Spirit.
  • from the very beginning ministry and mission were claimed as more important and more powerful than church polity and church politics.
  • it has taken seriously the calling to be the Body of Christ.
  • from the very start it has focused on serving Jesus Christ, serving our community, and serving the world.
  • it has always realized that relationships are important, especially our relationship with God and our relationships with one another.

Episcopal logoEpiscopal

The Episcopal Church (national)
The Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Virginia

ELCA logoLutheran

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (national)
Virginia Lutheran Synod