The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible, God-breathed, and God's complete revelation to mankind.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections.
- 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 5:7
The Person And Work Of The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who became perfect humanity while remaining undiminished Deity, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful mankind.
- John 1:1,2,14; Luke 1:35; Colossians 2:9
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our eternal redemption through His death on the cross as a vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification (correct relationship with God) is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead.
- Romans 3:24,25; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our eternal High Priest He fulfills the ministry of representative, intercessor, and advocate for born-again believers.
- Hebrews 1:3; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1,20
The Person And Work Of The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person possessing all the essential elements of personality, namely: intellect, sensibility, and will. Though often referred to as the "Third Person of the Trinity," such an expression should not be taken as an indication of inferiority of the Holy Spirit to the Father or to the Son.
- 1 John 5:7; Romans 15:13,16; Ephesians 4:30
We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration (impartation of spiritual life); baptizes (places) all born-again believers into the Body of Christ; and indwells and seals them until the day of redemption.
- John 16:7-11; 1 Corinthians 12:14; Ephesians 1:13,14
We believe that the Holy Spirit teaches born-again believers all truth; and that it is possible for all the saved to be filled with the Spirit.
- John 16:13; 1 John 2:20-27; Ephesians 5:18
The Total Depravity Of Mankind
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the race fell (died spiritually), inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; that man is totally depraved, and of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.
- Genesis 1:26,27; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to mankind by Grace through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary to pay the penalty for our sins, that we might be reconciled to God.
- Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7
The Eternal Security Of Born-Again Believers
We believe that all born-again believers are kept secure in Christ forever. This security is made certain because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love; because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Christ; because of the prayer of the Son of God while here on earth; because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven; and because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved.
- John 17:11-16; Romans 8:1; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 2:1,2
The Assurance Of Born-Again Believers
We believe that it is the privilege of born-again believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation as taught in God's Word; which however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh.
- Titus 2:11-15; 2 Timothy 1:12; Romans 1:16
The Two Natures Of Born-Again Believers
We believe every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural.
- Romans 7:17-8:2; Ephesians 4:22-24
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as to bring no reproach upon their Savior and Lord. The individual born-again believer should rely on the convicting power of the Holy Spirit as a guide in all practices and associations.
- Romans 12:1,2; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
The Grace Of Giving
We believe that the grace of giving is a gift of God, imparted to and manifested through the born-again believer by the Holy Spirit Himself and is an expression of devotion on the part of the saved. We believe each child of God should give "as unto the Lord" after prayerfully seeking His will; not of necessity but through love and gratitude to God for the Gift of Christ.
We believe that the born-again believer's entire resources are a gift of God and the Holy Spirit should be permitted to determine the use of that which the born-again believer retains for himself.
- 2 Corinthians 8:3-7; 9:6-8
We believe that it is the God-given responsibility of the saved to witness by life and word to the truths of the Holy Scriptures and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind.
- Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19,20
The Ministry of Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts both to the individual and the church and that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today.
- Ephesians 4:7-12
We believe that the Church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again believers in this present age of grace, and is to be differentiated from the name of the local church, it being a term designating that portion of the body of Christ assembling in a particular location.
- Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come again in the air to receive His body, the true church, to be with Himself forever. We further believe that this event is clearly indicated in scripture as occurring before the tribulation period.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10
We believe every born-again believer has been baptized (placed) into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit and, thereby, becomes a member of His body. This act is performed at the time the believer accepts Christ.
We believe that salvation is by grace through faith, that baptism of any form other than that of the Holy Spirit has no part of the salvation of the believer. We believe no mode of baptism other than that of the Holy Spirit to be required for fellowship or to be essential as a testimony. However, we do fellowship in Christian love with those born-again believers who in testimony have been baptized as unto the Lord and with those whose organization makes water baptism a requirement for membership.
- Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:13
The Lord’s Supper
We believe the invitation to partake of the Lord's Supper should be open to all who have by faith received Christ as their personal Savior. Those who observe the Lord's Supper witness to His death, "till He come."
- 1 Corinthians 11:23-24
The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all mankind; the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.
- John 5:28,29; 11:25,26; Revelation 20:5,6,12,13
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, while souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment.
- 2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; Revelation 20:11-15
The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin, and the cause of the fall of mankind, that he is the open and declared enemy of God and mankind, and has control over un-regenerated mankind, and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire.
- Job 1:6,7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Revelation 20:10
Early Trinity Church History (1944-1987)
Our Lord actually started Trinity Church about this time of the year in 1944 - but we did not realize it at that time. To set the scene: Bayou View Subdivision was then Gulfport Field (an Army Air Base) with 40 -50,000 personnel. Keesler AFB housed a less number of Airmen... and what we know as the Seabee Base was then Gulfport Naval Base.
We now call Hardy Court a shopping center. Then, it was a government housing project with about 2,500 civilians and military personnel God laid it on the heart of Jim Allen (the Christian Superintendent of the project) to have Sunday School for children who were playing on the streets because their parents were unable to take them to church. Gasoline was strictly rationed. He was led to ask Mr. Stegal and later Hal Hanson if they would act as Sunday School Superintendents, and found some teachers for the children. Soon the Bryants, Cases, Lanes, Rounsaviles, McGees, and Arnolds became involved… among others. Classes for children were organized, followed later by classes for adults.
The government regulations were as follows: No literature other than the Bible, no mention of denominations, no membership, no collections to be taken, and no Baptisms permitted (excepting, of course, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit - which could hardly be prevented, even on government property). In exchange, Mr. Allen would furnish facilities, including meeting rooms, the recreation hall, and all utilities free of charge. After a few months he granted permission for a church hour also - then sandwiched in a prayer meeting between bingo on Tuesday nights and Bridge on Thursday nights. Our Sunday activities followed a Saturday night dance, I might add.Pastors from Gulfport alternated for church services but soon dropped out one by one. Then a Baptist preacher by the name of Tom Henry preached for about one year to be followed by men of the church trying to hold things together until God acted. His choice this time was Brother and Mrs. Vanderley. This wonderful family was operating a SMHOME (Service Member Home) in Gulfport, later moving to Biloxi as Gulfport Field closed down, and Keesler AFB grew. They fed up to 50 service personnel on Sunday, offered free room and board when needed, with Bible classes held every night but one. A FAITH WORK IN ACTION, NEVER asking people for anything, NEVER mentioning problems... COMPLETELY dependent on prayer to the God who had promised… A pastor-teacher who would accept no salary... and who turned out to be one of the outstanding expositors of God's work in our time. People began INVITING AND BRINGING others to church. Salvation testimonies were a weekly occurrence. Airmen were riding with their friends on their bicycles from Keesler AFB to Hardy Court. Street meetings were held on Saturdays, and on Sundays there were jail services.
Then the axe fell!!! The war was over… Hardy Court was to be sold... Gulfport Field was closed. Out of the SMHOME and Hardy Court had come Missionary Russell Stellwagon, Wheaton College Professor Allan Johnson, Seminary graduate Son Young Ho who pastors a large Korean church in Dallas, a piano was shipped to an African Missionary, a well dug in Tanganyika, and seven of the eleven Gideons then on the Coast came from Hardy Court. What to do?? No one felt led to quit!! So, it was again to the Lord for His guidance!!
Within a year, a Doctrine was written and (so was) a Constitution and By-Laws. Trinity Church secured a charter, and on a terribly stormy night, six men traveled to Algiers (in New Orleans, LA) to talk to Radio Pastor Shelton, who owned a church building on Georgia Street in Gulfport. After approving our Doctrine and hearing our individual testimonies, he agreed to sell NOT at his asking price, but at his cost! Back in Gulfport, we personally signed a note and purchased the property. All we had was the desire, the commitment from Brother V. to continue teaching, AND the promise of God that He would bless. We were in business for our Lord! Pews were necessary, Sunday School rooms added, song books, a piano and later an organ... All provided by the God of our salvation. Several years passed... with God providing, until… Brother Vanderley was older, felt his strength was needed for the SMHOME and that we needed to step out and secure a pastor.
The first one was from Moody Bible Institute. He agreed with our Doctrine, but within six months was deviating from it so much that we agreed to disagree. This was a traumatic experience for us, but a step forward for God. We ended up with Trinity Church in Gulfport and Grace Bible Church in Biloxi, thus doubling His witness! As a result of our move HERE (i.e., Trinity moving to the current facility in Biloxi/Woolmarket), He now also has Home Bible Classes in Gulfport, proving again that when HE divides, HE multiplies! When Brother Van had finished a year of broadcasting from the church over WGCM, within our group was one of WGCM's station announcers named Charles Cooper, now the owner of the only Christian radio station on the Coast, located in Ocean Springs. God was again faithful.
Between pastors (all in about 3½ years), we were held together only by Him who died for us. The Board of Elders took turns preaching: a Missionary from Columbia, MS, the head of the Rescue Mission in Jackson, Chaplain Saucier from the Veteran's Facility, and a retired preacher from Pensacola. Again, the Lord undertook by sending Jack Meadows, a graduate of Dallas Seminary. He was a born-again Jew, and his insight to the Old Testament was a blessing. The Meadows left in two years for a teaching position, and it was with much prayer as we went back to square one.
This time our most likely response (for a pastor) was from Southeastern Bible College (SBC) in Birmingham. Today's speaker (for the church building dedication service 9095 W. Oaklawn Rd. Biloxi, MS -- Dr. Alden Gannett, SBC President 1960-69, 1972-81) was then President of Southeastern. The new pastor (who came to us from SBC) was Bob Foust. Bob and his wife Cheryll were with us for three years before returning for more Seminary study. Bob sowed a seed of thought, however. Many years ago, Dr. Gannett was a speaker for the Coast Bible Conference, and Bob brought him to see his first church. Bob told the Board that Dr. Gannett said we had everything we needed, but that we were in the wrong neighborhood. Now, we were always good at taking advice, and "Dr. Gannett, sir, 18 years later we moved." We had begun to feel we were a training ground for young pastors, and we held our corporate breaths as Darryl and Paula Barton from Dallas Seminary completed their fourth year (with us). But now, after 12 years, we praise the Lord that they have been with us through, "Blood, Sweat. and Tears" as the expression goes. Without their faith in-action and steadfastness in the Word of God, we wonder if our Lord would have given us these acres, this new building, a welcoming community, and more opportunities to win others for our Lord Jesus Christ.
You who have received our newsletters know of the miracles God has performed. Prayers and help have come from as far away as Mexico and Costa Rica to the South, Idaho and Alaska to the North, California and Japan to the West, Virginia and Africa to the East... and last, but not least, from our Woolmarket brothers and sisters in Christ.
So much has God proven by answered prayer, that we dare to envision carpeting for this building, paved parking spaces, a larger sanctuary, a building for classrooms, a tape ministry, Missionary rest cottages for furloughs, and an increase from our present partial support of five Missionaries to full support for 25 missionaries!
A large vision, you say? Well according to Scripture, "Where there is NO vision, the people perish." And all God asks is that we be willing to be used in honoring His SON. Our recognition of our inability without HIM makes us every grateful for HIS placing, HIS faithfulness, HIS love... AND for the prayers and welcome manifested by your attendance on this, our Dedication Day.
A fitting close would be the words we received yesterday from Merida, Yucatan. Dr. David Solt and his wife Georgina are Missionaries and have spoken in Trinity Church on many occasions. They are the parents of Missionary Lillian Solt whom we partially support in Costa Rica. Here are their words: "Dear wonderful friends at Trinity... How we wish we could be there to rejoice with you in what God has done. Praise HIS name!... We SHALL be there in spirit. We pray the Lord will continue to bless and bring many into HIS Kingdom. Our Love, our prayers, our congratulations. You have proved Psalms 125:1, "Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build it..."
"HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS UNTO TRINITY CHURCH AND THOSE HERE ASSEMBLED."
A brief history of Trinity Church presented on Dedication Day, 22 November, 1987.