The multigenerational membership of Holy Trinity AME Church continues to grow, in part because the ministry strives to provide a range of programs that affect people both within and outside its physical walls.
Led by the Rev. Rethis Murry, the Long Beach fellowship is open seven days a week and offers many ministries that attract seniors, young adults, teens and children.
In addition to Sunday worship, Holy Trinity has Bible Studies for adults, women and millennials, a 40-member youth and young adult Voices of Destiny choir, a men’s ministry, the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) and the Young People’s Division. Community outreach programs include food distributions, a legal clinic and educational seminars on a monthly basis.
“God gave me a vision that we must be more than just a church building operating on Sundays,” said Murry. “Being open every day helps us to fulfill our goals to restore hope to the helpless, uplift the down-trodden, encourage the youth, engage the millennials and celebrate our seniors as we preach the Gospel and save souls.”
Holy Trinity has been especially effective in adding young people to the congregation. His approach consists of providing programs and ministries that positively affect that demographic as well as their families.
“We reach out to them through our actions, not words. Our worship begins with high praise and we try to maintain that level until the benediction. We are excited to have four Licentiates (ministers-in-training), and three that are under the age of 30,” said the pastor, who is assisted by his wife, Eva, in creating a spiritually uplifting service for all ages.
When it comes to youth and young adults, Murry said he has learned a lot by observing Bishop Clement W. Fugh, presiding prelate of the Fifth Episcopal District of the AME Church.
“Bishop Fugh has a special relationship with the young people because they see his realness. He makes time for them and this is how you build relationships with the youth. He calls them ‘his peeps” and they love it,” noted Murry, who also urged churches without youth and young adults to consider the situation as a wake-up call.
“It’s time to start walking neighborhoods again, knocking on doors again! Begin introducing ourselves to them again and stop relying on social media and fancy banners,” insisted Murry, who has been in the ministry for 22 years.
Accepting his call to preach in 1996, Murry previously served four years as pastor of St. Mark AME Church in Los Angeles. Prior to that assignment, he was the pastor and founder of New Hope Community Church in Bellflower from 2001 to 2005. He later held associate minister positions at St. James AME and Second AME Churches.
As he completes his second year as pastor of Holy Ministry, Murry intends to take full advantage of the opportunity to serve God’s people.
“It is my prayer that in the next five-to-10 years, my ministry will lead many young people back into the pews of church. I would like to continue to build bridges with other organizations – nonprofits, political, and other entities – to work with the church. It will take everyone working together.”
In the more immediate future, Holy Trinity will hold its 3rd annual Give Joy Christmas Giveaway on December 22.
“This is where we will give 100 bikes, toys and other gifts to those less fortunate,” said Murry. “We know God blesses us to be a blessing!”
Holy Trinity AME Church is located at 200 E. 68th St., in Long Beach. To learn more, call (310) 631-9166 or visit holytrinityamelb.com