Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is known as the "Little Green Church" because of its structure's color.

However, it's also a home among homes in its neighborhood, according to the Rev. Robert Lowden, the church's interim pastor.

"It's a beautiful and unique church," he said. "It's all wood inside, and with that there's a sense of home. This home has been on the corner for 100 years. When the community went through changes, its home the church was there."

The church, at 415 N. West St. in York City, begins its year-long centennial celebration with a rededication service at 11 a.m. Sunday featuring a sermon from former pastor, the Rev. Ruth Fieldhouse.

Special events: Special services will be held each month leading up to the church's anniversary in October 2013.

Other services include a Veterans Day service at 11 a.m. Nov. 11, with a display featuring a military uniform from World War 1, courtesy of the York County Heritage Trust; and a recreation of Trinity's first wedding, to be held on Feb. 14.

The anniversary celebration ends with a festival Eucharist service celebrated by the Lower Susquehanna Synod bishop at 11 a.m. on Oct. 13, 2013.

The church's facility was constructed by the Episcopal Church as Chapel of the Holy Incarnation. A Lutheran congregation began holding Sunday school classes at the site in 1912 and started Trinity Lutheran Church with its first service of communion held Oct. 12, 1913.


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The 216-member church also serves as the meeting place for alcohol and substance abuse programs that serve 200 people.

"Those groups have a very strong group identity to this church," Lowden said. "The very presence of the church and its congregation says something about stability."

Also, Trinity hosts Freedom Fellowship Church, which holds services there until it finds its own home, said Becky Hubley, Trinity's centennial committee member.

Longtime members: Helen Behler, 88, of West Manchester Township, joined the church in 1956 after moving to York from Hanover.

Behler said she knew she found a good church home because the congregation accepted her and encouraged her as she worked in the church and did programs to serve children in the community.

She taught Sunday and Vacation Bible schools, led the altar guild and helped coordinate bazaars to raise money for the church.

"Working in the church gave me a lot of patience in raising my children," Behler, now a widow with two living children. "And it just gave me encouragement to go ahead and do things."

Larry Updegrove has been a Trinity member since 1969.

"I live right behind the church, so it's easy access for me," he said. "I enjoy the people. It's a nice, friendly church. My children were raised in the church. My daughter and son were married there."

Updegrove said the church also provided ministry opportunities for him, as he serves as a lay preacher and a church council member. He is a former church treasurer and property committee chairman.

"Being a member at Trinity really helps keep me on an even keel," he said. "I've gone there a long time and now it's the 100th anniversary. It's nice to be a part of that."

Celebration starts Sunday: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, at 415 N. West St. in York City, begins its year-long centennial celebration with a rededication service at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, featuring a sermon from former pastor the Rev. Ruth Fieldhouse.

Special services will be held each month leading up to the church's anniversary in October 2013.

A Veterans Day service will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, with a display featuring a military uniform from World War 1, courtesy of the York County Heritage Trust.

For information, call Trinity at 843-5920.

--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.