As we get close to our 50th anniversary in just a few days later this month (May 13), we remember that the organization of a new church generally begins first with the hard work of church planting where a core group of families is gathered around a common vision to organize the new church. Such was the case with our church, with the initial church planting work done with members of the Berkeley OPC who resided in Novato under the leadership of the Rev. Richard M. Lewis, and then under the leadership of the full-time church planter and missionary, the Rev. Robert H. Graham. By God’s grace, by the February before they were formally organized, the church had gathered a group of eleven families determined to see the church officially planted, signing a declaration of intent to that end.
The following article was published in a 50th anniversary book for the denomination titled The Orthodox Presbyterian Church 1936-1986 edited by Charles G. Dennison and published in 1986. This article was originally published unsigned but was written by Rev. Richard C. Miller.
In 1969 two Orthodox Presbyterian families found themselves living in Novato, California. Novato is in the northern part of Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. The Williams family had come from the Goleta church and the Cantwells from Chula Vista, and both were driving 35 miles one way to worship in Berkeley. The Rev. Richard M. Lewis began a Bible class in Novato with these families and a few friends.
Did you know that our church was originally named Novato Orthodox Presbyterian Church? It wasn’t until 1976 that the congregation changed its name to Trinity Church, Orthodox Presbyterian, and later simplified to its current official name of Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC).
Adult Sunday School class led by Rev. W. Reid Hankins at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 4/17/2016 in Novato, CA. This week we spent an extra “encore” week on American Presbyterianism history, considering our own church’s history in Novato.