The Great Storm of 1900

On September 8, 1900, her greatest disaster befell Trinity parish. The city of Galveston endured the severest hurricane in its history. Fifteen communicants of Trinity Church were drowned, among them H.A. Hausinger, a vestryman and superintendent of St. Michael’s Mission Sunday School. “The whole south wall of the church was blown down, the roof badly damaged, the interior of the church very much injured by wind and water, the entire church being rendered unsafe and unfit for public services.” Saint Michael’s and Saint Andrew’s missions were totally destroyed.

Bishop G. H. Kinsolving and the standing committee of the Diocese of Texas with the consent of the vestry of Trinity Church sent the rector, The Rev. Charles M. Beckwith, whose reputation as a preacher was national, to the East to raise funds to restore the churches and missions of the diocese which had been damaged or destroyed. Beckwith was absent from his parish until April 1901.

Bishop Kinsolving served as acting rector for the remainder of 1900 and until February 1, 1901. The services of Nicholas Clayton, the noted architect who had designed Eaton Memorial Chapel, were enlisted. In November 1900, the contract was let for the rehabilitation of the church edifice including “the rebuilding of the south wall with sound Cedar Bayou bricks,” to J.M. Brown & Co. Bishop Kinsolving allotted $12,000 to Trinity Church for repairs out of the sixty-odd thousand dollars contributed by the generous people of other dioceses of the Episcopal Church.

With the exception of the decoration of the interior of the church and the rebuilding of the tower, the work of the restoration of Trinity Church was completed by the end of May. On Easter, April 7, 1901, for the first time since the storm, services were held in Trinity Church.