First Episcopal baptism was in 1871 in Longview

The origin of Trinity Episcopal Church can be traced, along with other Longview institutions, to an incident during the days of the railroad boom. It was in 1871 that the Rt. Rev. Alexander Gregg, bishop of the Diocese of Texas, baptized the first child of Episcopal faith in Longview.

The Rev. John Portmess was instrumental in establishment of the early mission in 1874, which was served whenever possible by visiting priests.

Regular weekly services got underway about 1886 under the direction of the Rev. Robert S. Stuart of Marshall. The small congregation met In homes of members, occasionally holding services in the Presbyterian Church or Masonic Lodge.

Confirmation classes, known to have been organized in 1894 included Judge and Mrs. J.N. Campbell, Dr. Archie Terry, Eugene Terry, Miss Alice 0’Bryan, Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Gossett, Charles E. Wright, Duffie Burke and Mrs. Boyle.

Other early members of the church were Estelle Wright, Esther Wright, members of Capt. Sam Cundiff’s family, the family of Dr. A.F. O’Bryan, Mrs. Leon Hart and family, Mrs. A.B. Carlilsle, Mrs. Gilbert Isham, W. Alex Abey, P.D. Harrison Sr.. and a Mrs. Knox, who taught in t h e Longview schools.

The first Episcopal wedding ceremony to be performed in Longview was that of Esther Wright and Richard B. Levy, the future judge, on Dec. 27, 1889.

In 1892 Estelle Wright, then 20, met the Rev. Charles Beckworth, later Bishop of Alabama, who was in the city as an Episcopal Church missionary. She invited him to the Wright home for dinner and it was there seeds for a permanent church were sown. As the minister was preparing to leave, Wright’s father, Samuel, gave Rev. Beckworth a dollar to buy cigars. The missionary requested that it instead be the first contribution toward the building fund.

Because of Wright’s devotion and labors through the early years of the church in Longview, Wright Hall was named in her honor.