Trinity Baptist Church was established on October 16, 1966 on State Street in West Asheville. Later the congregation purchased several acres of property on Shelburne Road in Asheville where the Zephyr Hill Sanitarium once stood. With 60 members, and under the direction of Rev. Ralph Sexton, Sr. as the Pastor and Dr. James A. Stewart as the Honorary Pastor, the building was built on Psalm 127:1 ‘‘Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” The church family experienced joyful times as the men met on Saturday to tear down the sanitarium building. The women would bring home-cooked food for lunch on the grounds. New construction began August 6, 1970, and as soon as the basement was partially completed, they started having meetings in the area that had concrete. Trinity Baptist was completed after years of hard work, sacrificing, and continuous prayer from the members. Ralph Sexton, Sr. continued to Pastor the church and he reached the community by way of radio and TV. A lot of people in the area grew up tuning in to the “Send The Light” broadcast on Sunday mornings. Sister Jackie was at Ralph’s side, and you knew God was there when she prayed. In 1975 Ralph, Jr. joined his father on staff, and for 13 years served as Youth Pastor and Staff Evangelist. In April, 1988 after his father’s resignation as Pastor, Ralph Sexton, Jr. became Trinity’s Senior Pastor. The Lord continued to bless Trinity under the direction of Dr. Ralph Sexton, Jr. The missions outreach program increased at both home and abroad through the faith-promise giving of the church family.
The church started the Trinity Baptist Bible College in 1993, and a bus ministry brought in children from neighboring homes. Sunday School and Awana ministries continued to grow as God continued to speak to the members of Trinity. A second Sunday morning worship service was added to accommodate the congregation, with one service at 8:15 am and another service at 10:45 am following the Sunday School hour. But, soon people were leaving at the 10:45 service because there was no place to sit. At this time, the church family met and discussed their options. In 1996 the church decided to have some plans drawn up on what was the best use of our property. In 1997 the church voted to build a new interim sanctuary which would hold 1500 people. Soon after starting the project the building permits were revoked and legal proceedings were started with the city to continue the building project. God used this time to build our prayer life, our faith, and to build patience which would make Trinity what it is today; God used Trinity to fight the legal battles for smaller churches in our area. Finally, after months of legal battle, we were given the permits to continue our building project.
On November 3, 2002 we held the ground breaking for the new church building. The foundation was laid and the building started taking shape over the next months. On Sunday, August 10, 2003 we called a special prayer meeting in the afternoon. We gathered our church family together under the steel beams and blessed the building of our new church building. Dr. Ralph Sexton, Sr., “Poppie,” and Jacqueline Sexton, “Nana,” led the special prayer meeting. At this time we did not realize that “Poppie” was already suffering from a brain tumor and would soon be called home to be with His Savior.
In July of 2005, The Tabernacle was finished and we were able to move our services there. On October 10, 2005 we held a Dedication Service for the new building. We celebrated with the unveiling of the corner plaque dedicating The Tabernacle of The Mountains to our Beloved “Poppie”, Dr. Ralph Sexton, Sr. Poppie was given a vision for Trinity Baptist 50 years ago, and during those 50 years many saints prayed and sacrificed to keep the church doors open. God has blessed Trinity with many blessings in our 50 years including the challenge to build The Tabernacle.