God’s Spirit continued to be at work with another ‘heavenly nudge.” While on her way to consider an interim pastoral position in Orlando, Rev. Dr. Mona West, former co-pastor of the 3000 member Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, stopped in Sarasota to attend Church of the Trinity’s annual Women in Ministry Conference. She immediately knew that Trinity was a special place and that our land was indeed holy ground.
The following year she was invited back to preach at Trinity for the Women’s Conference and that Sunday there was a palpable presence of the Spirit in the room and all were wondering if indeed, Dr. West would become our next pastor.
In May of 2004 the Pastoral Search Committee invited Dr. West to candidate for the position of Senior Pastor at Church of the Trinity and on Pentecost Sunday a vote was taken. Dr. West was elected on that day with a 96% affirmation. In July of 2005 Mona and her partner of ten years, Deb Elder, moved to West Bradenton, and on October 2, 2005, Mona was installed as Senior Pastor.
Under Rev. West’s leadership church membership grew to over 300, Rev. David Wynn was hired as Associate Pastor. The internationally known architect Carl Abbott of the Sarasota School of Architecture designed a new sanctuary, education and social hall space. The master plan incorporate the wetland space into an open, inviting campus, connecting us to God’s creation.
In 2008 Rev. Mona West announced her resignation as Senior Pastor. Mona was recruited by the MCC denomination to oversee leadership development for the church’s clergy and laity. In 2012 Rev. West was affirmed as an Elder in the MCC movement. She continues to serve in those roles.
Rev. Lisa Helig began her ministry as Interim Pastor in the fall of 2008. Rev. Helig led our congregation through a process of healing and reconciliation, as we came to terms with our history and began to renew our commitments for the future.