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Trinity Church welcomes new pastor

Posted 10/8/22

A celebration was held for Karen Marshall as she entered into the lay ministerial covenant between Trinity Church and the Oneida Association as pastor of Trinity Church.

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Trinity Church welcomes new pastor


ROME — A celebration was held for Karen Marshall as she entered into the lay ministerial covenant between Trinity Church and the Oneida Association as pastor of Trinity Church during a special service on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Church members, guests and clergy of the Oneida Association of the United Church of Christ participated.

Marshall was born in Syracuse, where she and her family attended Friedens United Church of Christ. She grew up being very involved in church life, which has always been an important part of her life.

She received a bachelor’s of arts degree from Oswego State College and also completed her graduate work there. She taught Spanish for 30 years, but throughout those years of teaching she said she felt her passion in life was also the church.

After completing several courses at CRDS seminary in Rochester, she completed additional courses for NYSOM (New York School of Ministry). She did all this while raising her two children and continuing to teach.

Since retiring from teaching, she has been serving as full-time pastor for Trinity Church since April 19. This is not her first time serving this congregation. During several summers she served the congregation at Trinity, while the pastor was on vacation.

“I am so happy to be back here at Trinity; to serve this beautiful church is what I feel is my calling,” Marshall said.

Supply pastors served the congregation with Laurel Harte-Westover serving as an interim pastor for 18 months. After exploring availability of possible applicants, the pastoral search committee, led by Kathy Wood, Marshall accepted the call for Trinity’s need of a full-time pastor.

Pastor Karen succeeds the Rev. Frank Graichen, who retired after serving Trinity from 1996 to 2019.

Among those participating in the service were The Rev. Graichen, retired minister of Trinity Church, who led the charge to the congregation; Kathy Wood, president of Trinity’s Church Council; the Rev. James Martinez who led the charge to the pastor; the Rev. James Tschudy who presented a sermon; the Rev. Dr. Kelly Sprinkle who offered a greeting; and Etta Palmer, from the First Baptist Church and head of Rome Clergy Association.

Organ and piano selections were provided by Aaron Browka, director of Music at Trinity. Marshall and her daughter, Katerina Marshall Peterman, gave a musical selection duet titled, Bless This House.

An afternoon tea reception was held in the church lounge immediately following the installation service with additional music provided by Browka.

Trinity’s roots began in 1848 as the “United German Evangelical Lutheran congregation of Rome” and the church has remained active throughout its history.

The church, at 215 W. Court St., will be celebrating its 175th anniversary in April 2023 with several special events which will be open to the public.

For more information about Trinity, go online to, e-mail and the administrative assistant can be reached by telephone Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at 315-336-2833.


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