Trinity Parish Church is so named because of the joining of three churches – Wallacetown, St. Matthews and Baxter Park. The congregation came together in Wallacetown Church and St. Matthews and Baxter Park churches were demolished.
Wallacetown came to life at a time when there was so much promise, with Dundee expanding and improving its industrial trade. Just 20 years before Wallacetown came into being the population of Dundee was a mere 38,000. By 1861, 20 years after the church opened, the population had increased to 90,000, more than doubling in 40 years, and indeed by 1870, nine years later, this had grown to 115,000.
Whether this industrial expansion was an influence on, or mere incidental to the increase in church attendance is not clear, but certainly the advent of the Industrial Revolution coincided with the declared policy of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland which, in the early part of the 19th century, decided to aim towards more churches in popular districts to ease the demands on the existing churches because of the marked increase in attendance at public worship.
On 1st May 1839 Presbytery approved a site ‘north east of Princes Street’ and in 1840 Wallacetown Chapel became a reality, through the auspices of a group of young men called ‘Young Men’s Church Society’. On 6th May Presbytery granted approval for pulpit supply for the first few weeks of the birth of Wallacetown, as a mission station. On 24th May, the church opened officially, with pulpit supply providing temporary ministerial leadership for services of worship until a full time minister could be appointed.
On 6th October 1840 the Rev. Patrick Miller was appointed by Presbytery “to lecture and to preach” as the first minister of Wallacetown Church. It is interesting to note that, when Wallacetown Church was built, the building provided not only a ‘chapel’ for worship but a schoolhouse for the education of the local parish children. It was only many years later, when the responsibility for education was taken over by the state, that the schoolhouse, after some renovation and alteration, became known and utilised as church halls.