About Trinity Foundation

Trinity Foundation began in 1972 as a public, non-profit foundation whose mission included helping the needy. In the nearly 30 years since, about 70 interested members from different walks of life have been forged into a cohesive servant community - a "sanctuary in the city" - choosing to live with and minister to the poor and needy in a distressed neighborhood of East Dallas.

Many hundreds of people have received care from the Trinity community, which has provided counseling and accountability for those struggling with addictions; shelter, clothing, jobs and food for the homeless; protection and legal help for battered women; and love, schooling and a home for troubled children and teens. Special care for those leaving the prison system, the elderly, sick, and disabled also has been provided as needed over the years.

Members of Trinity have taken needy and homeless people into their homes since the foundation began.

The neighborhood the foundation serves is transitional, with the foundation's location serving as a bridge between an increasingly Hispanic population in small single-family dwellings and apartment complexes and a protected historic district of restored two-story homes.

Most of the people Trinity help are referred either from homeless shelters, drug programs or the courts. Many are off the street. Needs are discovered through the organization's English as a Second Language program and people working off court-mandated community service hours.

In 1988 Trinity began an effort called The Dallas Project to challenge other organizations to respond to its vision. Foundation members believed that if 10 to 20 families in every church , synagogue, mosque or other charitable organization could take care of one homeless person or family - to commit to them as a community rather than seeing them only as "clients" for social service professionals to deal with - then homelessness might be significantly reduced or even eradicated in the United States. Trinity believes that charitable organizations can transcend the jargon and bureaucracy of the urban social service status quo to give needy people what they need most - community.

Later, the foundation was confronted with a challenge of its own. In 1998 Trinity was asked to become owner of 13 apartment complexes in Oklahoma City and another complex in Dayton, Ohio, that would provide low-cost, affordable housing for the poor and distressed in those cities. The transaction was financed with municipal bonds.

This has allowed the foundation to share its unique vision of meeting need with hundreds of new organizations, and to encounter and overcome a wider set of problems. And the response has been phenomenal. This was most clearly seen in 1999 when hundreds of churches and organizations responded to the foundation's call to care for victims of a devastating tornado that left thousands homeless in Oklahoma City. Volunteers worked to make 400 apartments available for displaced families. This "big event" effort has been followed by continuous self-sacrifice on a daily basis from countless volunteers.


ORGANIZATION

Trinity Foundation was formally chartered by the State of Texas as a nonprofit public corporation in January 1973 and is deemed to be a public charity for federal tax purposes under sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. The nine-member board of directors is elected by the members. Less than half of the board members work for the foundation. All books and financial records are open to the public.


TELEVANGELIST INVESTIGATIONS

An early skepticism about the way religious programming is bought and sold prompted Trinity to conduct a controversial research project on the audience demographics and ratings of religious broadcasting. By the time scandals rocked the religious television industry in the 1980s, Trinity was already monitoring religious programming and reporting abuses of the public trust. In the 1990s Trinity Foundation became the leading "watchdog" of religious media, conducting investigations and providing information used to expose fraud and abuses committed in the name of God.

The foundation regularly provides assistance to print and electronic journalists investigating suspected fraud or other abuses of the public trust by members of the religious media. The foundation maintains a private investigative license with the State of Texas and frequently provides undercover operatives to news programs like PrimeTime Live, 60 Minutes, Dateline, CNN Special Reports, 20/20, British Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Inside Edition, among many others. We have also worked with The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Economist, London Independent, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, and The Dallas Morning News.

Foundation representatives have testified for Congressional hearings examining abuses by America's television evangelists. The foundation has also provided investigative reports to various agencies of state and federal government.

Victim's Helpline: The foundation sponsors and staffs America's only nationwide toll-free help line (1-800-229-VICTIM) for people who believe they or a loved one has been victimized by a televangelist.

Media Archive: Trinity Foundation maintains a nationally recognized video archive of televangelism broadcasts, a print-media clip-file and extensive direct-mail files on approximately 300 televangelists. Information requests are met regularly from local, regional, national and worldwide media outlets.


MINISTRY OF THE WORD

Trinity Foundation sponsors several nondenominational home church groups and Bible studies with the goal of recapturing the first century Christian experience and exploring the Jewish roots of our faith. Many of the group's members live in homes and apartments grouped in one block of a transitional area in Dallas.


SOME ANCIENT HISTORY

In the mid-'70s and early `80s, the foundation sponsored The Samizdat Group. Samizdat is a Russian word meaning hidden or privately published. It has come to describe a wide spectrum of material from repressed people, primarily in the former Soviet Union and eastern block countries, published without government permission. Trinity Foundation received this material and put it in a form usable by the Western media. Publication in the West gave these political and religious dissidents leverage in their countries when other avenues of expression had been cut off.

The foundation produced a radio talk show called One Trinity Place, which aired in Dallas/Fort Worth for about two years. The show presented interviews with many world leaders and Christians who talked about their walk with God in an open format. One Trinity Place was named the "best program of its kind" by the National Religious Broadcasters. Approximately 500 hours of programming were aired. Cross Fire, a book that presented the most interesting interviews from One Trinity Place, was published by Logos International and sold 500,000 copies worldwide.


5640 Columbia Ave., Dallas, TX 75214
Office (214) 827-2625
Victim's Helpline 1(800) 229-VICTIM
e-mail us at pete@trinityfi.org


Los Angeles Times article (12/8/02)

Trinity Foundation website

Morning Bible Studies