Save Trinity


Help Us Save Our Church


Our church is under attack. We are one of the more progressive congregations in Eugene and has hosted the Egan Warming Center, Fish Food Pantry, Trinity Free Store, and countable others.
They are trying to sell our building out from under us. 


Trinity Church Shut Down

On September 19, 2023, DS John Tucker closed Trinity United Methodist Church immediately and suddenly. This took place one week before the church was to vote on key leadership roles and to re-approve the compensation packages for Deena Wolfe and Teri Watanabe at the November 26th Charge Conference. Leadership feared that people critical of Deena and Teri, their virtual absence from involvement in the church, and their recent push to sell the building, would be voted into these key positions and would ask the Conference for new pastoral leadership.

Deena and Teri were notably absent during the closing. Instead they sent their boss to do what they couldn’t- steal an entire church from a group of compassionate elderly people right before the Christmas season. Here is the livestream of him cancelling all worship services with no emotion, no prayer, no apparent concern for the devastation he just caused the congregation and the North Eugene Community. He left these letters in a pile at the back on his way out: and left without answering a single question or even acknowledging any of the congregants who approached him.

The document indicates that if the congregation “behaves” that at some point in the future they will be allowed back into the building in order to have a “celebration of life” for the church that was just killed. Until then, they have been locked out of their building.

Click here to watch the video of the announcement

They have been having services regardless at various locations. On November 26th an outdoor service was held next to the protest against the building closure. 

What’s Happening?

A pair of ministers (Deena Wolfe and Teri Watanabe), who have recently facilitated the sales of three other United Methodist Churches in Lane County, were recently appointed to our church, Trinity United Methodist of Eugene.

In the other churches they sold, and also at Trinity, they had visions from “Spirit” guiding them to ask the congregations to make expensive upgrades and renovations to their buildings. Shortly after the repairs are finished, “Spirit” will again visit them, this time encouraging them to sell their buildings and sign all remaining assets over to the Conference District.

The Conference District is headed by the same person who appointments them each and every time. This person’s name is John Tucker, the District Superintendent for the Crater Lake District of the Oregon-Idaho Conference.  

All Church Conference

Trinity United Methodist is holding an All Church Conference on Sunday, November 26th immediately following 10:30am worship. John Tucker plans to preach that Sunday which should be a very interesting sermon.

We need Community Members to attend this meeting so please come to the church on 440 Maxwell Road in Eugene on November 26th at 10:30 am (come at 11:30 if you want to skip the sermon.)

Please help us to save this rare gem of a church and to stop Teri and Deena from going and stealing the next one.

More Background

Trinity United Methodist in Eugene Oregon has been there since 1950 and is one of the only churches in the area still willing to host the Egan Warming Center, a life-saving cold weather emergency shelter. It also hosts the FISH Food Pantry, which hundreds of families count on to have enough food for the month. Trinity also runs the only Free Store in Lane County.

Last year, Pastor Deena convinced the congregation to hire an “Outreach Minister” named Teri Watanabe using its endowment funds that were earmarked for building maintenance. Instead of doing outreach, Teri did what she has apparently done to at least three other United Methodist churches in the area (Here is an article about them selling the church in Veneta). She convinced them to pay for very expensive building renovations that increase the value of the property. Each time, “Spirit” comes to her and tells her to do these things. Shortly after the renovations, “Spirit” will again visit Ms. Watanabe, this time telling her that it’s time to sell the church building to a preselected buyer of “the Spirit”‘s choosing.

Could these ministers be brought up on charges through the United Methodist Church? Yes, actually. The Book of Discipline protects Methodist churches from unordained ‘clergy’ committing fiscal malfeasance against them.

The Town Hall

Trinity recently held a Town Hall to discuss a survey that was taken asking congregants how they would feel about closing the church and selling the building. The vast majority answered resoundingly NO to both.

The ministers gloss over the surveys and immediately pivot into a sales pitch in which they ineffectively but aggressively try to convince these elderly people that they want to sell the church to a specific buyer in the next two months and that it was all their idea.

The many objections from the congregation are silenced while Teri allows a representative from a 4j school to talk at length about how they need the building more than the congregation does.

Coburg United Methodist Church

Coburg United Methodist Church of Eugene was a living progressive church in the Coburg neighborhood. When representatives from the Crater Lake District tried to convince them to sell their building, the congregation said NO. This angered the likes of Teri Watanabe and John Tucker who then FORCIBLY CLOSED the church down. The church, though still reeling from Covid shut-downs, was very much still functioning in terms of finances, attendance, and ministries. The Crater Lake District took the building where the Coburg United Methodist church had served the community for over one hundred years and turned it into a Bookstore complete with its own “Pastor.” The congregation had already had a pastor who by all accounts wanted to continue the church and its ministries. This was all stolen from them. Instead of housing the homeless and holding worship services, the beautiful sanctuary of this church now holds shelves of secular books being sold for profit. The District promised Coburg church that they would “honor their legacy” and continue to be a vital resource to the Coburg community. This was a lie.

Trinity now faces the same fate. Our reporting has confirmed with a representative of the 4j school district that they are no longer interested in purchasing Trinity’s building. We thank every single community member who supported the stopping of that sale. Now, it appears that the church is still very much under attack.

"Something terrible is being done to my grandparents' church"