Khanh Trinh was born in 1965 in the southern Vietnam city of Saigon to Hanh Trinh, a tank commander for the Presidential palace, and Thuy Trinh. The youngest of seven siblings, Khanh spent his childhood playing soccer with the neighborhood kids and reading sophisticated books (much to the disapproval of his mother). His love for literature and the game of soccer would become enduring hallmarks for his passion to learn.
At the age of ten, his world would be turned upside-down, as the losing South Vietnamese army fell to the North. Alongside his siblings and parents, Khanh found himself on a naval ship en route to the United States, seeking asylum. Khanh was among the 1.6 million Vietnamese who escaped.
By the grace of God, Hanh and his family (along with Khanh) were granted asylum in the state of Oregon; sponsored by a church family in Portland. Khanh was given the name Philip. To help ends meet, his eldest sibling would take on a janitorial job in addition to Hanh and Thuy working. Seeing the faith of those who sponsored them, Hanh was inspired to become a minister and worked to build a Vietnamese ministry in Portland. Khanh would help his father with the Pentecostal ministry, serving as a driver.
Khanh’s transition to the States heavily influenced his growth and development. Exposed to an unfamiliar culture, Khanh found refuge in his books, soccer, and the community of Vietnamese brethren in similar situations. Being the youngest child, Khanh was the last to leave the house for college, following suit with his brother at Oregon State.
The future pastor would study engineering and would eventually find a job in Northern California, in the city of Sunnyvale. After working in engineering and partly being a youth leader for a local church (where he met his wife, Hieu), Khanh was laid off and was faced with a decision. The decision was to enter graduate school for engineering or to enter seminary; Khanh had been called by the Lord. After deliberation and discussion with his loved ones, the son of a Pentecostal pastor entered Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in the Bay Area. Khanh would received his Ph.D. in theology and would serve alongside Pastor Ninh in a small church in Sacramento.
After Pastor Ninh passed away to cancer, the title of pastor fell to Reverend Khanh. Along with his wife and the church leaders, the minister from Saigon built up Grace Community Church to be a church that centers on Christ and the community that Christ has intended for us.
Pastor Philip Khanh Trinh lives in Elk Grove, California with his wife while his two children are away for college.