Honoring the period
In … this history of our Church we realize that much of the good accomplished through the personal efforts of its members is left unrecorded, for who but God knows the history of individual work, of private efforts, or personal sacrifices, of tears that have been shed, and prayers that have been offered …
Many a soul here has had transactions with its Savior that are known only to him. Many a widow has cast her mite into the treasury, and many an alabaster box of ointment has shed its fragrance of love only in the knowledge of Him who seeth in secret.
Yet, of God’s goodness and faithfulness to this Church the record is already made up in the way the Lord our God has led us. Under his blessing the little seed planted … has grown to be a goodly vine. From year to year it has brought forth its fruit in due season. Many slips have been taken from it and utilized for planting other Churches. Many who received their spiritual training here are now carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Well done, good and faithful servant(s).
Dr. John Chester – 1889 (From 25th Anniversary Pamphlet of the Metropolitan Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC)
Shout for Joy Gospel Breakfast
A clip from Shout for Joy Gospel Singers
Read more about slavery in Washington D.C. in the “The Slave Market on East Capitol: A Capitol Hill Legend” by Robert S. Pohl on page 99 in the April 2013 Hill Rag.
In the 149th year of Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church’s service to the Capitol Hill community and the larger region we honored the church’s legacy during the period from 1869-1908. We highlighted two significant events in the life of this congregation in this period: the ministry of Rev. George N. Luccock (1894-1903), and the architect of the church building Emil Sophus Friedrich.
Reverend Doctor John Chester (1864-1889)
Reverend Doctor George N. Luccock (1894-1903)
Read a specially written article about Dr. Luccock by Gene Larkin.
Reverend Doctor Albert Evans (1903-1909)
1869 – 1894 THE CAPITOL HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH GETS GOING
- In 1872 after 6 years of planning, fund raising, and building, a new Church building was finally finished and dedicated. Attendees included President Grant and members of the Congress and judiciary;
- In 1884 a better exit was constructed at the West end of the sanctuary and a pipe organ installed; and
- In 1892 an education wing was added to the South side of the Sanctuary (it is now known as the “Chapel”).
1894 – 1903 CHURCH BUILDING MODERNIZED
The organizing pastor, the Rev. Dr. John Chester, retired after 30 years’ service, due to poor health. In 1894, the Congregation called the Rev. Dr. George N. Luccock as the Church’s second minister. During Dr. Luccock’s ministry:
- Special surfaces were installed on the first floor;
- The building was painted inside and out;
- Electric lights were installed;
- The balcony was extended to provide more seating;
- A water-powered compressor was installed for the organ; and
- The size of the Congregation doubled.
1903 – 1909 THE CHURCH BUYS A MANSE
In 1903 the Rev. Dr. Evans became the Church’s third minister. During his ministry:
- The Congregation purchased a manse at 17 Fifth Street, SE, for $7,250;
- Individual glasses were substituted for the common communion chalice; and
- The church supported missionaries both in the US and foreign countries.
Architect Emil Sohpus Friedrich by Gene Larkin
Emil Sophus Friedrich was born in 1828 in Dankerode, Germany, the son of a Lutheran Pastor. He was educated in Germany and at age 20 immigrated to Virginia. Around 1851 he moved to Washington, D. C. where he worked as a draftsman, architect, and builder. He was employed on the staff of the Architect of the Capitol at the time of the installation of the new cast iron dome. He subsequently was employed by the Navy Yard and engaged in private projects. He specialized in buildings with mansard roofs. He is best known as the architect of College Hall at Gallaudet College for the Deaf. (for more about Friedrich click the link above)
Friedrich is buried in the Prospect Hill German-American Cemetery in Northeast Washington, DC. His bio is included on a webpage at the link above.
Read an article about Eastern Presbyterian Church (1871-1955) written by Gene Larkin and edited by Sue Van Slyke.