CHPC in the last 50 years
In 1962 the Rev. James H. Brown is called as second pastor of the merged Metropolitan and Eastern churches becoming Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church. Rev. James Brown resigns in December 1967 to take another call. During this time the congregation:
Sells the previous Manse and purchases another Manse at 1717 31st Street, SE; replaces church roof in 1964 following a storm at a cost of $7,806;
Calls Rev. Larry Lewis, and Mr. Basil Das to operate the coffee house; calls the Rev. Luke “Tom” Torosian as an assistant minister and he develops the Capitol Hill Group Ministry with other Churches in the area;
Sponsors a Head Start program in the Church;
Adopts a unicameral governing system abolishing the trustees and deacons and delegating their functions to the Session.
A NEIGHBORHOOD IN DECLINE (1968-1977)
The Rev. William Alter is called as the third Pastor. Rev. Alter resigns in 1977 and the Session enters into a shared interim Pastorate (Rev. John Boyles) with Westminster Presbyterian Church until 1981. The shared ministry requires a joint choir and two Sunday services. During this time the congregation:
Sells the previous manse & purchases a new manse at 314 A Street SE for $38,000;
Ordains its first African American elder in 1969;
Faces facility repairs exceeding $100,000 for a leaking roof; appoints a task force and they recommend developing the front of the property into duplex housing; but members have reservations about the proposal and the congregation decides not to approve the proposal; the Session recommends sharing the facility with non-profit organizations; Establishes the Washington Seminar Center in 1977 as a Church mission project.
THE CHURCH REBUILDS (1981-1995)
In 1981 the Rev. Dr. Donald Allen is called as fourth Pastor. Rev. Kent Winters Hazelton is hired as Associate Pastor and Director of the Washington Seminar Center in 1988 and leaves in 1991. The Rev. Allen resigns in 1996 to take another call and the Session calls an African-American woman (Rev. Dorothy McKinney Wright) and Rev. Jim McDonald from 1996-1997 as an interim pastors. During this time the Congregation:
Increases membership and places finances on a secure footing; receives an insurance settlement following a lightning strike and fire in the attic; repairs the fire damage to the attic and roof and makes substantial remodeling and decorating changes to the sanctuary chancel and seating;
Assists the neighborhood soup kitchen at the Church of the Brethren;
Studies the ordination of gay and lesbians as elders and the Session recommends that elders vote their consciences on the issue of ordination if a gay or lesbian is elected by the congregation
COMMITTED, CARING, COMMUNITY (1997-2003)
In 1997 the Rev. Dr. Kimberly Rodrigue is called as the fifth Pastor. In June 2002 the Rev. Dr. Rodrigue resigns to take another call and the Session calls Rev. Jim Adams as interim Pastor. During this time the congregation:
Joins the Covenant Network of Presbyterians
Congregation elects and the Session ordains its first gay and lesbian elders
Rebuilds the Church’s front porch; remodels the Manse’s kitchen;
Sends members on mission work trips to Mexico, Appalachia and DC.
In September 2003 the Capitol Hill Congregation calls the Rev. Andrew Walton as its sixth Pastor.
Hosted Congressional Interfaith, Bi-partisan Prayer Service to open Congress in 2009;
Jenkins Hill Child Development Center leaves CHPC; opens church space for new groups;
Hired full time Church Administrator;
Bequest from Beverly Riston helps fund $128,942.00 restoration of church brick front; The passing of Mary Rush, Joe Beeman, Beverly Riston, Elizabeth Ridgway and Ron McGregor