March 6: First Episcopal Visit to the New Congregation (1842)

The Rt. Rev. William Rollinson Whittingham was just 36 years old when he visited the new Epiphany congregation in March of 1842. Whittingham had been consecrated a year and a half earlier and was the youngest bishop in the Episcopal Church. As Bishop of Maryland, Whittingham’s diocese included the entire state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. Headquartered in Baltimore, it only made sense that when he traveled to Washington, he visit as many of his parishes as possible. On March 6, 1842, the Fourth Sunday in Lent, the bishop preached at Christ Church, Washington Parish in the morning, Epiphany in the afternoon, and Trinity in the evening. The service at Trinity included the confirmation of 54 individuals – 47 from Trinity, two from St. John’s, and five from Epiphany.

In the May 1842 Journal of the Annual Convention of the Diocese of Maryland, Bishop Whittingham records his first visit to Epiphany like this: “In the afternoon of the same day, I preached to a very large congregation, in an upper room, known as the Apollo Hall, in Washington. The Rev. Mr. French, as a city missionary, is gathering a congregation, which is likely soon to grow into a fourth church, in that city. He is laboring in that good work zealously, painfully, and thus far most successfully.”

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