March 22: Sarah Hand Coleman (1893)
Sarah Coleman was a granddaughter of millionaire industrialist Robert Coleman. With her sister, Margaret, she purchased a home in Washington on Lafayette Square, which is today the parish house for St. John’s Church. It’s hard to know what drew Sarah to Epiphany even though she was living next door to St John’s. Epiphany’s records show her confirmation in 1863. From that time forward, her contributions to Epiphany’s ministries are significant. She appears to have inspired her two nieces, Isabel and Margaret, to do the same. The Epiphany Church Home, an outreach program for indigent women and children, seemed to be near and ear to her heart. Upon her death, her nieces funded a chapel at the home in her memory.
Following her death on March 22, 1893, Sarah Coleman’s funeral took place at Epiphany. A Parish Guide tribute the following month stated: “Epiphany had no more loyal or more liberal daughter. For a generation she went into and out of the church, a pattern of unassuming piety, a coadjutor of every good work.”