March 30: Adoption of Articles of Incorporation (1842)

A meeting was held on March 30, 1842 at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, in a move to formally organize the new Epiphany congregation. According to the minutes, The Rev. Mr. Hawley, rector of St. John’s, assured the gathering, “that the object of the meeting met with his most hearty approbation and good wishes.” A committee appointed previously to prepare a plan for the proper organization of the church with suitable rules and articles of incorporation presented its report. The report was read and after some slight modifications, the preamble and the articles were agreed to unanimously.

Among the things set forth in the twelve articles, it was agreed that the Rev. John W. French would be the “Minister, pastor and teacher in Holy things.” For the temporal concerns of the institution, there would be elected, “five pious discreet men as a Board of Trustees.” An interesting addition was that the trustees would, “be elected by a majority of the members, each male and female of lawful age having a vote.” Giving women the right to vote would be against the canons of the church as then written. It was decided to keep this right during the period until the congregation was formally organized. The report was sent to the “Right Reverend Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland and his blessing upon our efforts invoked.”

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