August 14: Laying of Cornerstone (1843)

“New Episcopal Church – The ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the Epiphany Episcopal Church, on G Street, between 13th and 14th Streets, took place last Monday evening in the presence of a large and attentive congregation. A procession, consisting of the reverend clergy, the several vestries, and Sunday school children, walked from the Apollo Hall to the site of the new building, where the ceremonies were opened by the Rev. Messrs. Harris and Bean. The Rev. Mr. Butler, of Georgetown, delivered an appropriate and excellent address. The Rev. Mr. French closed the ceremonies with a very eloquent prayer. The addresses and ceremonies were altogether impressive and becoming this solemn occasion.”

With this article in The National Intelligencer, news of the laying of Epiphany’s cornerstone was announced to the world. Although to put this in context, it must be noted that this article fell underneath and in smaller font than one entitled, “Fine Peaches,” which extolled the bumper crop of this tasty fruit available at the Center Market in Washington. The cornerstone laying didn’t go off without a hitch. Epiphany’s rector had wanted the bishop to be present, but could not at the last minute, so the rector’s clergy colleague and former school chum, Clement Moore Butler, rector of St. John’s, Georgetown, (see photo) gave the address. Heavy summer rains had forced the postponement of the ceremony three times. Even on August 14, the large gathering had to brave a shower before the ceremony was over, or some might just call it a renewal of baptismal vows. Within a year, the Epiphany congregation would inhabit their first permanent worship space.

< Previous     Next >

No comments yet

Add comment