September 6: Lewis Johnson Davis (1906)

From the time he attended the opening worship service of the new church as a 10-year old boy through his 34-year tenure as senior warden, Lewis J. Davis was a devoted member of Epiphany Parish. His father, George M. Davis, served as a vestry member from the time of church’s founding for the next 26 years. For a time at the end of the father’s life, both men were serving on Epiphany’s vestry at the same time. In addition to his long vestry service, Lewis Davis also played an active role in many related ministries – the Epiphany Church Home, the Lenthall Home for Widows, the Churchmen’s League, and the Men’s Club of Epiphany Parish. He was superintendent of the Mission Sunday School and a member of the Diocesan Convention since its inception. Davis and his future wife were in the same confirmation class in 1854.

A Washingtonian, by birth and life-long residence, at an early age Davis became associated with his grandfather in the banking house of Lewis Johnson & Company. After the close of the Civil War, it became desirable to change the form of the municipal government in the District of Columbia. Davis was one of a group of respectable residents to cooperate with the Congressional committees in planning the desired changes. Upon his death, Epiphany’s vestry memorialized Davis with the following. “He had the courage to insist on what he believed to be the right without fear or favor, and yet without personal animosity, and was always willing to change his views when they were shown to be incorrect, and loyally so carry out the conclusions of the majority in the various associations to which he belonged. We shall long lament his loss and the remembrance of his efficient and faithful work will remain as an encouragement and an example to those who survive him.”

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