Posted by: Bay Presbyterian Church | August 23, 2012

The US Capital – Did you Know…

President James A Garfield, prior to his presidency, was a minister during the 2nd Great Awakening.  He was the founder of Howard University, a young major and a war hero in the Civil War and in a letter dated 1858 he recounts that he’d just finished preaching a Revival Service where he preached 19 times; 34 folks came to Christ and he baptized 31 of them.

 The U. S. Congress printed the first Bible printed in English in the U.S., in 1782.  They proclaimed it a neat addition of the Holy Scriptures for the use in our schools.  Inside the first printed Bible, it states “it is resolved by congress that this edition of the Bible be used by the inhabitants of the United States.”

In 1830 Congress commissioned four paintings to recapture the Christian history of the United States.

1st painting: Columbus’ landing in the Western World in 1492.  They knelt for a prayer meeting and  named the place San Salvador; which means Holy Savior

2nd painting: is the discovery of the Mississippi in 1541; a monk is praying and placing a crucifix

3rd painting: is of the Baptism of Pocahontas in Jamestown in 1613

4th painting: is of the Pilgrims in 1620 having a prayer meeting just prior to embarkation to the U.S.

The capital was the first Mega-church

On December 4, 1800, when Thomas Jefferson was over the Senate it was decided to use the capital building for church services on Sundays.  During Thomas’ 8 years as president, he attended church there in the US capital.  It became the largest church in the US with over 2000 attending weekly.  Jefferson had The Marine Corp band play for the worship services.  The Capital served as a church on Sundays for almost a century.

Other churches that used the capital for church services were:

1st Congregational

1st Presbyterian

Capital Hill

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson signed a treaty providing federal funds so missionaries could evangelize the Indians and then provided funds to build churches after their conversion.

Out of the 56 men that signed the Declaration of Independence, 29 held seminary or Bible school degrees.


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