Bicentennial Reading Room

The history of our church is unique.
Learn more and share the story with others. 


This online reading room contains a bevvy of fantastic reading. Even if history wasn't your favorite subject in school, this reading room has something for you. Check out our stories about:

Geographic and racial diversity

Fires, tobacco spitting, and other adventures

Famous Foundry attendees

Growth

Outreach, advocacy, and social justice

Architecture and facility

Gifts and ceremonies

 

A NOTE ON WORD CHOICE AND LANGUAGE

Many of these articles were written decades ago and contain word choice and general language used then, but not typically used today. Rather than rewrite these articles, we offer them here as an example of where we were then and how far we have come. 

 

GEOGRAPHIC AND RACIAL DIVERSITY

  • Washington’s three oldest Methodist churches, the Montgomery Street Church in Georgetown, Ebenezer on Capitol Hill, and Foundry near the White House, all began life as biracial congregations.  By 1836, however, unhappy blacks in the three churches, tired of being segregated within the white church, had established separate churches.  Read full story >

  • 38 states, from Maine to Hawaii...  [in addition to] Bolivia, Canada, Ceylon, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Syria...  Read full list >

  • Distance created problems and 'no one realizes the appropriateness of calling this the 'City of Magnificent Distances' so perfectly as the Pastors of our Churches.  Go the distance >

  • Demographics of first 38 members. Learn more >

 

FIRES, TOBACCO SPITTING AND OTHER ADVENTURES

  • ...with a fierce storm pounding the city and 100 British soldiers wounded or dead from a botched attempt to blow up an ammunition depot, the British retreated to Bladensburg.  Foxall’s foundry, the supplier of cannon and shot to the Navy, was spared.  Read what happened next >
  • Tobacco chewing and spitting taken to a vote.  Read full story >

  • Wagons and carts were being loaded with boxes, bales and beds [to prepare for the 1855 Camp Meeting].  Read full description >

  • Trustee walking down the street sees smoke and acts quickly. Read about the fire in 1897 >

  • ...Arrangements were well planned for a good time as "our friends of Foundry . . . always have upon such occasions."  Read more >

 

FAMOUS FOUNDRY ATTENDEES

  • The packed church became silent. A moment later they stood as one as Prime Minister Churchill, Lord Beaverbrook and President and Mrs. Roosevelt entered and were escorted to their pew...  Read more >
  • John Quincy Adams Attends Foundry. Read how he had trouble finding a seat >

  • There was no inaugural ball in 1877--when Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife, Lucy, left Ohio for Washington, the outcome of the election was still in doubt.  Learn more about Lucy >

 

GROWTH

  • Merge with St. Paul's for "450 for Foundry and 250 for St. Paul's, seemed the only practical thing to do." Learn why >

 

OUTREACH, MISSION WORK, ADVOCACY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE 

  • 6,000,000 signatures for a day of rest for Government employees on Sunday.  Read full account >
  • Lee described his journey from the civilized part of the United States to the Oregon Territory, told of his operations in that area and discussed the present state of missions in Oregon...  Learn about this and other mission work of the 1800s >

  • President Polk visited at the White House by 200 unannounced foundry youth.  Read how >

 

ARCHITECTURE AND FACILITY

  • Foundry Chapel, the common name for the first Foundry Church, was a modest brick structure, 30 feet wide by 50 feet long...  Read full description >
  • The Hughes Lectern [was] the first symbol of Methodist Unification to be erected...Bishop Hughes address at the Kansas City Unification Conference is a Methodist classic...carved in one of the panels of the Lectern, “The Methodists are one people.” Learn more >

  • Cornerstone, 1864. Read about it here. >

  • Cornerstone, 1903. Read about it here. >

 

GIFTS AND CEREMONIES

  • The special Easter offering of $1550 went to Korean relief in 1951...“thinking of us in time of war and trouble and giving us your material and spiritual support inspires and encourages us.”  Read full story >
  • Services for Abraham Lincoln following his death.  Read story >

  • 1870 reception includes gifts of dressing gowns for minister and his wife.  Read full story >

  • A portrait of Foxall is given as a gift. Learn more about this painting >