On November 1, 1800, John Adams became the first U.S. President to move into the White House.
The following day he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, in which he composed a beautiful prayer. A portion of John Adams’ prayer was inscribed on the mantelpiece in the State Dining Room by President Franklin D. Roosevelt:
“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”
Beginning with Thomas Jefferson and continuing till after the Civil War, church services, attended by sitting Presidents, where held each Sunday in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber, with attendance reaching over 2,000, making it the largest Protestant Sabbath audience in the nation.
After the White House was finished being built, the next building constructed on Lafayette Square was St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Nearly every President since James Madison worshiped there at least once, resulting in Pew 54 being designated for the First Family.
Other historic Washington, D.C. area churches include:
Christ Church in Alexandria, where President George Washington attended;
In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, stated:
“After a week on perplexing problems…it does so rest my soul to come into the house of The Lord and to sing and mean it, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty’…(My) great joy and glory that, in occupying an exalted position in the nation, I am enabled, to preach the practical moralities of The Bible to my fellow-countrymen and to hold up Christ as the hope and Savior of the world.”
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