I was a bit surprised to find out the congregation was founded in 1769 because I assumed that back in 1769 (30 years before DC was a place, even), the area was all Anglicans, Presbyterians, and Catholics. Here's our whole story: https://georgetownlutheran.com/history/. 1769 is twenty years before the founding of Washington, D.C., when Georgetown (then part of the colony of Maryland) was a separate town on the Potomac, and the highest navigable point on the river, so trips to Chesapeake Bay started there.

But we have court records attesting to a deed to a Lutheran congregation made up of Germans who moved south from Pennsylvania or Delaware to Maryland from 1769. The congregation is currently on its fourth building, dating from 1914. We don't know much about the early days of the congregation, other than the fact that the services were in German until the mid-19th Century. There's the obligatory "George Washington worshipped here" story, but that's probably a bit suspect since he didn't speak German and was an Anglican. We also have this book from 1909, History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Georgetown, D.C.

Fast forward to the 1970s, and the Georgetown Free Clinic, which provided healthcare to the LGBTQ community, was founded on our property. They would become the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which was at the forefront of treating the HIV crisis in DC when it broke out.

Interesting bit of Lutheran history in the US that doesn't involve Minnesota, Wisconsin, or the Dakotas.

Source: reddit post


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