Monday, August 12, 2019
Church Sunday school history presentation presents early Washington DC as a lawless place with blatant racism
On Sunday morning, I attended a series of Sunday breakfasts at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC, with the Sunday school program one with several speakers giving the nineteenth century of the Church, which was founded around 1802 as I recall.
Washington DC was a brutal place before the War Between the States (and would be attacked during the War of 1812, giving rise to a musically uninteresting national anthem).
The near the rivers was swampy and prone to flooding and the area (which included Arlington and Alexandria) was broken up by rivers.
There were relatively few police, and those that we had tended to become corrupt and sell blacks into slavery for income.
This all led to considerable controversy in the early church and the founding of black churches that are common in the city today.
The anthem Sunday was the medley (transcribed) by Ralph Vaughn Williams, “O How Amiable”.
The last hymn is “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” which used to be Hymn #1 in the older Baptist hymnal, with the original tune by Isaac Watts. In Dr. Pruden’s day it was always sung the first Sunday of the New Year in January (which included January 1, 1956, when the modern sanctuary had opened Christmas Day 1955, when I was in Seventh Grade). I would be baptized there with my mother in late January 1956.