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National City Christian Church - National Fund For Sacred Places
2019 Cohort

National City Christian Church

(Disciples of Christ)

Washington, D.C.

National City Christian Church is a center for religious and social justice.

National City Christian Church by John Scott Williams

National City Christian Church by John Scott Williams

2019 Cohort

National City Christian Church

(Disciples of Christ)

Washington, D.C.

National City Christian Church is a center for religious and social justice.

In the early 1840s, Alexander Campbell, the founder of Disciples of Christ, called for the creation of a large meeting house in Washington, D.C. The congregation began meeting in 1843 but didn’t move to its current Neoclassical church, which was designed by John Russell Pope, until 1930. This church influenced the architecture of Pope’s later designs, including the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art. The sanctuary features two stained-glass windows commemorating U.S. presidents associated with the denomination: James A. Garfield and Lyndon B. Johnson. President Johnson worshipped here regularly, and his state funeral was held in the sanctuary. National City also hosted the first inaugural prayer service for President Ronald Reagan, who was raised as a Disciple.

Today, National City “offers a witness of unity in the midst of diversity,” according to the congregation. Democrats, Republicans, and political independents worship under one roof, and the congregation has a long history of hospitality toward visitors coming to Washington to demonstrate. The church offers free weekly organ recitals, a weekly food pantry, and monthly hot breakfasts to people facing housing insecurity. The congregation provides office space to nonprofits at a reasonable cost and welcomes a weekly toddler community playgroup, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and planning sessions for Capital Pride celebrations.

A $250,000 National Fund grant with over $600,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation allowed National City to complete a full HVAC overhaul. The church replaced 60-year-old systems, including boilers, chillers, and air handling units, with a new, high-tech system that is easier to use and more energy efficient. With these upgrades, National City looks forward to “developing an even more vital presence in the neighborhood” and “continuing to amplify a message of hope and justice from the steps and columns of our majestic building.”

National City Christian Church courtesy National City Christian Church

National City Christian Church courtesy National City Christian Church

Stories and Media Coverage

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