FORT WASHINGTON, MARYLAND, KING GEORGE'S PARISH
Established 1692 - An Episcopal Anglican Congregation in the Diocese of Washington
9801 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744
St. John’s Present
George Washington and Broad Creek Church
Washington was a member and vestryman at Christ Church Alexandria, Va. and Pohick Church near Mt. Vernon. According to traditions passed down through three local families, he did attend services here from time to time, after making an easy trip up the Potomac River and Broad Creek in his multi-oared barge. One of these families, the Magruders, owned Harmony Hall and other properties in the parish.
Another link between Washington and this church was the Rev. Jonathan Boucher, who was a friend of Washington and tutor to Martha Washington's son, Jack Custis. Expelled from Queen Anne's Parish, for his violently-expressed Tory attitude, Boucher served as curate here under his wife's uncle, the Rev. Henry Addison, from late in 1772 until 10 September, 1775.
It is recorded that Walter Dulany Addison was one of the four clergy who participated in Washington's funeral, in December, 1799. At this time he was living at "Oxon Hill" and assisting in the ministry of this Parish. He later became rector, as noted below.
John Addison already had a place in Maryland History when he was elected
Foreman of the first Vestry of Piscataway Parish in early 1694. Born in England, he married the widow of a prominent planter in St. Mary's County. He was active in spreading and later discounting the rumors of a Catholic-Indian conspiracy in March, 1689. He became one of four delegates from Charles County in the Associator's Convention which governed the colony from 1689 until 1692. The Convention made him a militia captain and a member of its executive group. After Maryland became a crown colony, he sat on the Council until his death. A staunch Anglican, he would have supported Governor Copley's desire to see the Establishment of the Church in Maryland. On the vestry, he was instrumental in the purchase of land for building the parish church. It appears that the expenditures were carried on his credit until the government subsidy could be collected. His last vestry meeting took place in November, 1705. He died some time before the next vestry, in April,1706.
Notable-Clergy in Parish History
John Fraser was the first rector, although at least three men had been engaged to hold services during the years before his installation. Fraser served from 1710 to 1741. The next incumbent, Henry Addison, served even longer, from 1742-1789, although he, like many Anglican clergy, was exiled to England during most of the Revolutionary War. The present church building was built during his tenure.
Walter Dulany Addison, Henry's nephew, was rector from 1801 to 1809.5 He was notable as an early social activist in a period when this was a highly exceptional activity for Episcopal clergy. He fought vigorously against the practice of dueling, even riding to the White House on one occasion in an attempt to induce President Thomas Jefferson to stop a duel. Failing here, he rode on to the dueling grounds and stopped the proceedings by himself. He publicly opposed slavery and freed those slaves which he had inherited. He also actively assisted the founding of several Episcopal parishes in the District of Columbia, and assisted a congregation of black Methodists to establish a church in the vicinity of Oxon Hill. As a young newly-wed, he lived for a short time in Battersea (Harmony Hall).
Robert F. Henry served as Rector from 1938 until 1958. The parish mission, St. Barnabas, greatly outgrew the mother church during this period of rapid suburban growth close to the District line. King George's Parish purchased four acres of land for the rectory site during this period. When St. Barnabas obtained independent parish status in 1958, Henry went to the new parish, together with most of the members. John C. Harris became the first rector of King George's Parish, as reduced to its present bounds. He served until 1965, presiding over the transition from rural to suburban congregation.
BROAD CREEK HISTORIC DISTRICT - PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD