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We're located at 4101 Nebraska Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016

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Our church…

  • is Presbyterian (PCUSA)
  • has an average worship attendance of 700

The National Presbyterian Church

Leading People to Become Faithful Followers of Jesus Christ Together in God's World

Church description

The National Presbyterian Church is located in northwest Washington, DC. Our congregation of more than 1500 lives all over the greater Washington metropolitan area, with few in our children's ministry attending the same school. Schools are intense, outside commitments are substantial even for elementary-age children, and some of our families travel significant distances to come here. The greater metropolitan Washington area, with its iconic monuments, world-famous museums, several outstanding universities and schools (both public and private) and multi-faceted cultural experiences, offers an unusually exciting place to live; this is an extraordinarily challenging, as well as richly rewarding, context for ministry.

We are a historic congregation, tracing our roots back to 1795, when a group of Scottish stonemasons working on the construction of the White House met together for worship--eventually becoming First Presbyterian Church and later merging with The Church of the Covenant when their land was sold to build The Rayburn House Office Building, home to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1947 Covenant was designated "The National Presbyterian Church" by the General Assembly; Harry Truman unveiled the bronze tablet bearing the new name.

In the late 1960's we moved from downtown to our spacious 12-acre Nebraska Ave. campus to Northwest Washington. Within a mile radius are American University, The National Cathedral, NBC Studios, Homeland Security, as well as several notable public and private schools (e.g., Sidwell Friends). The cornerstone to our Neo-gothic sanctuary building was laid by President Dwight D. Eisenhower nearly 50 years ago. Over the decades many Washington notables have worshipped with us, and several have called National their church home. But for the most part, and where our children and families are concerned, we are like many other sizable congregations that strive and struggle to nurture genuine Christian faith in the lives of "ordinary" kids as they grow up in a post-modern, post-Christian context while living in families who seek to be traditional, at least where it comes to Christian faith, and in a church that in surprising ways continues to function within several of the presuppositions and expectations of Christendom.

Our congregation understands itself to be Presbyterian (our denominational affiliation is not something we are questioning). Our pastors have historically come from within the broadly evangelical tradition of our denomination, as well as our elected leadership. This is evident in all aspects of our program life, from worship, to discipleship, to mission and to pastoral care.

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