David Barton tells us that according to the records for late November of 1800, Congress spent the first few weeks organizing the rooms, the committees, their loca john adams the records of congress commence in 1774 . Then, on December 4, 1800, Congress made an interesting decision: Congress decided that the Capitol building would also serve as a church building! 76

The use of this building as a church building is confirmed not only by the records of Congress but also by the diaries of those who served in Congress at the time. For example, while John Quincy Adams was a U. S. Senator, he recorded in his diary for October 30, 1803: Attended public service at the Capitol where Mr. Ratoon, an Episcopalian clergyman from Baltimore, preached a sermon. 77

The week before, he had written: [R]eligious service is usually performed on Sundays at the Treasury office and at the Capitol. I went both forenoon and afternoon to the Treasury. 78 Very few citizens realize that the Capitol building – as well as other government buildings – served as church buildings, but such was the case!


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