A. History Is Made

History Is Made1772 sign

Getting Started. The congregation that later became Dumbarton United Methodist Church was not Methodist, it was not a church and it was not named Dumbarton. At a barrelmakers’ shop in Georgetown, a small band of faithful hosted its first permanent appointment of a traveling pastor on Dec. 24, 1772. This group, called the Georgetown Society, was drawn to the shouting, Bible-thumping evangelism of circuit riders who traveled up and down the Potomac on horseback.They preached that rich and poor, young and old, could be saved by faith alone.

American Revolution. The Georgetown Society didn't fare well during this period. Its members were affiliated with the Church of England, and John Wesley was an outspoken Tory. The Society itself was divided over independence.

Asbury. The budding congregation was visited several times by Francis Asbury, the founder of Methodism in the United States. And the Montgomery Street church is where John Hersey, one of the the most important Methodist evangelists of the 19th Century, was converted

Foxall: A leading early figure in the church was Henry Foxall, whose Columbia Foundry produced 300 heavy guns and 30,000 shot per year. A mayor of Georgetown and a lay preacher himself, Foxall contributed large amounts of money to support the church in Georgetown. Once he was asked about his inconsistent role of proclaimer of the gospel of peace and forger of the weapons of war.  He said, “If I do make guns to destroy men’s bodies, I build churches to save their souls.”