January-February 2018 – President George Washington was a member of Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, where a plaque has long commemorated that connection. However, church leaders recently decided to relocate the plaque, presumably to a less visible spot. The rationale: since the first president owned slaves, current church members or visitors could feel disturbed by the plaque.
“The plaques in our sanctuary make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome,” church leaders said. “Some visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they receive an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques. Many in our congregation feel a strong need for the church to stand clearly on the side of ‘all are welcome – no exceptions.’”
Confederate General Robert E. Lee also has a Christ Church commemorative plaque that will be relocated.
While the decision has been made, the plaques are not expected to be relocated until summer 2018.