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Was George Washington a Christian or a Freemason?

October 3, 2014
by Krista Wenzel
Many skeptics of Christianity claim George Washington was a freemason and not at
all a Christian. Many Christians claim the opposite. So which is it? Our first
President is, obviously, not alive today to really set the record straight. It w
ould be very helpful if he were. Since he is not, to form a conclusion on what G
eorge Washington believed we have to dive into his writings and documentation fr
om contemporaries, and build a case from there.
First, it should be noted the practices of freemasonry in the 18th century were
not necessarily incompatible with Christianity. It is completely plausible for G
eorge Washington to be both a born-again Christian and a freemason. In fact, rec
ords show George Washington was associated with both.
But can we draw a conclusion he was more of one than the other?
As a freemason, George Washing was a member for over 30 years. In that time, he at
tended only 4 meetings total. Many freemasons want to paint him as their most fa
mous member, which, they literally did paint portraits of him in freemason garb.
But he never once sat for one of those, and most were done after his time. In f
act, George Washington claimed the one painting done during his time to be mason
propaganda to paint him as such.[1] Not that you could blame the freemasons, woul
d there be a better face for any organization to associate with than the most fa
mous person in the entire United States of America?
So he didn t go to many meetings and he wasn t that closely associated with the free
masons, but that doesn t necessarily make George Washington a Christian.
george Washington praying
Records show, George Washington had a very close association with his home churc
h, Christ Church, in Alexandria, VA. You can go to this church today and sit in
the very church box which belonged to the Washington family. His adopted daughter,
Nelly, (who was, in fact, his step-granddaughter) noted he rarely missed a Sund
ay, even if roads were bad and it took them over 2-3 hours to get there.
While he was traveling with his military and political career, which was indeed
much of his career, record after record shows he attended church. Whether he was
wintering at Valley Forge, or while he was in the First Continental and Constit
utional Congresses in Philadelphia, he would attend services and fervently praye
d. Right after he was inaugurated as President of the United States at Federal H
all in New York City, he immediately went to church to commit his presidency in
But as everyone knows, just going to church does not make you a Christian. The c
haracter of Christianity must be found in the person as well. Rev Henry Muhlenbe
rg, an active Revolutionary who served with Gen Washington at Valley Forge, reco
rded that the General rode around among his army and admonished each and every one
to fear God and to practice Christian values. [2]
George Washington s family did not doubt his convictions as a Christian. Nelly wro
te much later of George Washington s beliefs. Claiming him to be a private and qui
et man, but undoubtedly a Christian. She said, It the greatest heresy to doubt hi
s firm belief in Christianity. His life, his writings, prove that he was a Chris
tian. He was not one of those who act or pray, that they may be seen of men [Matth
ew 6:5]. He communed with his God in secret [Matthew 6:6].

In his writings, George Washington very often attributed successes and happensta
nces to
Divine Providence. Many people have taken it to mean he did not believe i
n the power of Jesus Christ. However, George Washington s writings reveal 54 differ
ent titles [of the names for God]. [3]
And if he did not believe in Jesus Christ, how then would skeptics be able to de
fine the following statement from George Washington s prayer journal, O eternal and
everlasting God Increase my faith in the gospels daily frame me more and more into
the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy
favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eter
nal life.
The lack of evidence for George Washington being an ardent freemason and the ove
rwhelming verification (literal volumes of accounts) of his Christian character,
one can make a good case George Washington was indeed a Christian, but also a b
eliever of Jesus Christ. He drew his values from Christian sources and his hope
from Christianity.
George Washington established his life and faith upon Christianity. Truly, a ref
lection of the nation he was so instrumental in founding. This is just one examp
le of how America s footing was founded on the root of Christianity.
[1] Findings concerning George Washington s association with Freemasonry:
Barton, David (2005). The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Father. Wallb
uilders Press; Texas.
[2] Beliles, Mark A. & Stephen k. McDowell (1989). America s Providential History.
The Providence Foundation; Charlottesville, VA.
[3] Ibid.
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