What We Believe
In the words of our bishop, "We are called to pattern our lives on Jesus' life, steep ourselves in his teachings and the stories of his life, strive to love as he loves; forgive as he forgives; heal as he heals; and commit ourselves as he does, to the ways of peace and justice." - Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, Diocesan Convention Address, January 27 2012
St. Barnabas Deaf Church, a mission within the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, seeks to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Deaf people in the diocese and to promote the spiritual and earthly welfare of the Deaf community by providing regular Sunday worship in sign language, opportunities for fellowship and Christian education. The Vicar of St. Barnabas serves as Episcopal Chaplain to Gallaudet University, providing opportunities for regular worship, faith discussion groups and priestly counseling to the Gallaudet community. The members of St. Barnabas seek to serve and participate in the church community and the Deaf community through out presence, witness, service and support.
The history of St. Barnabas' Deaf Church in the Diocese of Washington began with The Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, called the "Apostle to the Deaf" in America. On February 27, 1859, The Rev. Dr. Gallaudet visited Washington, D.C. on a missionary trip from New York City and officiated a service in historic St. John's Church, near the White House, with six Deaf people in attendance. Numerous services in various churches were held in Washington by The Rev. Gallaudet who was assisted by different ordained missionaries, all being Deaf, except one, who came to Washington to conduct services. Active missionary work began in the 1880's and regular services were started in 1897. In 2009, St. Barnabas' celebrated 150 years of ministry with Deaf people in the Diocese of Washington.