Many people are surprised to learn that the United States Capitol regularly served as a church building; a practice that began even before Congress officially moved into the building and lasted until well after the Civil War.
Jefferson attended church at the Capitol while he was Vice President 5 and also throughout his presidency. The first Capitol church service that Jefferson attended as President was a service preached by Jefferson’s friend, the Rev. John Leland, on January 3, 1802. 6 Significantly, Jefferson attended that Capitol church service just two days after he penned his famous letter containing the “wall of separation between church and state” metaphor.