Why Do I Only See Mormon Proselytizers in Petworth?


You can’t miss them in their crisp white shirts and black ties often flying by you on their bicycles. I lived in Cleveland/Woodley Park for 5 years and never encountered them once. In Petworth, I see them all the time. So I don’t mean this in a rude way but – why is that?

30 Comment

  • I used to see them a lot in college apt complexes probably because of the high volume of people you can visit in a small area of space so its the most efficient? I also used to see them in Bladensburg a lot.

    I have noticed from personal experience that you can’t waffle and give them a maybe answer or they will keep coming back until you flat out say no thank you. So perhaps Petworthians are just all too nice to say No. 🙂

  • Traditionally, more people of lower socio-economic status in Petworth than Cleveland/Woodley Park.

  • There’s a Mormon center on Holmstead, just north of Park Rd.. It’s pretty inconspicious.

  • Petworthian souls need extra saving?

    There is also an LDS church (church? Temple? What do they call a congregation building that isn’t a full fledged temple?) on Holmead, so perhaps it’s just proximity.

    There were a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Logan Circle/Shaw area when I lived there. They always seemed to ring my doorbell early on Saturday mornings which is NOT the way into my heart or soul.

  • High Hispanic Population! The Mormons have been targetting latin/south america for some time. I almost hate to make it sound so simplistic…buuuut…i kinda suspect that is part of it, if not it.

  • LDS loves the disenfranchised! you’ll find them chasing Aborignal people in the outback, lurking around reservations or biking in the hood. that’s just hey they roll. i think its funny b/c as hard as they work, i’ve NEVER met a central/south american or asian american Morman. that’s another great question: are missionaries bilingual? i doubt it. its seems like enough work converting the heathen without a language barrier. also some interesting facts: LDS owns the 14th largest chain of radio stations, basically owns the Boy Scouts of America (hence its homophobia), considerable holdings in Blockbuster (despite the insistence that members not watch rated R movies) and Coca-cola, and not considering liabilities, the organization is estimated to be worth $30 billion plus

  • My dogs always bark like crazy when people knock on the door-when it was the JW’s doing it, I told them that my dogs eat proseletizers for breakfast.

    Another time, when I lived near Pentagon City, there were some cute mormon boys going door to door. I answered the door naked and invited them in-they run away instead.

  • They’d likely get more members if they brought along some women open to polygamy.

  • Holmead.

    I usually invite them in for apple martinis, but have yet to have one of them accept.

  • i agree with above comment. 15 is, after all, the legal age of consent in d.c. 🙂

  • I want to see their special underwear.

  • ndninthecity: I’ve met quite a quite a few Latin Mormons. A guy used to work with who was Mormon did his mission in Peru, and spoke Spanish. Actually- come to think of it- the other guy I know who’s Mormon speaks several languages too. I’m sure most of them are bilingual. Wouldn’t seem very effective if they couldn’t communicate. They may not have the same religious beliefs as you, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have any common sense.

    Anon Mormon haters/commenters: They’re nice people. Leave them be.

  • I work in the affordable housing industry and travel all over the country doing site inspections – often in fairly rough neighborhoods. I love that LDS missionaries are out and about in these neighborhoods. Sometimes, they are the only other white people I see all day…

  • I see them biking through Petworth, not actually involved in any missionary work or conversating (as we say in Petworth) with people. The fact is, there’s a property on the northeastern corner of GA and Missouri Aves that was/is a dorm for the young missionaries. I have always thought that they are biking back, usually in pairs, to their dorm. Just a thought.

  • Yes, they’re “nice people”, as nice as any of the other homophobic, male-dominated religions are.

  • come up to brightwood and you’ll encounter masses of Jehovah’s Witness

  • Not to mention the fact that they spent millions and millions of dollars to defeat the ERA and actively work to stop any legislation that gives women equal rights. What nice people!

  • The jehovah witnesses have other areas locked up, I guess.

  • So should we assume that there is a bitter JH and LDS turf war headed DC’s way? Random drive-by (or bike-by) evangelizing at all hours.

  • i’ve seen them at 16th and u.

  • Yeah, they are usually all at least bilingual. I’ve ran into some who loved to chat with me in my native language. When I lived in Adams Morgan, I saw them all the time.

  • I guess I’ve just never understood why 1) the Mormons get all the “credit” for not letting women into the church and for being homophobic, when um…. there are more than a few other “main stream” religions that takes the same stance on both issues. and 2) Why the most PC people in the world still seem to think it’s okay to take cheap shots at Mormons.

  • I seem to remember reading in the WA Post Magazine last year that the Mormon church has been very successful in recruiting members in Anacostia and Congress Heights. The interesting thing (IF i remember correctly) was the Mormon headquarters had to reduce the amount of time they let their missionaries spend in SE because they became depressed and hopeless. A sad statement for life in that part of the city.

  • Really, POP, you should have entitled this entry “Why Do I See Mormon Proselytizers in Only Petworth?”

  • Actually LDS have an amazing language program. Their ability to get their missionaries to fluency is well known. When I was living in Japan my Japanese friends considered an American who could speak fluent Japanese to be a Mormon. I have heard the same thing about their missionaries’ language ability from other expats who have come across them in Africa and South America.

  • Mormonism is a bit of an odd one, shot through with contradictions and exceptions.

    On the one hand, the mormons I have known have all been bright, conscientious folks who gave heavily of their time and money to support local charities and poverty relief. On the other, the LDS church heirarchy is profoundly secretive, anti-female, and maintains an enormous fortress in Salt Lake City the secrets of which even the IRS has never discovered.

    On one hand, the LDS researches and maintains (and makes available to universities) a massive genealogical database, including the fruits of a multi-decade, first (only) of its kind effort to unearth family connections and history for thousands upon thousands of African American families who otherwise would have had their family story simply erased; on the other the LDS has a long and real history of institutional racism and racist statements from its founders (Brigham Young was fond of thundering about “the curse of Ham”).

    On one hand, the polygamy slur really arises only from a small sect of Mormonism, and doesn’t have much to do with the mainstream faith today; on the other, many mainstream LDSers wear magic underwear (“temple garments”) and they all believe that Jesus was hanging around the American West for a while after his crucifixion. So it’s a mixed bag.

    In the end, my thing is that I feel free, and PoP should feel free, to take shots at anyone who knocks on my door and tries to convert me to their religion. If you insist on telling me why you think it’s great, I’m going to go ahead and tell you why I think it’s stupid. Fair’s fair.

  • I’m not Mormon (of Christian, for that matter)-but I have had some pleasant conversations with the aforementioned. Yes, there are shortcomings with all faiths (or are the shortcomings in those of us who attempt to practice them)-but I enjoy talking to people who aren’t just worshipping (consciously or not) the material….

  • LDS has investments in Coca-cola? Isn’t caffeine (along with alcohol, dancing, and fun) a big no no in their religion?

  • OB- yes, but making money off it isn’t.

  • I believe caffeine is not prohibited. Coffee and tea are.

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