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Meet Capitol Hill’s ‘Jesus Lady’: A Consistent Presence Since 1979

By Thomas McKinless

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She’s been a fixture on Capitol Hill for decades. Members of Congress, staffers, journalists and other community dwellers all know her and her signature mannequin — of Jesus. She’s Rita Warren, more commonly known around the Hill as Jesus Lady. Since 1979, the 88-year-old activist has been hauling a life-size Jesus mannequin to the steps of the Capitol to share her message of faith in Jesus to passersby. But what is Warren’s backstory? What inspired her to begin this crusade nearly 40 years ago?

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