Nineteenth Street Baptist Church DC. 16th Street, NW, is considered to be the first and oldest black Baptist congregation in Church anniversary program pdf, D. Since its founding in 1839, the church has figured prominently within the historical and social fabric of Washington, D.
Established as the First Colored Baptist Church of Washington, D. Described initially as an interracial congregation, black members worshipped alongside whites. However, similar to other congregations of the time, the church gradually began to segregate its black members from white parishioners. Given their discontent with being assigned to the gallery of what was now the new location of the First Baptist Church, in 1833 a majority of the black members chose to return to the original site located at 19th and I Streets, N. The black members of the First Baptist Church continued to worship under the authority of the parent church at the 19th and I Streets location until 1839 when they expressed interest in being organized as a separate body. Alexandria, Virginia, would play an integral role in the founding of the independent congregation.
Sampson White, who had begun to organize a smaller group of black worshipers not from the First Baptist Church, secured recognition from leading white and black Baptists of Baltimore to establish a church. The original members of White’s group included his wife, William Bush, Eliza Bush, Lavinia Perry and Emily Coke. With recognition secured, Sampson White’s small group received into their body all of the black members of the First Baptist Church currently worshipping at the 19th and I Streets location. With the addition of these members, the membership swelled to a number ten times the size of White’s original group.
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With the new members being in possession of the property at 19th and I Streets—an assertion that would be challenged for some years—the First Colored Baptist Church of Washington, D. 1839 with Sampson White serving as its first pastor. The congregation eventually purchased the property on the southwest corner of 19th and I Streets, N. Soon after its founding, the church was admitted to the Philadelphia Baptist Association in October 1840. From 1839 to 1882, the church experienced rapid development including the organization of a Board of Deacons, a Board of Trustees, the Missionary Society, the Christian Mite Society, the Senior Choir, the Sunday School and the formulation of the church’s Rules of Decorum. On November 16, 1870 the church received its charter and was incorporated as the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church.
A new edifice would be erected in 1871 and serve as the worship site for over a century. 135 years, has contributed to its growth and notoriety among African American communities. On November 12, 1882, Reverend Dr. Walter Henderson Brooks—then referred to as the Dean of ministers of Washington, D. The church became one of the nation’s leading Baptist congregations and wielded considerable influence. Walter Henderson Brooks had already established a reputation as an advocate for education, racial equality, and temperance. Brooks was among the black ministers and churchwomen who called for the inclusion of writings by black theologians within the American Baptist Publication Society’s literature.
In addition to influencing the establishment of both the National Baptist Publishing Board and the National Baptist Convention, U. He also received honorary Doctorates of Divinity from Howard University, Roger Williams University in Nashville, Tennessee, and the State University in Louisville, Kentucky. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Nineteenth Street Baptist also counted prominent black families in the district among its membership. These family names included Syphax, Parker and Pierre. Washington and Georgetown, all served as deacons during Brooks’ pastorate. Brooks’ leadership and social advocacy ushered Nineteenth Street Baptist Church into an era of prominence and activism among African American elites that continued well after his death in 1945.
In 1946, after the death of Walter Henderson Brooks, Reverend Dr. Moore, who had previously served as Brooks’ pastoral assistant and student at Howard University’s School of Divinity, received a B. He later received an M. Like his predecessor, Jerry A. From 1974-1984, Moore served as a member-at-large on Washington, D. Moore was also nominated to be the United States Ambassador to Lesotho,.
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