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*This date in 1839 marks the founding of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church of Washington, D.C. It is one of the oldest Black Churches in the Nation’s Capital.
Six years earlier, the congregation split, and the black membership remained at the original site; eventually, the congregation became known as the First Colored Baptist Church. That name knew it until it was registered officially in the Recorder of Deeds Office on May 5, 1870, as the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C. The church originally stood on the corner of 19th and I Streets, N.W. The first Pastor, the Rev. Sampson White, served two separate times, 1839-1841 and 1854-1856.
On March 7, 1802, a group of dedicated Baptist ministers and laypersons came together to build what would eventually give birth to Nineteenth Street Baptist Church. Initially, the church was called The Baptist Church in Washington City. Then on June 6 of that year, they purchased Lot 11 in Square 118 on the southwest corner of Nineteenth and I Streets, N.W. A house of worship was erected to be incorporated as The Baptist Church of Christ in Washington.
Nineteenth Street Baptist has figured prominently in the spiritual and cultural life of the City and has attracted national and international attention. On January 26, 1975, after 135 years, it moved to its present location at 4606 Sixteenth Street, N.W. In its rich history, preachers have been ordained; churches have been planted, and schools have been created. Through acclaimed concerts by its choirs and soloists, dramatic performances, scholarships, and tutorial classes, the members of Nineteenth Street Baptist have glorified God and blessed the surrounding community.
The Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins was pastor since September 1, 1997. Under his leadership, Nineteenth Street is furthering its work by spreading the Gospel and equipping believers to live victoriously. In the 21st century, Rev. Dr. Darryl D. Roberts lead the church.