Shaw has a lot of churches. Many range from the ones housed in rowhouses to storefronts and churches that look like churches. Some churches, as they act in their own interest (nothing wrong with that) have been deaf to the concerns of the residents who they share the neighborhood with, and others have been a bit better at listening. Mt. Sinai has been one of those better churches.
Back when portions of the TC was in the 3rd Police District, Mt. Sinai allowed for PSA (police service area) meetings. This is in addition to the Bates Area Civic Association meetings that are usually held on the 1st Monday of every month, unless it falls near a holiday or there is inclement weather. Provided that you can make arrangements, the church has so far been very willing to provide free meeting space to community groups.
Though the church owns a number of homes along 3rd Street, and unlike some churches I can think of, Mt. Sinai has maintained these properties#, paid their taxes*, and keeps them in use for various ministries and functions. Except for the two properties bookending the 1600 block of 3rd St, the others don’t particularly stick out. One of the reasons I prefer the bus stop at 3rd and Q is that their place on that corner is somewhat populated, not as cut off and isolated as 3rd and R. Yes, the education center at 3rd and R does stick out. But after a while you get used to it.
They also, as do other Shaw churches, engage in community or local charity. Be it with their benevolence fund or the offer of free clothing. I can’t remember if they have a small food bank or not. They might not need to as the Fourth Street 7th Day Adventists, on the other side of the block has a soup kitchen on Sundays.
As they have grown from a storefront** to a full sized church with auxillary buildings, they have not turned themselves into a fortress. They have not fought neighborhood efforts to better itself, nor has it forgotten those left behind. Mt. Sinai, seems to know where it is in the community.
# 1630 3rd is listed as a vacant property and is taxed as such. From pictures of the house, it doesn’t strike me as looking vacant.
*Yes, despite being owned by the church, taxes are paid on almost all the 3rd Street properties, save but one.
** A 1950s NW area church survey classified Mt. Sinai on the 1600 blk of 3rd as a ‘storefront’ chruch.