1957 Church Survey: Third Church of God

Okay I had to look at the old Shaw map to figure out if this was in Mount Vernon Square or Shaw or both. The answer is both. The Mount Vernon Square historical district overlaps with parts of Shaw.

Commercial Building Map
Map of Shaw for 1970 Commercial Buildings

The the other question was, “Is this the church on New Jersey Ave?”  Yup, 3rd Street, New Jersey Ave, same diff apparently. That little section between Morgan and New York Avenue, has northbound traffic going on New Jersey and southbound traffic on 3rd Street.

The Third Church of God appears to continue on as the Third Street Church of God. In the 1957 survey their address is listed as 1204 3rd Street NW. Looking at their history listed on their website they wrote:

In 1927, the lower auditorium of the present sanctuary was built at 1204 New Jersey Avenue, Northwest. The congregation established its programs of Christian Education, Missions, Music and Youth Ministry. The edifice now known as the Benjamin Memorial Chapel was dedicated on November 30, 1947.

I should just briefly mention they also are in control of some rotting townhouses next to their parking lot. Okay, got that out of the way. Let’s get to the survey.

CS 44 Third Church of God by Mm Inshaw

In 1957 the 3rd St Church was a decent sized Black church of about 300 members. They had a full time minister who lived at 1610 Webster St NW, in the Crestwood neighborhood. According to Wikipedia, the Crestwood neighborhood was where affluent African Americans lived. The majority of the congregants, 75% of them lived around Deanwood. For those of you unfamiliar with DC, Deanwood is East of the River, way over by the edge of the city’s boarders. So I dubbed this a commuter church. Only 1/6th of the members lived in the immediate neighborhood.

Class-wise this was a mix of working class and white collar workers. The majority were unskilled laborers (33%) followed by white collar workers (31%).

Because the idea, at the time, for urban renewal projects was to bulldoze everything and build new (a la Southwest) the church was asked about moving. They, like many others who answered this question supposed they would move closer to their members. But that wasn’t necessary and they remain where they are still.

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