Before there was the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area there was NW pt 2

So I have sworn I’ve seen this storefront church window before, I just can’t remember where. Driving me nuts now.
Anyway, where did I leave off? 1957. Italians.
Next is your favorite and mine, Shiloh Baptist church at 9th & P, then led by Rev. Earl L. Harrison who lived at 1743 Webster St NW, which I believe is in the Crestwood neighborhood. It had a membership of 7200 people, 1,200-1,500 attending worship services any given Sunday, with 3% living in the urban renewal area and 95% elsewhere in DC. There are no stats regarding occupational makeup. In 1957 they had a scouting program made up of participants from the church and the surrounding community, and a Baptist Training Union. It was founded in 1863 at 17th and L Streets and moved to its current location in 1924.
Bible Way Church of Out Lord Jesus Christ is not in Shaw but I find it very interesting. It is one the other side of NY Ave at 1130 New Jersey Ave NW. Their pastor, Rev. Smallwood E. Williams lived at 1328 Montello Ave NE. They had a total membership of 2000 people, and the average attendance exceeded the membership with 2200 (3,200 for all three services), it seems they had a lot of visitors and I gather a lot of non-tithers. Thirty percent lived in the renewal area and 69% scattered throughout the rest of rest of DC. This was a working class church, and that’s why I find it so interesting as 90% of the working people attending were ‘unskilled manual’, with 2% professional, 3% white collar, and another 3% skilled manual labor. They had no mortgage and seemed to have owned a good chunk of land down there.
Last in my review is a church that was a storefront that is now a steeple church and that is Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at 1615 3rd St NW, then led then by Rev. Charles Hayes of 47 M St. NW. It had a membership of 225 people with an average worship service attendance of 125. A insignificant number of members, two percent, lived in the renewal area, 96% were in the rest of DC. Occupationally it was 55% unskilled manual, 40% white collar, and 2% professional. They had a mortgage of $2K. Listed under “Future Expansion Program” they desired to build a new church on the present site. If it became necessary to move (because of the renewal) they wanted to stay in this central area so it would be accessible to all members.
Shaw had a lot of churches then, has a lot of churches now. There were Italians running around the TC on Sunday. And Marie doesn’t like to spend a lot of time typing.

Before there was the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area there was NW

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

This should be at the DC Archives over on Naylor Court, NW because this comes from the DC RLA. And the ‘this’ is a church survey for a previous urban renewal idea of doing a nice big chunk in NW. The best I can tell of what happened with the NW Urban Renewal Area is that it shrank to the NoMa area, and at some point the Shaw School Urban Renewal came to be. Seriously, I’m fuzzy when it comes to all the various urban renewal programs that RLA, with the federal government (NCPC), churned out. There were several, a downtown, possibly a NE, Adams-Morgan, the famous SW, this NW one and Shaw.
Anyway, the little numbered circles in the shown map here of the NW urban renewal area are of the various steeple and storefront churches in 1957. I’m not going to list them all as there are several pages and I don’t want to. But there are a few churches I want to highlight.
#3 Greater New Bethel; #4 Metropolitan; #10 Redeemer Italian Baptist; #13- Shiloh Baptist and #14 Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Storefront Church:
#17 Mt. Sinai Baptist
The survey is basic, with name and address of pastor, ethnic make up, staff, and a few things about the membership I found interesting.
Greater New Bethel, then at 1739 9th St, had a membership of 700, with an average attendance of 350, parking for 25 cars, and 80% of the working members held white collar jobs. None of the members lived in the NW urban renewal area but all lived in DC.
Metropolitan Baptist at 1225 R St had a membership of 3,260, average attendance at the worship service was 1500. Of the working membership 25% were white collar, 30% unskilled manual, 15% skilled and 10% in business. Geographically 40% lived in the urban renewal area, 57% in the rest of DC and 3% in VA. In 1957 it had no mortgage.
Redeemer Italian Baptist, or ‘ok I guess there was a strong eye-talian presence here’. It was at 1200 Kirby St and composed of white Italians. None of them lived in the urban renewal area, 40% were in the rest of DC and 60 % in MD & VA. The membership 125 with 60 showing up for worship services. A majority, 55% were skilled manual laborers, 30% white collar, and 10% in business.
Okay, I’m tired of typing, I’ll pick this up again later.

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