1957 Church Survey: Metropolitan Baptist Church

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, and the area around Union Station. One of the churches was Metropolitan Baptist Church at 1225 R St NW, and currently sits in Largo, MD. To learn more about the 1957 Church Survey read my previous posts, The Uniqueness of the 1957 Church Survey and Church Survey Northwest Urban Renewal Area October 1957.

photo of property

In 1957 Metropolitan Baptist was a large Black church with over 3,000 members. It was large enough and wealthy enough to support 2 full time and 2 part-time ministers, 3 church secretaries, and 4 janitors. The average reported attendance was 1,500 people a Sunday. If 500 more people showed up, it would then be a mega church.

A church with that many congregants and regular worshipers needed and had a parking lot. Their parking lot had room for 50 cars. About 40% of members lived in the urban renewal area. A majority, 57%, lived in other parts of the District. I see a notation that they used nearby commercial lots on Sundays. So they may have been more of a commuter church.

CS 4 Metropolitian Baptist … by Mm Inshaw


According to their survey, they appear to have been a very active church. There were scouts, a credit union, a YMCA basketball league along with the common religious education components.

Eventually Metropolitan would sell their church building in 2006 to Unity of Washington. While they waited for their Largo building to get built, a reduced congregation met at the Armstrong School building in Truxton Circle. There were some financial problems and that’s when the school’s grassy field was paved over. And now they are in Maryland. The End.