1957 Church Survey: New Bethany Baptist

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, and the area around Union Station.  New Bethany is in Shaw. 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.

New Bethany Baptist Church at 1300 10th St NW is still located in the Logan Circle area of Shaw. In 1957 it was a medium sized African American church with 500 members who mostly lived the the Northwest Urban Renewal Area. They didn’t provide percentages of age distributions or occupations. They wrote that they had many kids and over half were between 33 and 55. Most of the congregation were unskilled labor with some being white collar government workers.

CS 8 New Bethany Baptist by Mm Inshaw

 

1957 Church Survey: St. Phillips- Rando Church not in Shaw

Image-of-Church-at-1001-North-Cap-NE
Formerly St. Phillips

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, and the area we’ll call Swampoodle. One of the churches was St. Phillips.

https://tile.loc.gov/image-services/iiif/service:pnp:highsm:10100:10183/full/pct:6.25/0/default.jpgSt. Phillips sat at 1001 North Capitol St NE. It was a Baptist church. In 1957 it was a decent sized church with about 1,000 members. It was a mostly white collar mostly African-American congregation.

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.

CS 16 St Phillips by Mm Inshaw

 

1957 Church Survey: Paramount Baptist Church – rando church not in Shaw

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, and the area around Union Station (Swampoodle). One of the churches was Paramount Baptist Church at 723 1st St NW. 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.

Currently there is a Paramount Baptist Church in SE DC, and according to their church history, they purchased 723 1st St NW, in 1954 and they paid the mortgage in 1957. They have this in their history:

The church conformed to the specifications of the Redeveloping and Land Agency Act in 1964 that we must vacate the space for the area was being redeveloped.

Not sure what that means. But I do know that that address is now a parking lot. [Mari starts humming Big Yellow Taxi]

They didn’t provide much of any information for the Church Survey. So here it is:

CS 9 Paramount Baptist by Mm Inshaw

 

1957 Church Survey: St Stephans Baptist -church in Mt Vernon Sq

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, Mt. Vernon Square and the area around Union Station.  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

Well this is currently owned by the United House of Prayer, or UHOP. Before it was St. Stephans Baptist it was Peoples Congregational Church. St. Stephans Baptist Church is currently in Temple Hills, MD.

Let’s take a quick look at the survey for St. Stephans Baptist. It was an African American church with a large unskilled labor congregation. It is located at 628 M St NW in Mt. Vernon Square.

CS 17 St Stephans Baptist by Mm Inshaw

Carter G. Woodson: History of the Negro Church: Ch. 2 The Dawn of the New Day

For this year I’m just doing two chapters of Carter G. Woodson’s History of the Negro Church because I find the book a little less interesting. Finding an audiobook made this review easier than the one for the first chapter.

In this chapter he takes a look at the Methodists. Woodson does not give a history of Methodism. Maybe his audience of 1921 readers are familiar with the denomination and how it is one of the dissenting sects coming out of Anglicanism/ the Church of England. My quickie version is that Methodism was founded by Rev. John Wesley (with help from brother Charles) where they reached out to the middling and working classes. There was a difference in how they expressed their faith and that comes into play in this chapter.

Woodson focused on how Methodists tackled the question of slavery. The dates covered in this chapter range from 1750 to 1793, so mainly during the colonial period and before the Methodists broke from Anglicans.  The founder Wesley, as well as Thomas Coke, and Francis Asbury opposed slavery.

The Methodists later (1780-ish) required that members not be slaveholders. If a member held a slave, they were expected to not be a slaveholder 12 months. Local leadership were the ones who were supposed to enforce this rule. There were some exceptions made for spouses of slave owners and people who held legal title to people who were too young, too old or too disabled to live on their own.

Despite efforts to purge slaveholding among their ranks, Methodism wasn’t as appealing to African Americans as the Baptist denomination. Whereas the Methodists were making real efforts to address slavery, the Baptists, because they were less organized in this effort, didn’t really address it.  The Baptists deferred to local sentiments and there was less of an abolitionist fervor.

Woodson mentions the Presbyterians, another protestant denomination. It appears they encouraged emancipation but did not require it.

Carter G. Woodson- Mis-Education of the Negro- Chapter 7: Dissension and Weakness

It’s Black History Month, so I am continuing with the reprint of my series of posts regarding Shaw resident and Father of Black History, Carter G. Woodson and his book The Mis-Education of the Negro, published in 1933.

In the last chapter we looked at the institution of the Black church. Woodson continues on the topic but goes into the problem of a dis-united church and other problems.

In recent years the churches in enlightened centres have devoted less attention to dissension than formerly, but in the rural districts and small cities they have not changed much; and neither in urban communities nor in the country has any one succeeded in bringing these churches together to work for their general welfare. The militant sects are still fighting one another, and in addition to this the members of these sects are contending among themselves. The spirit of Christ cannot dwell in such an atmosphere.

I shrug at this. Even in the Bible early Christians were divided, so…. Anyway, Woodson is critical of the quality of the church leaders, usually the preacher. “Because our “highly educated” people do not do this, large numbers of Negroes drift into churches led by the “uneducated” ministers who can scarcely read and write.” And he doesn’t let up on criticism of the “educated”, as usual.

In a rural community, then, a preacher of this type must fail unless he can organize separately members of the popular Methodist and Baptist churches who go into the ritualistic churches or establish certain “refined” Methodist or Baptist churches catering to the “talented tenth.” For lack of adequate numbers, however, such churches often fail to develop sufficient force to do very much for themselves or for anybody else. On Sunday morning, then, their pastors have to talk to the benches. While these truncated churches go higher in their own atmosphere of self-satisfaction the mentally undeveloped are left to sink lower because of the lack of contact with the better trained. If the latter exercised a little more judgment, they would be able to influence these people for good by gradually introducing advanced ideas.

When he mentions W.E.B. DuBois’ “talented tenth” it comes off as a swipe and a continuation of his frustration with “educated” African Americans. He’s not fond of the uneducated preacher either. No wonder people think he was an atheist, which I do not.

I think Woodson was unconvinced about the validity of the Christian faith by his observations of Christian practitioners and by the fact it was obtained from the white majority.

It is very clear, then, that if Negroes got their conception of religion from slaveholders, libertines, and murderers, there may be something wrong about it, and it would not hurt to investigate it. It has been said that the Negroes do not connect morals with religion. The historian would like to know what race or nation does such a thing. Certainly the whites with whom the Negroes have come into contact have not done so.

Carter G. Woodson- Mis-Education of the Negro- Chapter 6: The Educated Negro Leaves the Masses

It’s Black History Month, so I am continuing with the series of posts regarding Shaw resident and Father of Black History, Carter G. Woodson and his book The Mis-Education of the Negro, published in 1933. Don’t let the title fool you this is about church.

Religion is but religion, if the people live up to the faith they profess.- Carter G. Woodson

Wikipedia uses as a citation for the claim that Woodson was an outspoken critic of the Christian Church a site that provides no deep research to back up that claim. Woodson was an expert in the subject of the Black church, having had written The History of the Negro Church, published in 1921. I’m attempting to get through this book. It isn’t as easy of a read as Mis-Education.

What little I’ve read, I see him more of an agnostic, maybe light atheist. Like modern atheists who see a general value of a theologically based society (preferably Christian) but who do not believe in a deity. Not the fire breathing New Atheist type atheists.

In this chapter I can see where Woodson sees a great value in the Black Church because, “the Negro church is the only institution the race controls.” Once again he is annoyed at the educated African Americans (when isn’t he?) who leave the Negro church for more “ritualistic” denominations. Those being Catholic and Episcopal churches. Me: Guilty as charged. Mainly because Black people church is too damned long.

Woodson mentions he once visited ” in Washington, D. C., one of the popular Negro churches with a membership of several thousands“. I wonder was it maybe Shiloh Baptist? I mean he wouldn’t have to cross the street to pop in. Anyway, at this unnamed Black church he could only spot two college graduates in attendance, and they were only there to get something (fund raising and charity).

I can read Woodson’s frustration with the Black church. “The Negro church, however, although not a shadow of what it ought to be, is the great asset of the race.” He sees the church’s potential as an organizing body and how it could serve the Black race (theology shmeology), but can’t ignore the hypocrisy, charlatan preachers, and other human failings and shortcomings that come along with the Black church and church in general.

Let’s ignore Woodson’s lack of adherence to any faith and get to the topic of the book and this chapter, criticizing college educated Black people. Black church was where the Black masses were. It was the most powerful institution controlled by African Americans. Where were the “mis-educated” educated Afro-Americans, not in the Black Baptist and Black Methodist churches. A theme throughout The Mis-Education of the Negro is that the college educated Black people lose contact and are out of touch with the common Black person.

Woodson pointed out that the problem with the Catholic and Episcopalian churches was that a Black man’s rise in those denominations was limited. This problem has been since rectified. The current presiding Archbishop of the Episcopal church is an African American man, Michael Curry. And the current Archbishop of Washington, DC, Cardinal Wilton Gregory (the 1st Black American cardinal) heads the Roman Catholic diocese. There has been some advancement for African Americans since Woodson published his book.

1957 Church Survey: Tenth Street Baptist Church

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, and the area we’ll call Swampoodle. One of the churches was Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church. 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

There has been a slight change in address for the Tenth Street Baptist Church. Currently it is at 1000 R St NW, but in 1957 when they filled out the 1957 church survey it was 1646 10th St NW.

According to the survey this African American church had been on its current site since 1888. Yet the structure was newish in 1957, having been built around the 1930s. Looking at the Google Streetview of the present day building, there may have been some updates in the past 90 some years.

Looking at the 1957 make up of 10th St Baptist, it was a predominately white collar Black church, with 67% in the white collar profession. The next largest group was 15% classified as professionals. It was also a big church claiming about 5000 members, with less than half bothering showing up on any given Sunday. Considering that 70% lived in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area (as shown in the map, featured image above), they should have not have had a problem getting there.

CS 18 Tenth Street Baptist by Mm Inshaw

 

1957 Church Survey: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

I’ve been holding off on this one because it was my church. It was the church of the Glorius family and several other Truxton Circle families of many years past.

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, and the area we’ll call Swampoodle. One of the churches was Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church. 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.

When I was a member Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was a racially mixed church and in 1957 it was mixed, 25% Black and 75% White.

This was not without some complications.

CS 28 Immaculate Conception by Mm Inshaw on Scribd

Image not found
Sq. 423 circa 1919, showing the lots Immaculate Conception owns.

There was more of Immaculate in 1957 than there is now. There used to be more lots, including land where the 1300 Apartments (formerly the Immaculate Conception Apartments) parking lot sits. They also had a parking lot across the street. They had parking for 100 cars. It was much bigger in the day.

Currently there are 4 weekend masses. In 1957 they stated they had 1,600 for Sunday attendance for a sanctuary that seats 900 people.

They had 3 priests in 1957. Now there is sort of 2, after having just one for the longest time. Monsignor J. Joshua Mundell was the priest in charge during the 1968 riots. Speaking of the priests, here is a list of priests.

The church had a school serving children in the neighborhood. It was sometime in the years Monsignor Watkins when the school was closed and was later converted into a charter school.

There is no professional break down of the parishioners. That would have been nice if they had that info.

1957 Church Survey: Galbraith AME Church

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, and the Union Station area. One of the churches was Galbraith AME Church, now Galbraith AME Zion Church. 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.

CS 21 Galbraith AME by Mm Inshaw

 The church sits at 1114 6th St NW. Is it in Shaw? Is it in Mt. Vernon Square? Sure, yes.

Anyway, this was a Black church with a large white collar membership who did not live in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area.