Metropolitan Baptist Church Collection consists of two red bricks, one wrapped in gray and white stripped paper, from the historic edifice of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
Related archival collection: Anacostia Community Museum Archives holds a very small archival collection - one folder - related to the Metropolitan Baptist Church. Contact the Archivist for more information.
In 1864, Metropolitan Baptist Church was founded as the Fourth Baptist Church of the District of Columbia in Hell’s Bottom, which is now Logan Circle, located in Northwest Washington, D.C. After worshiping in an abandoned Civil war barracks for a period of time, Reverend Henry Bailey and ten Christian believers purchased and renovated a frame house establishing the Fourth Baptist Church of the District of Columbia. In 1870, Reverend Robert Johnson became the Fourth Baptist Church’s pastor. The church’s frame building was transformed into the Victorian Gothic style, which continues to exist today; and the church’s name changed to The Metropolitan Baptist Church (colored) in 1888. Over its 150 year history, six pastors, including Dr. Ernest Clarence Smith of Richmond, Virginia and Dr. Henry Beecher Hicks, Jr. of Houston, Texas, have served the church’s congregation.
By the late 1990s, many of the church’s members moved to the suburbs, particularly Prince George’s County and Virginia. To expand the church’s congregation and serve congregation members who moved out of Washington, D.C., land was bought to build a larger complex in Largo, Maryland in 2000. The church broke ground in 2004. The building in Northwest Washington, D.C. was sold to Unity of Washington Church in 2006. Because of financial difficulties, the Largo project remains unfinished, and a foreclosure case was filed against Metropolitan Baptist Church in 2014. The congregation of Metropolitan Baptist Church meets at the historic Armstrong Manual Training School in Northwest Washington, D.C.
Wilma W. Harper was a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C, a Sunday school teacher, and a social worker. She donated the Metropolitan Baptist Church Collection to the Anacostia Community Museum.
Metropolitan Baptist Church. Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.