Historically Speaking

Our congregation, the third established in the Nation’s capital, progressed slowly but steadily.

From the Young home, the Saints moved into a rented hall. Over the next ten years, various ministers, including Bros. Paul McKay, William Robinson, and P. Butler lent their assistance.

Through various tent meetings held during the summer months and the continuing efforts of earnest workers, the congregation grew as new saints were added to the church through baptism and older saints placed membership. Then, in the fall of 1943, Bro. Davis Shows, a very popular preacher, and diligent laborer became the congregation’s full-time minister.

On January 17, 1944, the church was incorporated in the District of Columbia as the Southwest Church of Christ. In July of that same year, at a special meeting of the members, brothers C. Earl Johnson, Cliff Windom, and John Young were elected to three-year terms as the corporation’s first trustees. During Bro. Shows tenure, with the help of the church of Christ at 16th Street, the saints purchased their first building at 463 K Street in Southwest DC.

A few years later, brother Shows was called to Memphis, Tennessee and S. Douglas Greer was asked to assume spiritual leadership of the congregation until another minister could be appointed. Yet, brother Greer labored so zealously that he became the saint’s regular minister. In 1948, again with financial assistance from the saints at 16th Street, the congregation purchased its present church facility located at 3100 13th Street in Northwest DC. In short order, membership increased until it became necessary to conduct two Sunday morning worship services. Subsequently, the church purchased the building adjacent to the church facility, located at 1303 Irving Street, to be used for classrooms and other purposes. Thereafter, the church acquired 1305 and 1307 Irving Street as well, which was leased to the Saints Missionary Foundation, who used them for a community residential facility for seniors.

In 1962, some saints from the church of Christ at 13th Street began to labor in Northeast D.C. Their efforts grew into the church of Christ at East Capital Street. In April 1962, brother Junius Stevens became that congregation’s first minister. Meanwhile, the saints at 13th Street continued in their labors and in September of 1976, brother Greer ordained the congregations first elders and deacons. The elders were Cooper Clifford, Junius Heath, Leland Sowell and Henry Thomas. The deacons were Emmett Guess, Sam McElveen, John Hightower, Clarence Black, Robert Cobb and Samuel Davis, and in January of 1987, after more than 40 years as the congregation’s spiritual leader, brother Greer retired.

Since that time, several brothers have ministered to the congregation at 13th Street. Junius Stevens served from February 1987 through June 1988. Immediately thereafter, Tyrone Allen was appointed minister and served through May 1992. From June 1992 through April 1993, Clarence Black, who was one of the congregation’s original deacons, served as minister until Willie Ray Hill was appointed as Ministering Evangelist and served from May 1993 through October 1995. Michael McFadden ministered to the saints at 13th Street from June 1996 through July 1999. During brother McFadden’s tenure, Leland Sowell resigned as elder due to health issues and Larry Bonner was appointed to eldership and Junius Heath was reappointed.

Anthony Spradley served interim minister from August 1999 to October 2000 while a search to find a permanent minister was conducted. During his brief tenure, the eldership was dissolved due to the health problems of one of the congregation’s two elders. After brother Spradley tenure, Darrell Oliver served as interim minister from November 2000 through December 2001. Then in January 2002, after more than two years of praying and searching, Graylon Andrew Freeman of Detroit, Michigan, by way of Cypress, California, was appointed and served faithfully until relocating to New Mexico. For three years, Bro. Clinton Miles labored as interim ministering Evangelist for the church of Christ at l3th Street.

These are the people who, through the Lord’s goodness and guidance, that have laid the foundation of the church of Christ at 13th Street. It is based on the aforementioned history and accomplishments of our early laborers that the current saints who meet at the church of Christ on 13th Street NW in the District of Columbia continue in their endeavors to build upon.

May GOD continue to bless our congregation and its labors until the last amen.