Early Beginnings….

 

February 1950

The members of the Fountain Memorial Baptist Church on R Street, SE, under the direction of Reverend Frank B. Burgess, voted to purchase an acre of land on Pennsylvania Avenue, Southeast in Washington, DC at a cost of $30,500. The land was purchased with the intent of establishing a Baptist church on the property at the earliest date possible. In June 1950, it was recommended that the new church be referred to as The Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church. At the same time, a “Thirty-Thousand-Dollar Club” was established with the primary goal of paying the balance due on the property. The people had a mind to work, and the property was paid in full in less than two years!

 

March 31, 1954

The Mission Committee of Fountain Memorial canvassed the church membership in order to ascertain where each member felt called to work — Fountain Memorial or The Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church. Approximately one hundred persons stated a desire to work and help to grow the new church, and attended the organizational meeting on April 25, 1954. It was during this meeting that the designated individuals resolved to form the first congregation of the church known as The Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church (PABC), which was constituted on May 30, 1954 into a separate and distinct Baptist church fellowship in the D.C. Baptist Convention.

 

1955

PABC purchased the adjoining lot on the corner of 30th and Pennsylvania Avenue from the Seventh Day Adventists.

 

April 29, 1956

The groundbreaking ceremony for the chapel, the first unit of the church, was held. A humble and thankful people entered a new place of worship the following year on Sunday, June 16, 1957. By this time, the church membership had grown to 265, and the Sunday School to an enrollment of 235. A motto had been adopted by the members of the church, “Building Together for God,” which was printed on all church bulletins, signs, and literature. The dedication service for the chapel was held on June 30, 1957.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PASTORS

1954-1956 Rev. Walter Mitchell
1957-1970 Dr. James Langley
Interim Pastor Dr. Clarence Goen
1971-1978 Dr. John Ramsey
Interim Pastor Chaplain Michael Halley
1979-1981 Rev. Grovan McClellan
Interim Pastor Rev. Harry Hearne
1982-1986 Rev. Harry Hearne
Interim Pastor Rev. Charles Worthy
1988-1998 Rev. Charles Worthy
1999-2001 Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray
Interim Pastor Rev. Dr. I. Benni Singleton
2003-Present Rev. Dr. Kendrick E. Curry
 
 
 
 

Milestones….

  • During the spring of 1998, the fellowship hall was named Harvey Hall in memory of charter member and Deacon, William “Bill” Harvey who worked tirelessly to maintain the church’s property.
  • In 1988, the Maise-Inman Scholarship was established to support high school students in their pursuit of a college education. The scholarship was named after Deacon Fred Maise and Bess Inman. Deacon Maise was head of the National Boy Scouts for many years and Ms. Inman was a DC Public School teacher. They were committed to providing financial, academic, and social support to youth.
  • The church’s prayer room was dedicated in honor of Deacon Emma Nixon, a prayer warrior who believed men and women ought always to pray and led the effort to establish a room specifically dedicated to prayer.
  • In 2001, Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray became the first African-American pastor of PABC. In keeping with the original vision of the charter members who were “Building Together for God,” Dr. Haggray led the church to purchase the property adjacent to the church.
  • Shortly after arriving at PABC, Dr. Haggray was called to serve as the Executive Secretary of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, the first African-American to head the organization. Rev. I. Benni Singleton, an Associate Minister at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church served as PABC’s Interim Pastor while the church searched for a new pastor.
  • In 2003, Rev. Dr. Kendrick E. Curry was called to pastor PABC. Under his leadership, the church undertook a major infrastructure project and within three years of his arrival, the church transformed its entire parking lot.
  • Curry transformed the church’s ministries, as well, aligning them with a five-fold ministry concept to support the building of the Kingdom.
  • In 2018, Rev. Curry celebrated 15 years of pastoring PABC. He is the longest serving Pastor in PABC’s history.
  • In 2020, in response to the world-wide pandemic of COVID-19, Pastor Curry held PABC’s first completely online worship and moved all ministry offerings to video or audio conference. Through technology, persons from far and near tuned in to “Grow with us — Transform the world.”
 

Future….

 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ shall remain our core message. As such, we invite believers to “Grow with us — Transform the world.” As we move further into a new millennium, our methods of delivering that message may vary, yet we are firm enough in our foundation, and flexible enough in our approach to meet the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of our congregation and community.

Our prophetic future includes everything from permanently incorporating online and outdoor worship services, to building senior and affordable housing, grocery and retail establishments, medical services, restaurants, and more right here on our property! Our prophetic future envisions PABC as the heartbeat and hub of the community — a wellspring of spiritual, emotional, physical, and economic growth where children and teens can have a personal encounter with Christ, obtain their first jobs, and their parents and grandparents can live, shop, play and pray right here, in one location in their own neighborhood. This vision is affectionately known as “the City of Transformation.”

This year, 2020, is the “Year of Divine Establishment,” and God has already empowered us to establish our online presence and begin laying the groundwork for establishing our future growth. Our vision for the “City of Transformation” is a God-sized vision—it’s much bigger than us. We welcome your prayers and your participation if you feel God is calling you to be part of His vision for transforming our church, our community, our city, and the world through the love of Jesus Christ.

 
 
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