The St. Phillips Baptist Church worshipped at 1001 North Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC, for many years. However, after much prayer and planning, we sold the church building and moved to a temporary location at 537 Ritchie Road, Capitol Heights, Maryland. Under the leadership of our Emeritus Pastor, Dr. Andre’ H. Owens, and with the support of our Trustees, Deacons, Deaconess and the parishioners, God provided us a new church home at 3415 Brinkley Road, Temple Hills, Maryland 20748. We had our first service in a new permanent location on Sunday, November 4, 2018.
It was not an easy task to leave the old structure located in the heart of Washington at North Capitol and K Streets, Northeast, for it contained so much history in regard to its modest origin in a section of Northwest Washington formerly known as St. Phillips Hill. However, as our theme says, “Looking Back While Moving Forward”, time marches on.
In the year 1892, a few Christian-hearted members realized the apparent need for establishing a church; and so its earliest founders began house-to-house prayer meetings. As the membership increased, the meeting place changed from homes to an old community school, where plans were formulated for a church building.
Former ministers and sons of this church will long be remembered as men who were loyal, patient, tolerant and as leaders who gave of themselves and their service unselfishly, to foster the growth and expansion of this church in its goal of spiritual enrichment and with the help of founding members had a dynamic impact on the early growth of St. Phillips.
In 1941, St. Phillips was forced to vacate a newly renovated building on St. Phillips Hill because of the urban renewal movement. This area is presently known as Spring Valley in Northwest, Washington, D.C., and the church purchased the property at 1718 Florida Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C. for a new site.
In 1948 St. Phillips congregation moved to its next home at 1001North Capitol Street, N.E, Washington, DC. The membership grew from approximately 100 in 1945 to over 1,000 members. The framework of St. Phillips’ success was based upon sound doctrinal teachings, prayers, tithes, and offerings.
In the early 1970’s the church body worshiped at Douglas Memorial United Methodist Church. During this time, a general renovation project began to restore St. Phillips at North Capitol and K Streets, NE.
On June 5, 1974, St. Phillips was recommended and accepted as a historical landmark by the Preservation Society of the District of Columbia, because of its architectural structure.
Rev. Dr. Andre’ H. Owens was called to be our pastor in July 1977, at a special church meeting. He was officially installed as pastor on February 5, 1978, and on April 9, 1978, the congregation returned to North Capitol and K Streets having completed Phase I of the renovation project. Phase II of the church’s renovation began May 3, 1979, and on October 25, 1981, the relaying of the original church cornerstone was celebrated.
Since the founding of St. Phillips, many ministers, sons, and daughters have served on the ministerial staff; some have gone on to enjoy God’s rewards and others are still serving God around the USA.
Over the years, many gifts have been given to St. Phillips and we thank the givers and praise God for them. God has blessed St. Phillips for 126 years with a rich and triumphant history. To God be the Glory for He has done great things. For our founders, who were diligent in their efforts and strong in their faith in God, we thank Him. As we think of the past and see where He brought us from, we are reminded of the numerous sacrifices made by those who have gone from labor to reward.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Churches, schools, places of business and sports events were ordered closed as individuals were required to stay six feet apart unless they lived in the same household. St. Phillips Baptist Church held its last service in the church on March 15, 2020. Thereafter and into 2021 all services were held by teleconference or Zoom.
In 2021 as services and meetings continue to be held electronically. Pastor Owens submitted his retirement letter as of April 1, 2021, after 43 years as pastor. During a church business meeting on March 30, 2021, the congregation selected Rev. Alfred Wright, Jr. as Pastor Elect beginning April 1, 2021.
As we, St. Phillips, go onward to higher ground, we are grateful to our Pastor Elect, Rev. Alfred Wright, Jr., Pastor Emeritus, Dr. Andre’ H. Owens, Ministers, Deacons, Deaconess, Trustees, Officers and Church Family; and pray that we will continue to: Preach the Word, Teach the Word, Study the Word, Keep the Faith, Pray Always, Praise Him, and Serve the Lord with Gladness.