Under leadership of the Rev. Dr. Frank D. Tucker, First Baptist Church in Northwest hosted a 150th anniversary celebration featuring iconic gospel article Shirley Caesar. The event was held Saturday Feb. 23 at the Lincoln Theatre on historic U Street.
Pastor Shirley Caesar has traveled the world spreading the Word and breaking down barriers for other gospel artists. The 11-time Grammy Award winner has truly exemplified gospel music to the core. She has performed for U.S. presidents and world leaders, yet is also at home pastoring to a thriving church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
Shirley Caesar started out in the early 1960s singing with the gospel group "The Caravans," before going on to become a solo artist in 1966. During her stellar career, Caesar has released more than 30 solo albums.
After 150 years of holding up the banner of Christ, the congregation at First Baptist Church in Northwest paused to celebrate the great things God has done.
The desire was to make known the struggles and blessings of our amazing "Journey of Faith" that began in 1861, when a group of former slaves from Caroline, Spotsylvania, Louisa and Orange counties, Va., assembled on the government camp grounds at 6th and B Streets in Southwest Washington.
Aided by white ministers from the Freedmen's Bureau, the group held meetings and prayed. A council of white and colored ministers was called to recognize this body of Christians as a church.
As the first organized Baptist church in Southwest, we were named the "First Baptist Church of Southwest Washington" in1863. Throughout the years, the church has grown tremendously in membership and ministries. There have been 13 pastors and three church homes in our history.
In 1958, the First Baptist Church of Southwest moved to its present location at 712 Randolph St. in Northwest.
In addition to the beautiful edifice of worship, the church has acquired four properties and extended their ministries to include a Child Development Center, Senior Center, and Community Health and Outreach Services (Church Association for Community Services, Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, and the AIDS Conversation Center), to name a few.
The church began 2013 with a season of praying and fasting. The year-long celebration will feature concerts, fashions from different periods, gospel proclamations, and reflections on the journey.
They will also publish the history of the fellowship and a pictorial directory of current members and highlight First Baptist's worldwide influence through a foreign mission conference and support service.