Some of the items buried in the time capsule on church grounds included: a DVD of "If these Walls Could Talk", a video history of Metropolitan AME Church; a photo of President Barack Obama and his family; a program from the 2007 visit of Archbishop Desmond Tutu; a program for Rosa Parks' funeral service at Metropolitan; and a cassette tape donated by Ernest G. Green, surviving member of the Little Rock Nine.
In 1973, the church, located at 1518 M Street, NW in Washington DC, just three blocks from the White House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places for the District of Columbia. In 2011, the church was elevated to the status of National Treasure by the U. S. Department of the Interior, which prevents the building from ever being destroyed. In 2010, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the church to its 2010 List of America's Most Endangered Historic Places.
Metropolitan was founded in 1838 in the District of Columbia. It is the oldest A.M.E. Church in the nation's capital. The church represents the 1870's merger of two A.M.E. congregations, Israel Bethel (1821) and Union Bethel (1838). Metropolitan served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.