If only buildings could talk, the church on the corner of 4th and I St SW could share a very rich history indeed; a history reflective of its beginning as a place of worship during a time in our history that redefined our southwest neighborhood during the civil rights movement struggle and the rapid progression of urban renewal. One of the historical hallmarks of this congregation is that it was one of first racially integrated congregations in DC at a time when racial tension across the country was front page news. This congregation was led by Rev. Welch, a pastor whose vision for racial reconciliation in southwest was the cornerstone of his ministry.
Christ United Methodist Church began in 1961 as a result of the merger of Gorsuch Methodist Church and the Lewis Memorial Methodist congregations. This new congregation initially worshiped on the site previously used by Lewis Memorial, but immediately began searching for new church land to build. They later acquired the current location which was then known as 4th and Half St.
On Sunday, December 10th, 1961, the site was consecrated by a special service. A groundbreaking service, the first official groundbreaking for a new church in the newly-redeveloped Southwest, was held on Sunday, May 13th, 1962. The cornerstone of the church was laid on Sunday, October 21st, 1962, and the inaugural service was held on Palm Sunday, April 7th, 1963.
Christ Church has been blessed to be led by nine spirit-filled leaders: Rev. Lester K. Welch, Rev. Carroll L. Yingling, Rev. Don Bruce Lowe, Rev. Cathryn B. Moore, Rev. Esther M. Holimon, Rev. Wendy J. Shenk-Evans, Rev. Joan H. Coates, Rev. Arlester Brown (Interim Pastor), Rev. Jason L. Robinson, and our current pastor, the Rev. Adrienne Terry.
Over the years, Christ Church provided a range of ministries and services to our neighbors in the southwest area, greater Washington DC, and the international community. Present day ministries include the AYA Farmer’s Market, which brings fresh produce to the community on Saturdays; the SHARE food distribution program, a monthly purchase of food supplies; and support of the Food for the Minds food distribution program at Amidon Elementary School. The church has also partnered with Capitol Hill Group Ministries and the southwest Kiwanis to provide supportive services for children living in southwest. Weekly hand dances and bi-weekly meetings of the Stamp Club are also located at the church.
On November 9th and 10th, 2013, Christ Church will host a two-day celebration in honor of its 50th Anniversary of service in the Southwest community. On the evening of Saturday, November 9th, a concert will highlight our musical celebration and a special service on Sunday, November 10th, at 10 am will honor our history and most importantly our faith and blessings for our work for Christ.
Everyone is invited so please refer to the cumcdc.org website for details!