Third Baptist Church
1857 – Present
Third Baptist Church is the third oldest Black Baptist Church in Washington, DC and the oldest Black Baptist building still standing.
Third Baptist Church started as a small prayer group in the home of Rev. Albert Boulden on September 5, 1857. The church was officially recognized and founded on June 20, 1858 and Rev. Albert Boulden was installed as the first pastor. On June 6, 1865, the cornerstone for the new church was laid at the corner of 4th and L Street, N. W. where Pastor Boulden served until 1867.
The Rev. William B. Jefferson was chosen to lead the church in 1867. Under his leadership, the first payment was made on a new location at 5th and Q Streets NW. on August 24, 1885. He served until he went home to be with the Lord in 1885. Rev. Patrick H. Umbles served one year (1885 – 1886) as the first interim pastor.
On March 19, 1886, the Rev. James H. Lee, a resident of New Bedford, Mass., and a former member and church clerk of Third Baptist Church, was called to the pastorate. On May 9, 1886 Rev. Lee preached his introductory sermon, and on May 30, he was installed by the pastors of the city. Pastor Lee served until the time of his passing in 1917. Our second interim pastor, the Rev. Charles Cushingberry served two years.
The Rev. Dr. George Bullock was called to the pastorate in 1919. He was the father-in-law of former Mayor Walter E. Washington who served as a trustee. The Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. was ordained at Third Baptist under the leadership of Rev. Bullock. He served as pastor until he went on to be with the Lord in 1958.
The Rev. Dr. Henry Miles was elected to serve as acting pastor for one year on May 8, 1959. On April 29, 1960, Rev. Miles was overwhelmingly elected as the fifth pastor of the Third Baptist Church. He was installed on June 12, 1960. During his tenure the Rev. Henry Miles’ Educational Annex was completed. Rev. Miles served the church until the Lord called him home On November 13, 1994. The third interim pastor of Third Baptist Church was the Rev. Dr. Clark Houston. His outgoing personality was an asset in promoting the spiritual growth of the church.
On June 1, 1997, Rev. Stanley Byrd preached his introductory sermon. Pastor Byrd was installed on September 7, 1997 as the sixth pastor of the Third Baptist Church. It was under Rev. Byrd’s tutelage, that Third Baptist purchased their first church van and the church website went live. In December of 2006, Rev. Byrd was called to return to his native home in North Carolina.
In 2007, In the absence of a pastor, Deacon Curtis Smith, Jr. served as Executive Administrator. Third Baptist was spiritually led by the Rev. John Waymmann, Jr., an Associate Minister of the church. His faithfulness helped to maintain the church until September 2009 when the Rev. Dr. Michael Wayne Hopkins was called to serve as the seventh pastor.