mission statement

“Our mission is to expand God’s Kingdom one family at a time through
prayer, the preached word, evangelism, discipleship and relationships.”

A Brief History

Salem Baptist Church began in 1874 in Washington, D.C. with a little more than one dozen spirit-filled Christians. The charter members included: Carrie Banks, Essey Brooks, Marie Lewis, A. Lomax, Hyte Myers, Benjamin Quarles, Mary Ann Quarles, Carrie Scott, Lucinda Scott, and William Scott. Historical records and anecdotal stories from older Salem members indicate that these pioneers were formerly with the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church. From this “Mother Church,” Reverend S. Howard was licensed as the first pastor of the new congregation.

From 1874 to 1925 Salem’s chronology of worship addresses attests to its unbroken continuity. Services were first held at a private home located at 18th Street and Oregon Avenue, N.W. and later, as Salem’s membership gradually increased, at various private homes. Until 1880, services were held at 18th & Swan Streets, N.W. From 1890 to 1922, services were held “On the Hill” on Champlain Street, N.W. Services were then held at the Cadets Armory Hall at 708 O Street, N.W. until 1925 when Salem purchased its current location at 917 N Street, N.W.

Throughout it’s almost 150 years of history, Salem has been led by several outstanding theologians and staunch religious leaders who have made profound contributions to the church’s continuity. Through their undaunted perseverance, aspirations and God’s divine guidance we are now the recipients of this unprecedented heritage. The pastoral leaders include:

  • Reverend S. Howard (tenure undocumented)

  • Reverend S.G. Lampkins (1894-1900)

  • Reverend A.S. Lomax (1900-1901)

  • Reverend A.A. Eginton (1901)

  • Reverend J. D. Hebron (1902-1907)

  • Reverend S. G. Nelson (1907)

  • Reverend George Best (1907-1910)

  • Reverend James Robinson (1910)

  • Reverend Alonzo Robinson (1911-1916)

  • Reverend Richard Grymes (1917-1955)

  • Reverend Herbert Travis (1956-1987)

  • Reverend Leonard Howard (1990-2001)

  • Reverend Alonzo David Hart, Jr. (2004-2016)

  • Reverend David McIntosh-Peters (2018-Present)

In 1959, under the pastorate of Reverend Herbert N. Travis, the R. D. Grymes Memorial hall was purchased and dedicated for use as an educational annex. In 1963, an addition was built and dedicated to house the Pastor’s Study, the administrative offices, and meeting rooms. Also, the main Sanctuary was renovated, central air-conditioning was installed, a nursery was established, and adjoining properties were purchased for a parking lot. In 2006, under the pastorate of Reverend Alonzo D. Hart, Jr., the Sanctuary was refurbished to a more modern appearance.

The Salem Baptist Church family has been faithful, committed and strong in its belief in God and His promises. We continue on our mission to expand God’s Kingdom one family at a time, through prayer, preaching, evangelism, discipleship, and relationships.