“Our mission is to help expand the Kingdom one family at a time through the preached word, prayer, discipleship through study, relationships and evangelism”
Salem’s history began in the year of 1874 in the city of Washington, D.C. with a little more than one dozen spirit – filled Christian individuals who pioneered our beginning as Salem Baptist Church. As near as it can be ascertained from older Salem members and from documented records, these members were formerly with the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, the Mother Church. It was from this Church the Reverend S. Howard was licensed to pastor the new congregation. In the beginning, services were held at a private home located at 18th Street and Oregon Avenue, N.W. and later at various private homes, mean while Salem’s membership gradually increased.
It is appropriate to mention the names of the charter members of the early Salem Baptist Church, who are: Brother A. Lomax, Brother Essey Broooks, Brother William Scott, Brother Benjamin Quarles, Brother Hyte Myers, Sister Carrie Banks, Sister Lucinda Scott, Sister Marie Lewis, Sister Carrie Scott and Sister Mary Ann Quarles.
Throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century, Salem has been led by several outstanding theologians and the staunch religious leaders who have each made profound contributions to the continuity of Salem Baptist Church. It was through their undaunted perseverance, aspirations and God’s divine guidance that we today are the recipients of this unprecedented heritage.
From 1874 to 1925 Salem’s chronology of worship addresses is impressive and attests to Salem unbroken continuity. In the nineteenth century services were held at 18th & Swann Streets, N.W. (1877-1880), 17th & M Streets, N.W. (1880-1881), 1706 N Street, N.W. (1882-1887), on T Street, between 18th and 19th Streets, N.W, 15th & Euclid Streets, N.W. (1888-1889), on Champlain Street, N.W. “On the Hill” (1890-1922), the Cadets Armory Hall, 708 O Street, N.W. (1922-1925), and 917 N Street, N.W. (1925 – Present).
As aforementioned, Salem has had several outstanding leaders at its helm. All of the pastors are mentioned here:
Reverend S. Howard, the first ordained Pastor of Salem whose record of his tenure is undocumented.
Reverend S. G. Lampkins (1894-1900)
Reverend A. S. Lomax (1900-1901)
Reverend A. A. Eginton (–)
Reverend J. D. Hebron (1902-1907)
Reverend S. G. Nelson (–)
Reverend George Best (1907-1910)
Reverend James Robinson (–)
Reverend Alonzo Robinson (1911-1916)
Reverend Richard D. Grymes (1917-1955)
Reverend Herbert N. Travis (1956-1987)
During Reverend Travis’ illness and following his death, Reverend Robert A. Wilson and Reverend Ralph E. White, Sr. served as Interim Pastors (1986-1990).
Reverend Leonard M. Howard, Sr. (1990-2001)
Reverend White served as “Minister-in-Charge of the Pulpit” (1 January 2002 to 25 July 2004).
Reverend Alonzo David Hart, Jr. (26 July 2004 to Present).
Under Reverend Hart’s leadership, the church is continuing on a journey to Kingdom-building, both membership and church construction. To God be the glory. We know that when God answers prayers, He does a complete job.