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Ebenezer United Methodist Church

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1897, Crump and Wagner. 400 D St. SE

Tucked away in a residential enclave of Capitol Hill, the Ebenezer United Methodist Church represents the separate religious facilities black residents established for themselves. The southeast section of Capitol Hill, closest to the Navy Yard, spawned modest brick and frame row houses distinctive from their grander neighbors along major diagonal thoroughfares. Prior to 1827, the members of the black population attended the integrated Methodist Episcopal Church, but they were assigned to the galleries. By 1827, the black membership outgrew the space reserved for them, and the Little Ebenezer was established in a frame building at 4th and D streets SE. Over the years, the church served important community functions, including the sponsorship in 1864 of one of the first publicly funded schools for black students.

Constructed in 1896, the current church is the third such structure to occupy the site. The firm of Crump and Wagner designed the modest red brick structure. Its long elevation along 4th Street meets the entrance elevation on D Street in a commanding corner tower. The 4th Street elevation is articulated with a bowed section and stained-glass windows, while the D Street facade is marked by a large rose window above a double entrance door with a stone surround. A short two-story tower anchors the southeast corner of the building. Stone window lintels and white trim enliven an otherwise dark red brick structure.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Ebenezer United Methodist Church", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 261-261.

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