We Remember Our History...
We, your Committee, discovered in our search for the
organizations and continuity of Negro Baptist in the District of Columbia, that
a suggestion made by the late Dr. William H. Jernagin, the Convention in its
1935 session, held with the Second Baptist Church, Northwest, had directed that
a chronological statement be supplied for the minutes and thereafter the
Convention should take its age from the beginning of Baptist Organization in
the District of Columbia. The
suggestion read as follows: “That
the Convention take the age of the first Convention insomuch as the using date
of the merger was very misleading and did not indicate the many years the Colored
Baptists have been organized and functioning as a Convention.” The statement
continues, “After much discussion the Convention adopted the suggestion of
Reverend J.L.S. Holloman, “That hereafter our minutes will show that the
Baptist Convention is a merger of the General, the Union,
and the Mt. Bethel Baptist Conventions.” Our
report is made by order of a resolution approved last year, 1960. In
our searching we found, by the help of Dr. Robert Anderson, Reverend C.W. Ward
and Mrs. W.H. Jernagin, what we believe to be an authentic continuity of our
Convention with a gap of thirty-six years dating back from 1909 to 1872. We,
therefore, recommend the following chronological statement to be supplemented
annually as the annual sessions are convened and entered in the printed minutes
of this Convention.
Chronological Statement: “There
was no Negro Baptist Organization known in the District of Columbia that included in its
title the word “Convention” until 1915. However, what is now “The Baptist
Convention of the District of Columbia and Vicinity” had its beginning as the
First Washington Baptist Association” in 1872. The names of the founders and
officers until 1909 are unknown to the Committee.
held its 37 Annual Session with the Tenth Street
Reverend S.G. Lampkins, D.D., L.L.D. In 1913 or 1914 the Reverend W.H.
Jernagin, D.D., became Moderator. Upon his recommendation the name of the
Association was changed in 1915 to “The General Baptist Convention of the District of Columbia.” In
1923, upon recommendation of Dr. M.W.D. Norman, Moderator, the Mt. Bethel
Baptist Convention,” and about 1925 or 1926 the Union Baptist Convention
was organized and the Reverend Aquilla
Sayles became its President.
Because these Conventions were overlapping in territory and interest,
the three wisely agreed to unite into one Convention in July, 1928. The United Convention was designated “The
Baptist Convention of the District of
Columbia and Vicinity.”
We further recommend that hereafter the
beginning of the Convention be dated from 1872 and the program and minutes
shall carry the consequent age and this session shall be known as the 89th. We wish
to remind the Convention of the absolute necessity of an efficient historian at
all times. Time marches on. Those who come after us deserve to know how
well we wrought, what was accomplished and when. To deny them this heritage they may consider
it an unpardonable sin of careless ignorance and rightly so.