Baptist Convention of DC & Vicinity -
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.              

It held its 37 Annual Session with the Tenth Street Baptist Church, 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.