First Baptist Church of Deanwood

This historic church was an important site for the early Deanwood community.

One of DC's oldest African American suburbs, Deanwood was established when white landowner Levi Sheriff divided farmland among his three daughters, Margaret Lowrie, Emmeline Sheriff and Mary Cornelia Dean. These three subdivisions—Whittingham, Lincoln Heights, and Burrville—came to be known as Deanwood. In 1906, the First Baptist Church of Deanwood was incorporated, beginning a long, community-centered legacy that continues today.

While the church had existed since 1906, the church was not built until 1929 and opened to congregants nine years later. As the largest African American Protestant congregation in Deanwood, the church underwent several renovations and expansions to accomodate its parishoners. The original church, designed by Roscoe I. Vaughn, was built with the financial support of its congregants, and constructed by volunteers who worked in construction work and also attended the church.

When completed, the church hosted its large community for services, Sunday School, Bible study, and recreational activities that maintained strong community bonds. The church exemplifies the wider strength of the Deanwood area.

DC Inventory: February 28, 2008
National Register: July 24, 2008



1008 45th Street NE