Perhaps no Southwest resident is more emblematic of this dream of social and economic ascension than James C. Dent. Born into slavery in 1855, Dent grew up a farm laborer in the tobacco country of southern Maryland. Dent eventually made his way to southwest D.C. as a laborer, mostly employed in a lime kiln, and married a Virginia seamstress. In 1885, his wife Mary and several parishioners founded the Mount Moriah Baptists Church. Several months after it opened the first pastor stepped down, and in May of 1886 Dent took his place and proceeded to take the church to prominence within Washington's black religious community - overseeing it's transition into several newer and nicer buildings (it is now located on East Capital Street, NE), and serving as pastor for over 22 years.
The Dent Residence, in addition to representing the nearly vanishing pre-Urban Renwal neighborhood, is also emblematic of the rise of the black middle class after Emancipation.
Nominated by Advisory neighborhood Commission 6-D
DC Inventory: July 22, 2010
National Register: November 2, 2010