The First Baptist Church, Georgetown was the first Baptist church established in Georgetown. It was founded in 1862 by the Reverend Sandy Alexander (1818-1902), a former slave who moved to Georgetown in 1852 with the express goal of organizing a Baptist church. Although not many Baptists lived inthe community, the church soon drew converts, as well as many former members of the Shiloh Church of Fredericksburg (Virginia) who migrated to Washington.

At first the congregation met in a small frame structure they called the Ark on land at 29th and O streets donated by Collins Williams. Williams was a licensed preacher originally from Fredericksburg, who with his wife Betsey had led religous meetings in private homes around Georgetown before Alexander founded First Baptist. I

n 1882 First Baptist's growing congregation laid the cornerstone for the current building, financing it in part with the proceeds of a speaking tour undertaken by Rev. Alexander through the northern states.

First Baptist seeded a black Baptist tradition in Georgetown, as former members of the congregation started the nearby Alexander Memorial Baptist Church and the Jerusalem Baptist Church. Rev. Alexander retired as First Baptist's pastor in 1889.


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