Our History

The congregation that is now known as the Sixteenth and Decatur church of Christ had its beginning when five members of the Lord’s body met for worship in the home of Thomas F. Colvin on the first Sunday of January in 1913. Though the church was very small in number, it was great and mighty in faith and zeal. The Colvin home served as the meeting place for the first few weeks until the attendance grew beyond its facilities. The Pythian Temple at 1012 Ninth Street, NW was then secured for use. After a few months the church relocated to Flynn Hall at Eighth and K Streets, NW. Another year of services were held in Flynn Hall and in the Pythian Temple before the congregation moved to the Masonic Temple in July of 1915. The building was located at Eighth and F Streets, NE.

The search for a more permanent home ended in 1919 when the congregation of 115 members bought a building at 3460 Fourteenth Street, NW. There were a number of brothers and sisters in Christ from around the country that helped in the purchase of this building. The church then became known as the Fourteenth Street church of Christ. The members remained in that building for over thirty years, even though it was not at all adequate for their ever growing needs.

During the first six years of moving from place to place the congregation had grown in numbers, in faith and in good works. All of the members welcomed the opportunity for further expansion into a building of their own. They continued to prosper until the church became known as throughout the brotherhood as a great congregation that was working to promote true New Testament Christianity in the nation’s capital. It became a warm and receptive church home for hundreds of men and women on duty with the government offices and with the armed forces. The church also became the center from which several of the other congregations had their start.

In 1949 work was begun on a new meeting place at 4801 Sixteenth Street, NW, where the congregation had previously purchased an entire half block and had planned for a facility that would be more suitable for their larger membership and increased activities. When the old building was sold and additional funds were raised the church began work on building a new worship facility. When they opened their new building in May of 1951 the congregation changed its name to the church of Christ / Sixteenth & Decatur. By 1954 the membership had grown to over 500, and its program of activities was greatly enlarged. It was during that time that other congregations began forming in surrounding areas and some members left to help these newer churches grow stronger. The membership dropped to about 350 at that time.

Currently the church has one full-time minister and one associate minister. The congregation is still very active in supporting evangelistic efforts both locally and around the world. This loving group of Christians is dedicated to sharing the grace of God in all of the ministries and mission efforts that the Lord blesses us to support. Guests and visitors are always welcomed. Fellowship luncheons are served in honor of friends and neighbors on every fifth Sunday. In addition there are cook outs on the grounds during the summer months. We hope to meet with you and your family soon.