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106 Year Old Black Church in Nation's Capital Is Shutting Its Doors

Alexander Memorial Baptist Church
Alexander Memorial Baptist Church of Washington, D.C. In July 2014, the Georgetown church was sold off for .5 million. |

An African-American church in Washington, D.C. that has been in operation for over 100 years will soon be closing down because the property has been sold.

Leadership at the Alexander Memorial Baptist Church of the Georgetown neighborhood recently agreed to a sale of their church property.

"All that remains in wealthy Georgetown are four black churches. Soon, there will be only three," reported Sam Ford of WJLA-TV. "… [T]he pastor and trustees of the 106 year old Alexander Memorial Baptist Church are about to sell the church — set to be turned into condominiums or townhouses — for $6.5 million."

The decision to sell the property was not unanimous, as some members of Alexander Memorial Baptist Church expressed their displeasure to WJLA.

"So, if we don't have a place to go, why are you still selling the church?" said member Alfred May to WJLA.

"Don't sell this church because you can't maintain a congregation. … Someone else can. Another pastor can come in and draw the people," he added.

Last October, the church property went to market as the congregation found itself unable to afford to remain at their Georgetown location.

Alexander Memorial Baptist Church retained the services of W.F. Chesley Real Estate when looking to sell their church property, reported Daniel J. Sernovitz of the Washington Business Journal.

"The property, which is assessed at about $3.4 million, is listed for sale at $7.5 million and being marketed as a redevelopment opportunity," wrote Sernovitz last November.

"[W.F. Chesley] expects the property to be under contract to a new owner by the end of the year. The church, meanwhile, is evaluating a number of potential new sites, but has not settled on one in particular."

Founded in July 26, 1908, Alexander Memorial was named after the Rev. Sandy Alexander, the founder of First Baptist Church of Georgetown, which was the congregation the church derived from.

Including its present leader, the Rev. Jesse Plater, Alexander Memorial Baptist Church has had eight senior pastors and twice burned its mortgage to be a debt-free church, according to the congregation's website.

The Christian Post reached out to the Rev. Jesse Plater for this story, but he responded that the church had no comment on the matter.

According to  the church's website, "AMBC implemented several ministries to provide services to various Washington, D.C. communities including, outreach to the homeless and feeding the hungry; partnership with Francis Junior High school to provide assistance to families in need; and participation in the share food program."

The church also "adopted an orphanage in West Africa in 2010, and provided the children with clothing, books and other needed supplies throughout the year."

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