St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.)

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St. Luke's Episcopal Church
Washington, D.C.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Washington DC.JPG
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.) is located in Washington, D.C.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.)
St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.) is located in the United States
St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.)
Location1514 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates38°54′37″N 77°2′5″W / 38.91028°N 77.03472°W / 38.91028; -77.03472Coordinates: 38°54′37″N 77°2′5″W / 38.91028°N 77.03472°W / 38.91028; -77.03472
NRHP reference #76002131
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 11, 1976[1]
Designated NHLMay 11, 1976[2]

St. Luke's Episcopal Church is a historic Episcopal church located at 1514 15th Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C.. Completed in 1879, it is home to the oldest African-American Episcopal congregation in the city. It was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1976 for its association with Rev. Alexander Crummell (1819–1898), a leading figure advocating black self-sufficiency and civil rights in the mid-19th century.[2][3]

St. Luke's continues as an active parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. As of 2012, the Priest-in-Charge is the Rev. Ray D. Massenburg.[4]


St. Luke's Episcopal Church is located west of Washington's Logan Circle, on the west side of 15th Street at its junction with Church Street. It is a masonry structure, built mainly out of Chesapeake bluestone with an ashlar finish and laid in random courses. It is covered by a steeply pitched slate roof. The main facade is symmetrical, with a large central entry portico consisting of two pairs of double doors set in a Gothic-arch surround, with a large Gothic-arched window in the gable above. Flank lower wings each have smaller but still substantial Gothic windows. The interior is finished in dark aok, and has a barrel vaulted ceiling with posts of iron and wood supporting the roof trusses.[3]


In 1875, some members of St. Mary's Chapel for Colored People in Foggy Bottom and their rector, the Rev. Alexander Crummell of New York City, left St. Mary's to found St. Luke's as the first independent black Episcopal church in Washington. St. Luke's was chartered as a Colored Episcopal Mission. Its neighborhood of Columbia Heights had numerous black families. Calvin T. S. Brent, generally considered to be Washington's first black architect, designed the church after an Anglican church in Coventry, England. Construction on the church began in 1876 and was completed in 1880.[3]

The first service was held on Thanksgiving Day 1879. Alexander Crummell served as rector until his retirement in 1894.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "St. Luke's Episcopal Church". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
  3. ^ a b c National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: St. Luke's Episcopal Church (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying photos, exterior and interior (32 KB)
  4. ^ "Clergy", St. Luke's Website
  5. ^ "St. Luke's Episcopal Church", African American Heritage Trail

External links[edit]