Historic Galbraith AMEZ Church (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)
Historic Galbraith AMEZ Church (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)

Like a solitary lighthouse destined to shine its light no matter what comes its way, a stalwart collective whose congregants have withstood the test of time has reached the milestone of 175 years of service to the community. And to mark the landmark occasion, pay tribute to their ancestors and to officially lay claim to a future they believe will be even brighter, Galbraith African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church in Northwest has been hosting a weeklong series of events highlighting their rarely-achieved anniversary.

Sustained for generations by a long-revered family of faith often described as a place “Where Love is Lived” and currently led by the Rev. Pharaad B. Masah El, pastor, the celebration will conclude with an anniversary gala Friday, Nov. 30 at the Camelot of Upper Marlboro.

“Galbraith has continued to survive despite gentrification and the significantly, devastating, numbers of closed, church doors in the District of Columbia,” said Masah El about the church built in 1800 named Zion — then part of the white Methodist Episcopal Church.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We promise to share more from some of the amazing stories of courage and sacrifice that have allowed Galbraith to keep its doors open and ministries alive. But in a series of news reports, we will examine throughout 2019 the dozens of Black houses of worship in the greater Washington area that have had to either leave the District for venues outside of the city or shutter their windows altogether.

We want to uncover the reasons behind why an estimated 30-plus Black congregations have been forced to move on, move out or move over. Send your thoughts, ideas, concerns and suggestions of coverage, subject line “BLACK CHURCHES” to D. Kevin McNeir (Washington Informer editor), mcneirdk@washingtoninformer.com

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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