On Sunday, January 12, 1975 at 3:30 p.m., the Reverend James Edward Lewis was led by the Holy Spirit to found a new church with the name “Resurrection” being earlier conceived. The first worship service of the Resurrection Baptist Church Mission was held at the Assumption Parish Hall, 218 Highview Place, Southeast, Washington, D. C., where sixteen members joined this new flock.
On Wednesday, July 2, 1975, the Church Mission met at the home of Deacon and Sister Robert L. Hicks for the purpose of organizing into a regular Baptist Church. The organization service and procedure were led by the Reverend Andrew Fowler, Catechizer, and Pastor of the Capital View Baptist Church. By the date of this service, the Lord had blessed the Church with thirty-four members – eighteen of whom were accepted by letter, ten by experience of grace, four by baptism and two as candidates for baptism. Those persons in membership during the organization of the Church were as follows:
Rev. J. E. Lewis, Daisy Bailey, Douglas Bailey, Virginia Bailey, Alice Bankston, Willie Bankston, Minnie Carter, Shirley Chick, Norman Hardrick, Martha Hicks, Roberts Hicks, Seannell Hicks, Alice Hoskins, Kenneth Hoskins, Dolly Kilgore, Jack E. Kilgore, Benita Lewis, Benzena Lewis, Deacon Robert D. Lewis, Florine Moseley, Gwendolyn Ross, Otis Ross, Sherry Ross, James Stringfield, Janat Stringfield, Denyce Taylor, Catherine Thomas, James Walker, Jr., James Walker, Sr.., Lorraine Walker, Malcolm Walker, Joe Wester, Mary H. Wester and William Vaughn.
Following the organization of the Church, Resurrection proceeded with her Recognition Service, at which time she was officially recognized as a Baptist Church by the Washington Community of Regular Baptist Churches. The Recognition Service, also under the direction of the Reverend Andrew Fowler, was held at the Capitol View Baptist Church on Saturday, August 16, 1975.
Prayer Services were organized in the homes of various members. The following boards and auxiliaries were organized: the Deacon Board, Deaconess Board, Trustee Board, Sunday School, Finance Committee, Senior Choir, Junior Choir, Senior Usher Board, Intermediate Usher Board and the Junior Usher Board.
On November 16th of the same year, a house at 3501 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, S. E. was purchased and remodeled. The church grew in membership and established new boards and auxiliaries between 1976 and 1984. New boards included the Missionary Circle, the J. E. Lewis Singers, the Children’s, Young Adult and Mass Choirs, the Pastor’s Aid Club, the Committee on Youth Activities, the Nominating Committee, the Nurses Unit, the Recording Ministry, the Youth Fellowship Guild, the Peace Club, the Bus Ministry, and the Junior Deacon Board. The Church also joined the local Congress of Christian Education. Later, the Church organized a Board of Christian Education to plan and administrate the total Christian Education program of the Church.
In 1984, Pastor Lewis told the congregation it was time to build a new church. The final church worship service in the old church was held on Sunday, April 8, 1984. The official ground breaking service for the new edifice was held on Saturday, April 17, 1984. On Saturday, May 26, 1985 the church began to worship in its new sanctuary, the current edifice.
In June of 1994, Pastor Lewis announced his plans to retire. During the absence of a pastor, Rev. Christopher Nichols and other supply preachers filled the pulpit as necessary. A Pulpit Committee was selected to start a search for a new pastor. The Pulpit committee introduced Rev. Bennie Johnson to the membership, and on Sunday, May 5, 1996, Rev. Johnson proclaimed God’s Word at the 11:00 a.m. worship service. The congregation met and voted to call him to the pastorate. On June, 2, 1996, Rev. Johnson began as Pastor-Elect, accompanied by First Lady Flossie M. Johnson and their three sons, Bennie Fleming, Brian Ramon and Brandon Joshua Johnson. Rev. Johnson was installed as the second Pastor of Resurrection on Sunday, September 22, 1996. The Rev. Delmas Cooper, Pastor of Mt. Horeb Baptist Church, preached the installation sermon.
Pastor Johnson shared his vision for the church. He introduced to the church “Moments with the Children,” and “Passing of the Peace” greeting. The theme of the church was “Unity,” and each worship service closed with us singing our Unity song. A monthly newsletter “The RBC Vision” was established to keep the church informed. The Bus Ministry was revived with the purchase of a new bus to pick up members needing transportation to and from church. Under Pastor Johnson we conducted worships and retreats for the ministries of the church. He birthed the Deacon and Deaconess Partnership Ministry for the church. He implemented a plan to pay off the church mortgage in seven years instead of fifteen years.
Founding Pastor Dr. J. Edward Lewis went home to be with the Lord on October 4, 2000. The home going celebration was held at Resurrection on October 11, 2000.
After seven years of serving us, sad news came again to the Resurrection family when Pastor Bennie Johnson, committed and humble servant of God, was suddenly called from labor to rest on Friday, November 7, 2003. Home going services were held at the church on November 13th and 14th.
As we proceeded with the search for a new pastor, Emeritus Pastor of Peace Baptist Church, Rev. Arie Mangrum served us as Interim Pastor.
On Sunday, December 19, 2004 the Pulpit Committee introduced the first candidate for Pastor of Resurrection Baptist Church, Rev. Everett R. Pierson. After Rev. Pierson’s sermon and the close of the worship service, the membership voted to receive Rev. Pierson as third Pastor. Accompanying him were his wife, First Lady Deaconess Sandra R. Pierson, their two daughters, Adri’Anne and Tyler Marie Pierson, and their son, Jon-Elliot Robinson Pierson along with other relatives and friends. Pre- installation services were held at Resurrection Sunday, March 13th during the 10:50 a.m. worship service. Rev. Ivan G. Traylor, Associate Minister of the New Birth Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas was the guest preacher. That afternoon, the pastoral installation was concluded at the Rehoboth Baptist Church where Rev. Vincent R. Palmer was Pastor. The congregation from Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Northwest Washington, DC accompanied their pastor and guest preacher, Rev. Terry D. Streeter for the occasion.
Over the last twelve years, Resurrection has continued to grow under Pastor Pierson’s leadership. We have been continually blessed in this ministry. We were blessed to have our mortgage burning service in 2008.
For several years we incorporated a Sunday morning 8:00 a. m. worship service and the 11:00 a.m. worship. At this time our regular Sunday morning worship service is held at 10:00 a.m. We have church prayer and open bible study on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday noon prayer service, and several additional ministries evolved in an effort to extend our service to the church and community.
We provided missionary aide to help the churches in Birmingham, Alabama and Port-au-Prince, Haiti as they continue to rebuild their lives from the deviation after the storms of recent years. We provided assistance to churches in New Jersey and New York, who were in great need of winter clothing as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Resurrection continues to serve the community and her needs. Our evangelism outreach now includes the social network with our own website and facebook page.
Under Pastor Pierson’s leadership we have representation with the National Baptist Convention, USA Inc., the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc International, Mount Bethel Congress of Christian Education, and the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America.
During Pastor Pierson’s leadership the church has changed in many ways including changes within the membership. In spite of the changes, the congregation continues to grow both in numbers and in spirituality. Because of God’s great mercies and his faithfulness, we were kept during one of the worse national recessions. The church was spared and we experienced no real lasting impact of the recession. Families continue to be healed and hearts are changed through the awesome leading, teaching and preaching of our anointed Pastor.
We provide several ministry efforts within the church and out to the community as we seek to meet the needs of the people and influence our community and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Christ. This house of prayer is sitting in the midst of Ward 8, the South East corridor of the Nation’s Capital. Great change is happening and we believe that the light of Resurrection Baptist Church will affect some of the changes for years to come as we continue our mission which is to proclaim God’s Word, stand on God’s Word, believe God’s Word; to worship in a way that changes us and others; to develop Christ-centered leaders who lead by example; to give excellence in everything at all times; to be willing to step out in faith; to maintain the harmony within the body of Christ at all times; to expect all the congregation to participate in every ministry of the church; to continue to practice God’s love for another; to give generously of God’s resources as a Church and as individuals; to engage in evangelism with enthusiasm.
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness! Dr. Pierson and the Resurrection family believe that God is able to do more abundantly exceedingly above anything that we think, ask, or do! We continue to celebrate the faithfulness of God. Our praise is “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! He died; He was buried; He arose; He’s Alive! He’s Alive! He’s Alive! Praising God without Limits!
April 17 2016