Saint Paul AUMP Church


Saint Paul AUMP Church


Saint Paul AUMP Church


Located at 401 I Street SE, Saint Paul African Union Methodist Protestant Church is one of the few surviving buildings from the predominantly African-American community that developed in the industrial area between Capitol Hill and the Washington Navy Yard. Saint Paul’s construction in 1924 reflects a significant period in the history of this working class community, which survived large-scale demolition and rebuilding in the 1950s before potentially being dispersed by massive redevelopment in the early twenty-first century. The church meets Criterion A because it is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad pattern of Washington, DC’s history.
Saint Paul was designed by R.C. Archer, who became Washington’s second African-American licensed architect. Archer’s long career was most distinguished for his church designs. Saint Paul was both his first important commission and his first church design in Washington.
Saint Paul is also significant as an outstanding example of a particular type of African-American house of worship. It was constructed as both the home of a newly-formed working class congregation and the first church of its denomination in the city. Saint Paul’s modest scale reflects the circumstances of its creation and its surrounding neighborhood, while its stylish façade reflects the pride of its congregation in their house of worship. Saint Paul retains this original façade with high degree of intactness and is the most intact church building of its type and era erected by an African-American congregation in the southeast quadrant west of the Anacostia River. It meets Criterion C because it exemplifies the distinctive characteristics of its era and building type as a house of worship for a modestly-sized, smaller denomination, working-class African-American congregation of the 1920s.





“Saint Paul AUMP Church,” Arthur Capper, accessed January 26, 2021,