For a short but wonderful period of my life I lived in NE Washington DC and I would occasionally walk up Rhode Island Ave and marvel at the variety of places of worship. No two churches on this street are alike. They come and go, they find their home in any type of structure, and their names are different compared to what I was used to seeing in various parts of Canada where I've lived. My plan was to photograph the Rhode Island Ave churches but I moved away and it never happened....until I found myself back in town for a few days in November 2017. And so here they are, all of the churches on Rhode Island Ave Northeast, from SW to NE, shot on the afternoon of November 9, 2017. Plus a couple that were off the beaten path.
GREATER MT CALVARY HOLY CHURCH
Mt Calvary is huge, and its various endeavors occupy a full city block or more. In fact, the city symbolically named the 600 block of Rhode Island Ave NE, Mt Calvary Way, in honor of the church, which has now been there for over 30 years.
Front entrance to the church.
Mt Calvary Community Center, complete with basketball court and barbershop.
I have no idea what these silos could be for other than storing grain for the apocalypse.
Outreach ministries office.
BAPTIZED BELIEVERS CHURCH
Baptized Believers is not on Rhode Island Ave, but it's close. The notary van caught my attention.
Also does shoe repair!
The former bishop and his friend welcomed me in when they saw me taking pictures.
We spoke for hours about transitions in church participation, religion and its role in communities.
ISLE OF PATMOS BAPTIST CHURCH
Lines and symmetry on the Isle of Patmos front facade.
View of Isle of Patmos from a few steps back.
They have their own street.
IGLESIA LA LUZ DEL MUNDO
I assume this is the parsonage or something.
They could consider getting restorationist with their lion statues too.
For those who do not have a basic grasp of the Spanish language.
HISTORIC BEREAN BAPTIST CHURCH
This was the first spot where someone asked why I was photographing all these churches, and if I had some anti-church agenda.
Previously a bank.
They have a bus.
GOSPEL FAITH MISSION INTERNATIONAL
The medical center and the church have the same color scheme but I am not sure if this is intentional.
GFMI started in Nigeria but now has over 2000 churches around the world.
JUDAH FAMILY CHRISTIAN CENTER
"The idea of the ministry started out as a joke on family vacation..." See their website.
PLEASANT GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH
Can't find their website but I can find many other Pleasant Grove Baptist Church websites. For example.
Thank you beautiful lady waiting for the bus.
INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL PEOPLE
This was one of the main inspirations for this project. For those who don't know, IHOP is an American pancake restaurant and at one point the pancake IHOP filed a lawsuit against the prayer IHOP.
Church + auxiliary building.
Barbecues, of course.
ST FRANCIS DE SALES CATHOLIC CHURCH
Based on the building, these guys have been around a while.
Old school signage.
I don't know what this is but it's pretty.
TEMPLO DE IGLESIA EVANGELICA MISIONERA APOSTOLES Y PROFETAS
I'm embarrassed to say I had to look up "profetas". It means prophet, not profit.
NEW BIRTH OUTREACH & DELIVERANCE MINISTRIES
Small, neighborhood storefront church.
EVANGEL MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Like some other churches on this street, their main webpage is a Facebook page.
The only sign with comedy.
Damien Ministries is not actually a church. But they are church-inspired. Their focus is service towards people with HIV and AIDS.
WORLD OUTREACH, RESTORATION AND DELIVERANCE MINISTRIES
THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD CHURCH
Another church with little to no web presence.
RISING SUN BAPTIST CHURCH
EVANGELISTIC HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
...and the same cross-dove logo.
Pretty sure even I could do better (graffiti) than this.
MOUNTAIN OF FIRE AND MIRACLES MINISTRIES
VERDADERA BAPTIST CHURCH
Originally, the other half of this project was to photograph the churches on 16th St NW, and compare and contrast them with the Rhode Island Ave churches. That will have to wait for another day.
If you're interested in inner city American churches there is a great book called How the Other Half Worships by Camilo Jose Vergara. In it he documents churches from the 1980s to 2000s, often photographing the same structure (but not necessarily the same church) over decades.
All pictures taken with a Fujifilm XT2 and 16mm f1.4 lens.