The Web site for Scripture Cathedral, one of the city’s most prominent black churches, describes it as “the church in the heart of the city, with the people of the city in our hearts.”
But like many D.C. churches, Scripture Cathedral has watched members of its congregation depart for the suburbs in recent years, and now it may be planning to follow.
Led by Bishop C.L. Long, Scripture Cathedral has been in the Shaw neighborhood for more than 25 years, long before dirt was ever turned on the convention center down the street. It has hosted peace vigils after bouts of neighborhood violence, Thanksgiving dinners for the poor and aid drives for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
The church has also provided a place of solace for prominent black Americans when other organizations would not. A crowd of more than 1,000 greeted O.J. Simpson there less than a year after he was acquitted of murder charges. Months after being arrested on drug charges by the FBI, then-mayor Marion Barry worshipped at the church while in search of a path away from substance abuse.