Before slavery was abolished and while the city of Washington was still in its infancy, Galbraith A.M.E. Zion Church was organized. The Church grew out of the efforts of the late Bishop
Singleton T. Jones, then pastor of the Zion Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church in
southwest Washington. He extended the borders of Zion by establishing a mission
in the northwest section of the city. In 1843, with a meeting in the home of
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Payne, the mission was established.
Mission struggled and fluctuated for a period of eight years until its
reorganization in 1852, under the leadership of Rev. R.H.G. Dyson. There were
few facilities for the education of black children in those days so the Church served a dual
purpose. Galbraith's cornerstone was laid in 1853, the first to be laid by the
Colored Masons of Washington. Rev. Dyson selected the name "Galbraith A.M.E.
Zion Chapel" in memory of Bishop George Galbraith, and the dedication was held
in March 1854.
who served the Mission and L Street location were Rev. Abraham Cole, Rev. J.A.
Williams, Rev. J.P. Hammer,
Rev. James A. Jones, Rev. John Price, Rev. Jacob Anderson, Rev. Alfred Day, Rev.
James Stanton, Rev. J. L. Mulligan, Rev. Nathaniel Green, Rev. Sweers, Rev.
Jessie S. Coles, Rev. I.R. Johnson, Rev. P. L. Cuyler, Rev. S.F. Dixon, Rev. J.
Armstrong, Rev. J.N. Abbey and Rev. J.H. Anderson.
The present property at 1114 Sixth
Street, NW, was purchased from the German Methodist Church in 1885, after the
Church outgrew the L street building. A few of the pioneers joined in the march
from the old L Street Church to the new Galbraith A. M.E. Zion Church which
seated 450 parishioners at that time.
For more than 150 years under the
leadership of outstanding pastors of our denomination, Galbraith has continued
to grow. Galbraith's development is a testimony to the fact that with God all
things are possible. Pastors of the Galbraith congregation include Rev.
Sylvester L. Corrothers, Rev. William Speight, Rev. Daniel C. Pope, Rev. James L. White, Rev. Frank Roberts, Rev. Cornelius W. Turns, Rev. Stephen P. Spottswood, Rev. J. Oliver Hart, Rev. William M. Patterson and Rev. Fredrick B. Massey, Sr.
current pastor, Rev. Dr. Myrtle Bowen, was appointed on Sunday, May 31, 2009, at
the 180th Philadelphia/Baltimore Annual Conference.
Galbraith is blessed with a renewed
sense of community consciousness. The church's Outreach Ministry serves
clothing, food, and spiritual sustenance to the community's homeless and those
in need. Its success is sustained through regular donations and partnering with
the ministerial staff, area clubs, Greek organizations, and volunteers.