Our History




Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ

Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ is a progressive Christian community located in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C.  The congregation is called by faith, led by hope and united by love to build strong and committed disciples for Jesus Christ.  The congregation mirrors in many ways the multicultural nature of the surrounding metropolitan area.  The diversity of members’ spiritual and cultural origins sustains a robust fellowship and mission life.  The resulting exposure to different cultures and religious backgrounds creates a spirit of acceptance and requires openness to the knowledge, ideas and perspectives embodied in members’ experiences.

The progressive spirit of Peoples Church has always made it special.  In 1890, a relentless band of Christian men and women became so dissatisfied with the conditions in their Home Church, Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church, that they formed a new congregation, The Reform Club of Asbury.  These champions of free thought and independent action in service to Jesus Christ found their ideals embodied in the principles of the Congregational denomination.

On March 6, 1891, Peoples Congregational Church, 175 members strong, was born.

The new Church conducted its early worship services in Nash Hall at 708 O Street, N.W. Washington, D.C.  In 1894, the first Church building was constructed at 628 M Street, N.W.   Washington, D.C.  After World War II, as its membership continued to grow, a new Sanctuary was needed.  In April 1954, Peoples Church conducted its first worship service at the current location at 4704 13th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C.   Later the Elmes Center was constructed to accommodate the congregation and the needs of the community.  A new Sanctuary was constructed and completed in 1991; and today remains as a witness to the legacy and commitment of Peoples Church to the community.

As Christians, we are bound together as a community under the Covenant of Peoples Church; and we are guided by the spiritual leadership of our Minister.  At Peoples Church, everyone is welcome, without regard to gender, ethnicity, orientation, age or physical challenges.




Rev. Brandon Harris, Tenth Senior Minister 2019-Present

Rev. Dr. Michael C. Murphy, Ninth Senior Minister 2009-2014

Rev. Dr. A. Knighton Stanley, Eighth Senior Minister 1968-2006

Rev. Grady E. Poulard, Seventh Senior Minister 1964-1967

Rev. Arthur Fletcher Elmes, Sixth Senior Minister 1926-1963

Rev. J. Francis Gregory, Fifth Senior Minister 1914-1917

Rev. Arthur G. C. Randall, Fourth Senior Minister 1912-1914

Rev. Louis B. Moore, Third Senior Minister 1902-1912

Rev. R. T. Nixon, Second Senior Minister 1900-1902

Rev. John H. Daily, First Senior Minister 1891-1900