Capital View Baptist Church, located at the corner of Division Avenue and Ames Street, Northeast began on December 10, 1926 in a brand new subdivision known as “Capital View.” Seven men and women, including the esteemed John Whitelaw Lewis (pioneer of Negro banking in Washington, D.C. and builder of the Whitelaw Hotel) founded the Capital View Baptist Church. The Capital View Baptist Church was officially recognized by the Churches of the District of Columbia on April 19, 1927.
During its ninety one years of existence, the Capital View Baptist Church has had continuous development and growth under four pastors. The first pastor (also one of the founders), Reverend Charles H. Johnson, served from 1927 to 1937. During Reverend Johnson’s administration, the property on which the present church is located was negotiated for and the first building—19 Division Avenue, was constructed. It was also during this period that the Deacon Board, the Trustee Board, the Senior Choir, the Usher Board, the Women’s and Men’s Clubs, and the Sunday School were begun.
Reverend James Clarke Griffin, the second pastor, led the flock from 1937 to 1941. During Reverend Griffin’s administration, the church program was revitalized in the aftermath of the worldwide depression. Reverend Griffin chose zestful heads for the various departments of the church. During Reverend Griffin’s term, the Christian Endeavor Society was organized. In addition, a fine fellowship was developed with the churches throughout the city and the church became a member of the Baptist Convention. Further, during Reverend Griffin’s administration, a strenuous effort was made to liquidate the financial obligations of the church, and a special banking account was set up to pay the second mortgage. All except a few hundred dollars had been raised to finish the payment on the second trust, before Reverend Griffin accepted an army chaplain post.
Reverend Dr. Andrew Fowler, the third pastor, was appointed in March 1941. Originally intended to the lead the flock for one year, he held the position until his death on January 4, 2003—sixty-two years! All of the original groups were maintained during the administration of Reverend Fowler, while others were organized or founded. Further, during the first few years of Reverend Fowler’s tenure, the second and first trusts on the building were paid and mortgage debts were cleared.
During Reverend Fowler’s first thirty-six years, the present edifice evolved. Constructed for the amount of three hundred thirty thousand dollars ($330,000), the Superstructure was considered to be one of Reverend Fowler’s great achievements. Here are a few more of his achievements: the Junior Choir, the Sunday School Choir, the Youth Choir, the Church-wide Chorus, the Volunteer Chorus, the Women’s Chorus, and the Ensemble were founded and organized. The Pastor’s Aid Society, the Missionary Society and the Scholarship Committee were formed. These special events were organized and commenced to take place: the Teenage Tea, Fun Nights, Christmas Caroling throughout the Neighborhood, Daily Vacation Bible School, Rambler Rose Family Day, Stay at Home Tea, and Harvest Home.
Reverend Dr. John T. Fowler, the fourth and present Pastor, has held the position since March 2003. He is the son of the late Reverend Dr. Andrew Fowler, the third pastor. During Reverend Dr. John T. Fowler’s
administration, many of the original groups and programs have been maintained and continue to be implemented while others have been reorganized in addition to forming new ones.
Here are a few achievements that Reverend Dr. John T. Fowler is especially proud of: implementation of Food and Clothing Distributions, purchase of a new church van, refurbishment of the church’s interior (Bell Tower, Electrical System Upgrade, Kitchen Upgrade, and upgrade of the Hammond Concert Organ), installation of a new church roof, hosting a Satellite Senior Self-Help Office, the start of an Annual Senior’s/Community Breakfast and Annual Health Fair, designation of fifth Sundays as “Youth Day,” the creation of the Church Administration, Church Development, Evangelism, Finance, Fund Raising, Widow’s Mite, Health & Nutrition, Culinary, Performing Arts, Public Relations, and Technology/Media Ministries, the Young People’s Choir, the reform of the Youth and Sunday School Choirs, and the rebirth of Capital View’s Youth Program.