Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church ("Metropolitan AME Church") is a historic church located at 1518 M Street, N.W., in downtown Washington, D.C. It affiliates with the African Methodist Episcopal Church religious denomination. The congregation was founded in 1838 as Union Bethel (Metropolitan) A. M. E. Church. In 1880, John W. Stevenson was appointed by Bishop Daniel Payne to be pastor of the church for the purpose of building a new church, which would become Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. The cornerstone was laid in September, 1881. However, Stevenson's methods were upsetting to some of his congregation, and Stevenson was removed before the building was finished after asking for a salary that was deemed too high. The new building was dedicated on May 30, 1886 and was constructed by architect George Dearing. According to the church, it is oldest continuously black-owned property in the original 10-mile parcel of the District. The funerals of abolitionist Frederick Douglass (1895), the first African American U.S. Senator, Blanche Bruce (1898), and civil-rights activist Rosa Parks (2005) were held in the church. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In May 2010, the National Trust for Historic Preservation added the building to its list of 11 of America's Most Endangered Places due to water damage and other structural problems requiring $11 million in renovations. U.S. President Barack Obama attended services here on Sunday, January 20, 2013, before his second inauguration.
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Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church
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