First Union Baptist Church, located in the 400 block of 3rd Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., was organized on December 1, 1954 by nine sisters and brothers of the church. Those dedicated members sought guidance from God and elected the late Reverend Luther N. Gause as the Pastor. Under Pastor Gause’s leadership, First Union Baptist Church relocated to a much larger facility located at 200 11th Street, N.E., Washington, DC. After the purchase of the new facility, Reverend Gause and the congregation unanimously voted to change the church name from “First Union Baptist Church,” to “Galilee Baptist Mission.”
Due to failing health, Rev. Gause asked Reverend William H. Bennett, Sr., a son of Israel Baptist Church, to minister unto the members. On April 21, 1956, Reverend Gause resigned as the Pastor of Galilee Baptist Mission and, after the members agreed by voting in May 1956, Reverend William H. Bennett, Sr. became the new Pastor of Galilee Baptist Mission.
Reverend Bennett was installed as the Pastor on May 13, 1956. In March 1957, the Recognition Council held a meeting and the name was again changed to Galilee Baptist Church. Reverend Bennett served as pastor of the Galilee Baptist Church for 22 years and nine months. With so many souls coming to Christ, and space being limited, a new church site was purchased at 2252 Minnesota Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC. The membership began worship at the new site in December 1977, and a cornerstone was laid in July 1978 for a new building.
Reverend Bennett retired as the Pastor of Galilee Baptist Church in January 1979. A church meeting was held in February 1979, and Reverend Dr. Eugene Weathers was elected the Pastor of Galilee Baptist Church. Reverend Weathers preached his first sermon as Pastor on March 4, 1979. In 1979, a building expansion project began at the Minnesota Avenue location and was completed approximately one year later. With the tremendous increase in the membership, an early morning service was added at 7:30 a.m. and the 11:00 a.m. services were moved to the Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C. in order to accommodate the “multitude” of worshippers.
Following the vision that God had given him, Reverend Weathers, along with the leadership of the church, purchased the edifice at 2101 Shadyside Avenue, Suitland, Maryland in early 1990. Our first official move into this new facility was in October of that same year. This blessed expansion produced two sites for one church: Galilee Baptist Church at 2252 Minnesota Avenue, Washington, DC and 2101 Shadyside Avenue, Suitland, Maryland. Reverend Weathers served as Pastor of Galilee for 18 years and 11 months. Reverend Weathers resigned as the Pastor of Galilee Baptist Church on February 24, 1998.
On Saturday, October 23, 1999, the members of Galilee Baptist Church extended the call to Reverend Dr. Lloyd T. McGriff to become Pastor. The following Sunday, Pastor McGriff brought a word of encouragement with his first sermon, “Count It All Joy,” challenging the people to put aside differences and move forward. In January 2000, the Rev. Dr. Lloyd T. McGriff became the fourth pastor in Galilee’s 57-year history. The early themes of Rev. McGriff’s pastorate have been “A Church Doing a New Thing” and “A Church Determined to Grow for Christ.”
Galilee, under the pastorate of Pastor McGriff, has restructured the New Members Class, Prison Ministry, holds three Sunday services, developed the Discipleship Institute, Substance Abuse Ministry, Couples Ministry, Singles Ministry, Nursery Ministry, Youth Choir, the Good Samaritan Ministry (Benevolence) and organized the Galilee Community Development (GCDC), established to promote financial literacy, credit worthiness, and affordable housing specifically to improve those who need help.
Galilee has three Worship Services on Sunday; 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Maryland and 9:00 a.m. in the District of Columbia. Pastor McGriff has ordained 11 ministers to the gospel and has installed four as Pastors of their own church.
Galilee has secured 50 acres of land in Upper Marlboro, Maryland where a new worship center will be constructed in the future. Our theme for the campaign is “Building By Faith – Expanding for the Future."
2252 Minnesota Avenue, SE - Washington, DC 20020
200 11th Street, NE - Washington, DC
Galilee - Shadyside
2101 Shadyside Avenue - Suitland, MD 20746
Future Site - 50 Acres
5800 Woodyard Road - Upper Marlboro, MD 20772