A place where people from all over the Shaw district in the District of Columbia can find religion, the Springfield Baptist Church stands as a place that promotes loving each other and the worship of God. The Springfield Baptist Church was founded on November 17, 1939, by Jefferson and Annie Mae Yeldell, Mr. J.D. Mobley, Mr. J.R. Carter and Mrs. Lettie Eddleman (Official). Two main sites have been set up to provide information about the church: their Facebook and their site. Upon entering the church’s main website, the site greeted me with a giant picture that says “Join Us” along with the church’s name and underneath it says “A People and A Place of Worship, Wellness, Wholeness and Wisdom”(Springfield).
The message that the church is trying to promote is very clear, and there is no mistaking it; however, the message comes off as a bit abrasive since it takes up most of the initial screen. After I had been finished looking at the blunt picture, I found that the main page has links to donating, directions, services, history, photos, and membership (Springfield). There is also two embedded google maps that have the locations of the two different buildings that the church owns; one is in D.C., and the other is in Maryland about a forty minute drive from American University to get there (Springfield). While exploring the website, I found any “About Us” section that had links to more information about the current pastor, the mission statement, the church’s values and a photo gallery (Springfield). The church is currently run by Reverend Doctor C. Que Hickerson, and his page outlines his past accomplishments such as successfully running three different congregations.
The site also has a quote that is said to motivate Doctor Hickerson from Mark 10: 45 that states “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Springfield). This quote is interesting because it is stating that even though humanity is so great, God intended for us to help each other and give back to those who are less fortunate rather than putting each other into a state of servitude. This idea outlines a side of Christianity that many people overlook in today’s society. Christianity is supposed to promote the spread love and comradeship and not hatred or separation, which is unfortunate because many people see the religion as a place for hate due to the issues surrounding radical religious groups and the intense controversy over homosexuality.
However, the pastor is trying to promote that he and the church are meant to make people feel love and the warmth of other people and God. The church’s values encompass intangible aspects such as love, faith, and hope while at the same time providing knowledge about real life issues such as financial integrity and accountability, debt reduction, teamwork, and effective communication, which fits into the previously mentioned subject of being a servant to other humans. An interesting aspect of this site is that there is a page for a photo gallery. However, the gallery only has three photos located in it and of these three photos one is blurry and the other two are of the congregation. All of them have no captions, so it leaves the viewer wondering why these pictures were chosen and why there are so few. The Facebook page has a lot more pictures and day to day information.
Furthermore, the Facebook page seems to be a great addition to the church because it allows them to communicate easily with people, add essential information, plan events, and promote the church on social media. On their main Facebook page, the church has some of the necessary information that was already mentioned. However, two important details that were shown on the main page was that the church is consistent at responding quickly to any Facebook messages and that the church has a rating of 4.6 (Official).
The ability to quickly reply to people shows that the Facebook site is actively used, which means that all of the information on the page is accurate. Their active attention also indicates that church wants to actively engage with people through new methods, which allows them to talk to people who may have never even thought of visiting this place until they saw a post appear in their feed. This aspect will allow the church to grow even faster, which would explain why their page has been liked by over 650 people (Official). The great reviews the church has received are also important because over 50 people have given reviews of the church and the average is a 4.6. This figure shows that not only are people satisfied with the preacher and his message but also that the church is changing people’s
attitudes by empowering them as on review said: “Anytime I am weak I look for your message to strengthen me” (Official). Contrary to the church’s main site, the Facebook page is filled with tons of videos and photos many of which have captions that give context to what is happening in them. These pictures and videos show people coming together in Shaw and loving each other through the word of God, which can inspire people to get involved to not only feel the love but also to help give back to their community through donations or changing peoples’ attitudes.
The Springfield Baptist Church has become a center for the community to connect and spread a message of love rather than hate, which has helped keep the Shaw district an unique aspect of the area.