Question for Washington D.C. Dopers and/or Christian Church

I need some information on one of the organizations there – National City Christian Church. All information you might have, good/bad/minor/major.

I want to do something called the Gethsemane Mission Year, and I will be sending off my application within the next few days. Because its for a full year and I’m from Illinois, the folks at home want to see what I am getting myself into (in terms of legitimacy mostly).

Also if anyone knows anything about the Christian Church (Disciplines of Christ) that would be great too. I’m Lutheran Missouri Synod, however, I could just as easily fit in in a non-denominational setting and am pretty easy-going in terms of worship practices.

Thanks for any and all help you can give. 'ppreciate it.


I live on Logan Circle, which is two blocks away from that church. I’ve walked past it hundreds of times and never seen anything happening there, I thought the building was vacant and unused. Maybe I’ve just never walked by at the right moment (i.e. Sunday morning). I’ll make my post even more worthless by saying I’m not a religious person at all.

Bump, at least.

Don’t want to freak you out – I had a few passes that were use or lose by Tuesday to the Washington Post’s archive that I might as well burn.

Almost every week they are hosting some community event in Washington - hit after hit in the Post’s Archives of Community Events and Community Calendar. The Washington Opera even holds events inside – it must be something.

Before I prejudice you, the last relevant article is see is that the NCCC Hosted a Christian conference::

5/22/04 B-1 Washington Post from Copious Amens and Advice; At Preaching Festival, Clergy Members Hear Sermons on Demands of the Pulpit

*Homiletics (the fancy word for preaching) in Washington, a gathering of about 800 mainline Christian clergy members from across the United States and Canada – one of the largest preaching conferences in the country….

Their sermons reflected on a major issue for today’s preachers: the often conflicting demands between their roles as chastisers and as caretakers, especially in difficult times. This is a tough time to be a preacher, a number of participants said. There’s plenty to preach about – from Iraq to same-sex marriage – but such meaty issues tend to divide and bruise the folks in the pews.

In the austere grandness of National City Christian Church in Northwest * ….

There were Pastors quoted there from everywhere frpm church the National Cathedral, to Grace Episcopal in Manhattan, I assume that they must have a good reputation and be accpeted by the in the know religious community to host such a conference.

With that in mind, in August 2003 the NCCC’s Pastor, the Rev. Alvin O’Neal Jackson was busted when the Post** found that over the past 18 months he had used 17 sermons of other Preachers w/o Attribution. National City later sold audiotapes of the series for $50. Later, it developed that a book he wrote on 9-11 apparently plagiarized another book on 9-11 and another, 1982 book. He had been a prominant 9-11 pastor voice for the city.

The Post in an editorial “As Many Have Said Before Me” 8/30/03) and in a series of articles **To Borrow a Phrase, There But for the Grace of God ** . . .(8/31/03), **Better Borrowed Than Boring ** (8/23/03) never takes religion seriously - but loves to play ‘gotcha’ so somewhat surprisingly [to me] gave him a boys will be boys pass: coming with the tone that all Sermons are like this – all borrow liberally from each other/it is the cultural of ministry – he should have been more careful but it was not that big a deal.

**8/18/03 B.01 Pastor Asks Congregants To Forgive 'Borrowing’ **
*“I am so very sorry for bringing embarrassment on this wonderful congregation,” the Rev. Alvin O’Neal Jackson told more than 200 worshippers at the 11 a.m. service of the downtown church, which is the flagship of the 800,000-member denomination known as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). "I apologize for casting aspersions against anyone in this congregation. . . . This won’t happen again.”

Many in the pews stood and applauded Jackson, 53, a charismatic preacher who holds the top elected post in the Disciples of Christ denomination and is credited with making his Thomas Circle congregation more welcoming to African Americans, Hispanics and homosexuals since his arrival there five years ago.

After the service, which included a passionate sermon by Jackson about the importance of forgiveness, scores of worshippers – and some pastors from other churches who had come to show their support - - greeted him with hugs or warm handshakes and words of encouragement.

In an interview yesterday, Jackson said that over the last 18 months he had used 16 sermons of Tewell’s and one by the Rev. John Buchanan, pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, without giving them credit. He said he is reviewing other sermons that may include material written by others and will give public credit if appropriate.

Jackson used Tewell’s material in a 12-part series that he preached last fall. National City later sold audiotapes of the series for $50.*

In a series of fallout stories from October 2003, it seems the National City Christian Church’s Pastor Alvin O. Jackson was in the middle of his 2 year term as moderator of the Disciples of Christ’s National Conference. So he was the highest elected official of the 789,000-member Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). But Jackson was forced to take a LOA and not even allowed to attend the national conference as the head.

**“Disciples World” a magazine apparently did most of the reporting that the Post dutifully plagiarized themselves [ :wink: ].

Again, to me, this points to a fairly well established and mainstream church – that they went on to host the Homiletics conference afterward seems to me to indicate no evil feelings linger - it was so Prominent and accepted that Jackson’s fall from grace was note/newsworthy and surprising. According to the NCCC website Jackson is still there as of 2004.

There was a lot of stuff on Dr. J. Warren Hastings who ran the church in the 50’s and Rev. Davis pastor in the 60’s-70’s - but I’m outta time and passes - good luck!

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is one of the mainline Protestant denominations, somewhat similar to Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and (not necessarily Southern) Baptists. They’re fairly liberal at least in some ways (for instance, they’ve never had a problem with women as ministers), but individual members & congregations probably range from quite liberal to quite conservative. Some of the churches named “____ Christian Church” are affiliated with the Disciples of Christ; others are completely independent.

This is from the NCCC site you linked to, and this is the Disciples of Christ home page.