Third Century Challenge

How are we doing on the Third Century Challenge?

On March 15, 2015, we celebrated the completion of the once-in-a-generation renovations to our 1923 building. These renovations have been financed by an ongoing capital campaign: the Third Century Challenge. As of October 6, 2015, members and friends of the church have pledged $9,154,588. As of that date, we’ve received $6,835,223 (75% of the total).

In addition to ongoing pledges, some generous members, now deceased, made sizable bequests to the campaign; their gifts alone totaled almost $1 million.

Altogether, 346 pledgers have fulfilled your pledges, making gifts totaling $2,881,106. Of the other pledgers, 212 have fulfilled between 70% and 99%; 200 have fulfilled between 30% and 70%; and 73 pledgers have fulfilled less than 30%. We're hoping to catch everyone up so that we've all paid at least 70% of our pledges.

We are very grateful to all who have pledged and continue to make their payments regularly or have finished paying!

If you are a new member, or your financial situation has improved over the past few years, or you have not yet had the opportunity to pledge to the future of this church, you can do so here.

What’s next?

With changes and additions to the renovations, our total project comes to $11.5 million. Because all of the gifts pledged were not in hand when we started the renovations, the church took out a $5 million building loan, which we need to pay down to $2.5 million by April 2017, when the remaining balance converts to a mortgage. By that time, we will need to have collected 95% of the currently outstanding balance remaining on your pledges.

That is why we continue to fundraise. All gifts and pledges are always welcome!

What did the renovations encompass?

Beautiful, light-filled classrooms for our children; new offices for staff that improve communication and interaction; window, gutter, and roof repairs; a commercial-grade kitchen, which will be available for church functions as well as improve our rental capabilities; a collection system in the northwest plaza providing grey water systems for church restrooms; additional restrooms on all floors; improved access to the education level from the church entrance on 16th Street; a more welcoming entry and handicapped ramp; our first elevator, providing access to all floors for everyone; a new cradle for our historic Revere “abolition” bell; and more.

We could not do everything we wanted. As anyone who has done a home renovation knows, priorities had to be made. However, after a decade of struggling to make ends meet in the late 1990s and many years of neglecting the church building, we had grown enough by 2011 to mount a successful capital campaign and building renovation and we now have a much larger and vital congregation.

The Annual Generosity Campaign—which all members are asked to support—provides most of our yearly budget and is augmented by anticipated rental incomes now possible with our improved building. These rental opportunities include a charter school, which will use the RE classrooms and kitchen during the week, starting in the school year of 2015-16. With these revenue streams, we expect to be able to deal with building maintenance needs in a much timelier manner. There will also be opportunities for congregation members who are DIYers to help with special buildings and grounds projects—stay tuned!


Want to help build the future of the building we love? Contact Executive Director Katie Loughary (; 202-332-5266) or Laurie Lester (