Lomax African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church

Historical Significance

First organized as Wesley Zion Church and later called Little Zion Church, Lomax AME Zion Church was originally established in Freedman's Village in 1866. The church was relocated to Nauck, Arlington County in 1874. A church committee led by Wallace Boswell, Sr., chairman of the trustee board, found a site for the church and purchased the property for seventy-five dollars. In 1876, T.H. Lomax was elected Bishop of the AME Zion Church and assigned to the Washington, D.C. area. The Little Zion Church changed its name to Lomax AME Zion Church shortly after his arrival. A second church was built in 1887, and the present structure on 24th Road South is the third church, built in 1922.

Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech in the parking lot of Lomax AME Zion Church as part of his famous "March on Washington" in 1963. In 1966, the church expanded and a Christian Education Department, consisting of twenty-two rooms, was added to the building. Today, there remains an active church community, and in 2004, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Along with Mt. Zion, it is the oldest church in Arlington constructed by a black congregation. 

Physical Description

Lomax AME Zion Church is a late Gothic Revival-style structure with an asphalt-shingled front-gable roof, two towers and brick buttresses along the facade and side elevations. The church is located at 2704 24th Road South in Arlington County, Virginia, bounded by South Shirlington Road to the west and South Glebe Road to the east. The church grounds also include a cemetery dating from around 1894 and a parsonage built in 1951.

Geographical and Contact Information

2704 24th Road South
Arlington, Virginia
22206
Phone: 703-979-3738

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Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Lomax African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed November 22, 2017, http://aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/248.

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