Our History

A church dedicated to the Great Commission

Fort Foote Baptist was established following a survey in 1955 by the Congress Heights Baptist Church of Southeast Washington.

The survey showed that there was a need for a church in the Fort Washington area. The Fort Foote Mission was soon started and created the Fort Foote Baptist Chapel. It’s first worship service was held on Easter Sunday in 1956 in a converted fruit storage facility with the Reverend R. Carol Bruce presiding. 

Soon after, the name was changed to Fort Foote Baptist Church and a sanctuary was constructed. As the congregation steadily grows, Fort Foote Baptist Church continues to find additional ways to share the good news of Jesus Christ while serving the local and global community. Our vision is to be a Christ-centered church that shapes the spiritual, academic, economic, and technological development of God’s people.

Some Cool Facts​

Fort Foote by the numbers




Meals Provided


Scholarships Awarded

Since the church was established, seven pastors have served as the shepherd. The seventh and current pastor is Reverend Dr. Joseph W. Lyles. He was called to the church on April 8, 1990.​

An Anointed Pastor​

Dr. Lyles is the anointed Pastor of Fort Foote Baptist Church in Fort Washington, Maryland. He and his lovely wife, Sheila Marie Lyles, have led and ministered this church for over 30 years.

Dr. Lyles was born in the District of Columbia and was educated in Waldorf, Maryland. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia and received his Masters and Doctorate of Divinity from Howard University in Washington, DC.

He received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at the age of 16 while participating in a religious camp meeting in Damascus, Maryland. He has been a devout servant of the Lord since that time.

Favorite Scripture

Dr. Lyles’ favorite scripture is Philippians 3:13-14“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

“If you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?”