108 Year Old Roof Replaced for Free During DC Solar Installation at Randall Memorial UMC

“The Community Purchasing Alliance enabled my church to get a new roof on our building, and I believe it is divine... We have a miracle.”
— -Rev. Dr. Brian Jackson at Randall Memorial United Methodist Church in DC.

Team members of CPA Co-op recently had the chance to meet with leaders of Randall Memorial to learn more about their deep roots in Northeast DC as well as their 108 year old roof that was (not surprisingly) leaking and in need of constant repair after a century of use. 

Randall Memorial United Methodist Church was founded in June of 1912 in Northeast DC. Standing in their beautiful sanctuary, one cannot help but imagine the thousands of worship services, meals, acts of kindness, choral concerts, assemblies that have taken place under their roof.

Watch the video below to learn more about how a 108 Year Old Church (with a 108 year old roof!) received a free new roof during their solar installation with CPA Co-op.

Lifelong member Al Cook was the first to greet the CPA team and offer us a tour of the church. As you can see from the video above, Al’s enthusiasm for Randall Memorial is wonderfully compelling.

Al introduced us to the head of trustees Joanne Johnson who told us about the countless Sunday mornings she spent emptying buckets of water in the sanctuary and leading contractors up to attempt to repair their damaged 108 year old roof.

CPA’s Director of Solar Programs Joe Naroditsky recalls noticing the buckets during a visit to Randall Memorial just before Thanksgiving: “I remember walking in the sanctuary and members of the church were filling baskets of food to handout to those in need in the neighborhood. Right next to their workstation were the buckets filled with water from the damaged roof. I thought what they are doing is the true work of community, and every dollar going towards fixing that roof is a dollar not going towards filling those baskets.” 


Bernice Bartee, another trustee of the church told Joe and the CPA team that many organizations have scammed them in the past, making it difficult for leaders at Randall Memorial to trust anyone who offers their services. It is no surprise then that Joanne and others initially met the Community Purchasing Alliance team with skepticism:

 “Are they going to take our money? Are they going to try to steal our church?”  They asked.

To build trust with the leaders of Randall Memorial, CPA partnered with the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) to credential us The conference invited several UMC church leaders to a meeting at Foundry UMC. Foundry--found in the heart of Northwest DC and a century older than Randall Memorial--had already undertaken a solar project with CPA Co-op, and their leaders were eager to share their success story with CPA Co-op so that other members of their conference might benefit from our services.


The Rev. Dr. Brian Jackson of Randall Memorial attended the meeting. There he learned that Washington, DC has some of the most valuable solar markets in the nation and that CPA could work with Randall Memorial leaders to negotiate a contract that included a new roof with the solar deal. 

With new found faith in CPA’s process, Pastor Jackson worked with leaders of the church to join a group RFP process. After careful review, the DC based solar company New Columbia Solar (NCS) supplied the winning bid.  New Columbia Solar is based in DC’s Ward 5 community and is an organization that’s structured to perform all the aspects of solar development in house, including engineering, building and financing solar projects. Their bid offered Randall Memorial a solar contract that enabled the church to receive a brand-new roof, with a 20-year warranty, at no cost to them. 

This project took a lot of creative collaboration and partnership between the church, CPA Co-op, and New Columbia Solar. NCS’ CEO Michael Healy told our team that, “New Columbia Solar is committed to making solar accessible to everyone in our city. Our team was proud to work with CPA and Randall Memorial to make solar a reality for this important member of the DC Community.”

Now Randall Memorial has a brand new roof and a new solar system on their historic building.

“The Community Purchasing Alliance enabled my church to get a new roof on our building, and I believe it is divine... We have a miracle." Rev. Dr. Brian Jackson at Randall Memorial United Methodist Church in DC.

Watch the full story here: