The Friendship Baptist Church building on H Street SW is under attack. On Feb. 14, the City’s Office of Planning announced that developer Steve Tanner, who had bought the historic African-American church in 2003, had requested, among other things, to possibly convert the space into a “private club.” “It would really be an affront to the Baptists that worshiped there to turn it into a place that sells liquor,” says Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner David Sobelsohn. However, the author of the memo, the planning office’s Joel Lawson, insists that the problem is only one of definition. A “private club,” he says, refers to a social or fraternal organization, not a bar. But Sobelsohn isn’t sure that the latter possibility would be a real improvement: “I’m not sure that an Elks club, if it serves alcohol, would be acceptable in a Baptist church, either,” he says.—Jeff Horwitz