Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church of Jesus Christ

Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church.  Before the echoes of the gun barrels of the Civil War (war between the states) had cleared the air, before the dust settled on the dusty road behind the Union soldiers, we believe even before President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 when more than 200,000 Blacks left their masters to fight in the Civil War, former slaves according to research organized what is now known as Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church. Historical records reflect that between 1882 and 1901 nearly 2,000 blacks were lynched. Our records reflect that Elder Morris Jaree was pastor of the Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church.

In the fall of 1875, what is now known as the Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Association was organized at the Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church “Spann Place.” (Reference:  Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Association History)

The first service was held in the Brush Arbor. White landowners and former slave masters assisted in the organizing of this church. It is said that these whites came and checked on the church and its practices each month.

The first building was constructed of logs, and as the community grew, a board wooden structure was erected.

Recognizing the need to educate blacks in the late 1800s, our research shows that the church was used for a twofold purpose—to educate the blacks and for worshipping God on the Sabbath Day.

Shiloh is better known in the Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Association as the “Mother Church.” The Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Association’s 1917 minutes reflect that Shiloh sent as its messengers to the association B. Gardner, W. P. Pringle, and H. B. Bracy as their representatives.

Records reflect the following individuals have served as pastors, Elder Morris Jaree (time served unknown), Elder Doc McClemon (time served unknown), Elder Guy Davis (time served unknown), Elder Sim Garrison (time served unknown), Elder T. M. Gardner, Sr., (time served unknown), Elder John H. Betts (served 36 years), Elder Jackson S. Johnson (served 12 years), Elder Arthur Lee Green (served 11 years), and Elder George Arthur Johnson, currently serving. Nevertheless, it is believed there were other pastors of this church in its early infancy.

Deacons who have served faithfully until their demise are remembered as follows:  Deacons Billy Gardner, Sonny Wash Gardner, Berry Johnson, Eddie Sanders, Walton Sanders, Alex Sumpter, Steven Sumpter, Abram Taylor, Bristow Whitfield, James Gardner, Peter Gilchrist, Cicero Johnson, Jackson Johnson, Wash Johnson, William Johnson, Daniel Pringle, Willie Pringle, George Washington Pringle, John Willis Pringle, Dillard Sanders, Daniel Henry Sanders, Mack Wilson, William Wilson, Sr., William Wilson, Jr., John W. Sanders (served as chairman), Arthur Lee Harris*, George Gilchrist*, Clark Johnson*, Julius Johnson*, and Wash Pringle*.

Other deacons of Shiloh serving in this regimen are Deacons Haigler Johnson, James Walter Johnson*, Whirlee Pringle*, Etson Sanders, Melvin Harris, and Samuel Sanders*.

Elder Mitchell Whitfield, a former deacon of the Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church, is no longer associated with the Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Association but initiated fellowship as an evangelist for the Missionary Baptist Churches in the Old Alabama Antioch District.

Since 1917, there has been tremendous improvement in membership, worship service, auxiliaries, and the physical plant.

During the year of 1989, there was a dissension among the members that resulted in membership decrease. Nevertheless, the Lord has blessed the church with a strong pastor, Elder George Johnson, who possesses the Holy Spirit with the power of God and the leadership to continue the Lord’s work. The membership has increased.

There has been a change in church school and worship services from twice a month to every Sunday in the month, except fifth Sunday. Every fifth Sunday, Shiloh worshipped with its sister churches in the District—Canaan Hill, Bethel, Mt. Ramah, and Zion Travelers. Programs have been initiated in Shiloh to inspire adults, youth, and children for growth and development in the vineyard.

In the final stage, membership has increased, and property has been purchased. As Shiloh looks in retrospect from whence the church as come, it is blessed. Now, it is Shiloh’s prayer, with God being our guide, that the church continues to move forward toward a new horizon for the future. Currently, Elder Dr. George Johnson is the pastor.

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