Shiloh Baptist Church Mission Statement
We believe that the mission for the life of this church will be lived out in such a fashion that God will receive the glory through all of our strivings to be healthy, vibrant and effective.
We endeavor to manifest the ministry of the Holy Spirit by The fruit of our shared labor and love in meeting the spiritual, financial, emotional, social and Intellectual needs of our Church Family and Communities.
A Look Back at the Past – The Origins of Shiloh
Present day Shiloh Baptist Church is deeply rooted in the resilience, endurance, obedience and service of its past. One hundred and thirty eight years ago, Shiloh, first called Colored Baptist Church of McDonough, was founded by the Reverend Clark Gilmore and was among the first churches of McDonough established by former slaves. Founding members of Shiloh worshipped in a brush arbor for six years before constructing its first small, wood-frame building in 1875 on land purchased for only $12.50. Although the small building was destroyed by a cyclone in 1879, Shiloh Baptist Church was rebuilt, and it stood larger than any other building in McDonough.
Just as today’s Shiloh Baptist Church is committed to the academic, social and spiritual growth of the youth of McDonough, so was Shiloh of the past. During the early years, Shiloh played an integral role in establishing and housing the first public school for blacks in McDonough. This historic foundation set the stage for the continued development of Shiloh’s youth and was a major contribution to the city as a whole.
The Torch of Leadership…
Because of Shiloh’s longevity and stability, it has earned the mark and reputation of being a beacon of hope in Henry County. This is to the credit of venerable servants of God who have shepherded the congregation over the years. Each pastor left his own legacy and incorporated something new to the organization and structure of the church. Nine pastors have successfully led Shiloh:
- The Reverend Clark Gilmore Founding pastor in 1869
- The Reverend John Henry Moore 1914-1918
- The Reverend R. L. Scruggs 1918-1921
- The Reverend Frank Pascall 1921-1923
- The Reverend W. S. Simmons 1923-1929
- The Reverend C. H. Holland 1929-1944
- The Reverend C.C. Cloud 1945-1946
- The Reverend R.H. Milner 1946-1974
- The Reverend E.W. Lee 1974 – present
Shiloh’s history has been shaped by many notables of the past. The names of the first deacons recorded are: Marshall Stallings, Bolt Milliner, Saul Amey, Father Elijah Humphrey, Dudley Cloud, Morphin Smith and Will Glin. The once oldest living member of Shiloh, Mother Pinkie (Malinda Ann) Tomlinson was also the first president of the Home Missionary Society. Deacon Freddie Smith was financial secretary for 41 years. Sister Evelyn Banks served as church clerk for over 42 years. Sister Gussie Walker taught Sunday school class for more than 42 years. Deacon Norris L. Tomlinson served on the deacon board and as chairman for over 34 years. The first church clerk was Brother Conn Tomlinson. Mother Vicki Clark was the first “mother” of Shiloh. Sister Cora Tomlinson was the first president of the Baptist Young People’s Union (also called Baptist Training Union). Brother Clark Harper, Deacon Charles S. Heard and Brother Sam Amis were the first Sunday school superintendents. Sister Lottie B. Weaver served s president of the Home Missionary Society for more than 22 years. Members of the Combs family have served as music directors and pianists for over 50 years. Some of the long-serving trustees were Brother Walter Scott, chairman; Lummie Banks, treasurer and Brother Thomas W. Brown. Shiloh is known for its strong genealogical ties, and the oldest family lines in the church today are: the Tomlinson family, Towns family, Phillips family, Heard family and Combs family.
Present Manifestation—Future Growth…
Under the leadership of the current pastor, the Reverend E.W. Lee, Shiloh has evolved to its present number of 20 ministries. Collectively, these ministries help carry out Pastor Lee’s vision to “Grow the people, Reach our destiny, Operate in our gifts and Win our community”. Shiloh has become an entity interwoven in the community; addressing political, civic and social issues that affect those inside and outside of the church. It services the needs of McDonough and Henry County through innovative literacy and academic programs for youth, career and college fairs, enhancement programs, outreach to the financially disadvantaged, health and wellness seminars, financial management and home-buying seminars, as well as various other workshops. Additionally, Shiloh has embarked on a new mentoring initiative; adopting Wesley Lakes Elementary School where members of the church partner with a child to help guide him/her through positive academic, social and spiritual development.
Shiloh Baptist Church currently is home to approximately 1500 members. With the completion of the new church in 2006 and the influx of new families migrating to Henry County, the membership is expected to grow exponentially. Sanctuary seating has gone from 350 to 1100 to accommodate this growth and now includes a children’s nursery, communion room, choir room, usher’s room, 10 classrooms and several multi-purpose rooms. It also contains offices for the pastor, first lady as well as administrative spaces along with beautiful landscaping, landscape lighting and a parking lot for 274 spaces.
With the vision and guidance of Pastor Lee, Shiloh will expand even more in the future. The next phase of growth is to build a family life center, complete with a gymnasium, as well as other economic development and revenue generating projects.
As Shiloh moves forward, it will continue to carry the legacy of its past, walk in the blessings of the present and strive for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in its future.