Our History

First Shiloh Baptist Church

A Condensed History

 

The beginning of the First Shiloh Baptist Church dates back to the year 1866. Prior to that time, there were no Black churches in the County. All Black worshippers attended services at the White churches. First Shiloh sprang from the Walnut Grove Baptist Church, whose pastor at that time was Dr. Robert Ryland. The majority of the founders of First Shiloh at one time belonged to Edward and William Sydnor as slaves. After freedom, these pioneers felt that they wanted a house of their own in which to worship.

Their first church was organized under an old brush arbor erected on a line between properties of Edward Sydnor and Walker Hogan, near the homesite of the late Reverend Mitchell Washington. After some time, this land passed into the hands of other owners, and the worshippers had to think of another place.

Miss Sarah Edward Sydnor donated the present spot of ground to the people for the church on which a log building was erected. In time, the congregation began to outgrow the log building and the need for a larger building became evident. At that time, Reverend Hobe was the pastor.

As the years passed, other great pastors served: Reverend Edward. T. Gentry for 15 years; Reverend J. T. Turner for 7 years; Reverend W. D. Loving for 7 years; Reverend Percy Wallace for 15 years, Reverend Jeffries, Reverend Louis H. Dickerson, and Reverend George D. Pinkney.

Reverend William L. Godsey became the ninth pastor and remained for 36 years. Our Church experienced enormous spiritual and financial growth. Reverend William M. Davis became the tenth pastor and was succeeded by Reverend Ernest C. Fogle who served for 16 years.

Under the pastorate of Reverend Fogle, the worship services were changed from two Sundays per month to each Sunday, the newly-built rooms were furnished, organizational changes were made, new pews and pulpit set were purchased and dedicated and other changes were suggested for future approval. It was in 1968 that Reverend Junius Wright, Jr. was licensed and ordained. It was also during this administration that tragedy struck this congregation by way of fire Sunday Morning, September 14, 1975. With cooperation and help from the First Union Baptist Church, the Battlefield Park Elementary School and the Shiloh Lodge of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, there was always a place to gather for worship service and to hold business meetings. The first regular service held in the church after its restoration was Sunday, December 28, 1975.

Reverend Welton T. Smith, III served as the twelfth pastor from 1981-1985. It was during this time period that Sister Betty Cosby was accepted as a licentiate in the ministry.

March 8, 1988 marked the installation of Reverend Roy Neal Siler, the thirteenth pastor of First Shiloh. With him came an abundance of innovative ideas and strategies for building upon an already firm foundation of service to Hanover County and the surrounding Community. Numerous programs and ministries have been instituted under this dynamic leader. These ministries encompass every age group of the membership.

Under the leadership of Deacon Benjamin Storrs and Trustee Moses E. Sherman, Jr, plans for an addition to the present structure of First Shiloh were coordinated. The ground-breaking ceremony for the addition was held the 4th Sunday in December, 1988 immediately following the morning worship with Reverend R. Neal Siler leading the ceremony. The addition was completed September, 1989 making this the sixth major change for First Shiloh with a Dedication Service November 5, 1989 following the regular morning worship service. This addition included a fellowship hall, a new pastor's study, a church office, a new Children's Church and two restrooms.

Among the many success stories of First Shiloh under the pastorate of Reverend Siler is the "After School Assistance Program/Summer Enrichment Ministry" which renders outstanding service throughout the community. This Ministry is directed by Reverend Proctor N. Beard, Sr. with a staff of adults as well as youth. This ministry has received many commendations from the Hanover County and Henrico County Public Schools with many of the referrals coming from the participating schools.

Reverend Beard was licensed August 2, 1988 and ordained August 19, 1990 by First Shiloh and currently serves as Pastor of Springfield Baptist Church Short Pump, Virginia.

Since December, 1995, First Shiloh has been blessed with ten additional Associate Ministers who serve to enhance our efforts to provide the highest quality of Christian Education and Bible based training for our families, as well as, to help evangelize our communities and mentor the young ladies of our Church. These Associates are: Reverends Shawn Dandridge, Glendora Winston, Floyd Miles, Glenda Baul, Severn Carpenter, Mia Marable Beard, Sharon E. Siler, Sylvester Hansom, Miles M. Siler and Criss Tate.

Reverend Floyd A. Miles was ordained November 22, 1998 and now serves as pastor of Mt. Salem Baptist Church of Staunton, Virginia.

September 29, 1999 marked another historical milestone in the life of First Shiloh. The Lord allowed the Church to expand its facilities with the purchase of the former East Hanover Volunteer Rescue Squad. This facility was renamed First Shiloh Baptist Church Youth and Children's Enrichment Center. The After School Assistance Program/Summer Enrichment Ministry is housed in this building. Additionally, it provides space where programs are held for the youth in the community and especially some of those sponsored by the Chickahominy Baptist Association Youth Division.

October 2001, Evangelist Glendora Winston was called to birth The Master's Touch Ministries and on July 12, 2003, Reverend Miles M. Siler was called to become the 17th Pastor of the First Baptist Church Clifton Forge, Virginia. Reverend Siler and Evangelist Winston were ordained October 26, 2003.

Minister Margaret Douglass joined the First Shiloh Family in 2005.The Drama and Dance Ministries have been greatly enhanced under her leadership. These ministries include Children, Youth and Adults and their ministry is an integral part of the Sunday Morning Worship Service.

First Shiloh Baptist Church is proud of its rich history and continues to prove God's faithfulness with the implementation of many innovative and successful ministries.

"Not by might, nor by power, but by the spirit of the Lord" is our proclamation as we boldly move with the Lord through the 2lst Century.

The beginning of the First Shiloh Baptist Church dates back to the year 1866. Prior to that time, there were no black churches in the county. All black worshippers attended services at the white churches. First Shiloh sprang from the Walnut Grove Baptist Church, whose pastor at that time was Dr. Robert Ryland. The majority of the founders of First Shiloh at one time belonged to Edward and William Sydnor as slaves. After freedom, these pioneers felt that they wanted a house of their own in which to worship.

Their first church was organized under an old brush arbor erected on a line between properties of Edward Sydnor and Walker Hogan, near the homesite of the late Reverend Mitchell Washington. After some time, this land passed into the hands of other owners, and the worshippers had to think of another place.

Miss Sarah Edward Sydnor donated the present spot of ground to the people for the church on which a log building was erected.

In time, the congregation began to outgrow the log building and the need for a larger building became evident. At that time, Reverend Hobe was the pastor.

As the years passed, other great pastors served: Reverend E. T. Gentry for 15 years; Reverend J. T. Turner for 7 years; Reverend W. D. Loving for 7 years; Reverend Percy Wallace, Reverend Jeffries, Reverend Louis IL Dickerson and Reverend G. D. Pinkney.

Reverend W. L. Godsey became the ninth pastor and remained for 36 years. Our Church experienced enormous spiritual and financial growth. Reverend William Davis became the tenth pastor and was succeeded by Reverend E. C. Fogle who served for 16 years.

Under the pastorate of Reverend Fogle, the worship services were changed from two Sundays per month to every Sunday, the newly-built rooms were furnished, organizational (-flanges were made, new pews and pulpit set were purchased and dedicated and others were suggested for future approval. It was also during this administration that tragedy struck this congregation by way of fire Sunday Morning, September 14, 1975. With cooperation and help from the First Union Baptist Church, the Battlefield Park Elementary School and the Shiloh Lodge of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, there was always a place to gather for worship service and to hold business meetings. The first regular service held in the church after its restoration was Sunday, December 28, 1975.

Reverend Welton T. Smith, III served as the twelfth pastor from 1981-1985.

March 8, 1988 marked the installation of Reverend Roy Neal Siler, the thirteenth pastor of First Shiloh. With him came an abundance of innovative ideas and strategies for building upon an already firm foundation of service to the Lord's People. Numerous programs and ministries have been instituted. These ministries encompass every age group of the membership. One of the proudest accomplishments of First Shiloh under the pastorate of Reverend Siler is the development of an "After School Assistance Program/Summer Enrichment Ministry" which renders a tremendous service throughout the community. This Program is directed by Reverend Proctor N. Beard, our Assistant Pastor and Pastor of Bloomfield Baptist Church in Dinwiddie, Virginia.

First Shiloh has been blessed with nine additional Associate Ministers who serve to enhance our efforts to provide the highest quality of Christian Education and Bible based training for our families, as well as, to help evangelize our communities and mentor the young ladies of our Church. These Associates are: Reverends Shawn Dandridge, Floyd Miles, Glenda Baul, Severn Carpenter, Mia Marable Beard, Sharon E. Siler, Sylvester Hansom , Miles M Siler and Chris Tate.

Reverend Floyd A. Miles was ordained November 22, 1998 and now serves as pastor of Salem Baptist Church of Staunton, Virginia.

September 29, 1999 marked another historical milestone in the life of First Shiloh. The Lord allowed the Church to expand its facilities with the purchase of the former East Hanover Volunteer Rescue Squad. This facility known as "The First Shiloh Youth and Community Enrichment Center" provides additional space to enhance the programs provided for the youth of our church and community.

The leadership and congregation of this great Church embrace the vision of our Pastor and encourage support from all of the members.

We stand in awe of a God who does all things well and with confidence in such a God whose presence is evident because history continues to be made from such a humble beginning.