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Member, 101, helps celebrate 125 years of Shiloh Baptist

Member, 101, helps celebrate 125 years of Shiloh Baptist
August 17
05:00 2017

By Bridget Elam, For The Chronicle

Shiloh Baptist Church celebrated its 125th church anniversary on Aug. 12 by having an appreciation luncheon at the Enterprise Conference and Banquet Center.

The appreciation luncheon was organized to recognize the works and footprints of those who have been vital to the ministry’s longevity.   

With the event space decorated in purple and white and many of the church members donned in purple attire, the program began with a welcome and prayer, which were followed by the congregational song,  “We Come This Far By Faith.”

“I have seen the highs and lows of this church.  It is wonderful to be here and celebrate the 125 years,” said Lois Scales Hilliard, who is the oldest member of the church at 101 years old.  She says she has been a member of the church for 65 years and laments that many of the people she worshiped with in the past are no longer alive to help celebrate the occasion.

The luncheon was complete with a video montage of past and present members and photo booth for attendees to capture the celebration. 

City officials offered words of gratitude during the luncheon.  The Rev. Alvin Carlisle, the Winston Salem NAACP president and pastor of Exodus United Baptist Church, thanked Shiloh Baptist Church for 125 years of service to the Winston-Salem community.   Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke echoed his sentiment by saying that the church hasbeen a mainstay in Winston-Salem for such a long time.

“When I walked in, I walked in on love and appreciation.  I would like to thank the church for all it has done in the community for 125 years,” said Burke. 

Shiloh Baptist Church was founded in 1892 and was sold some years later because of financial difficulties.  The members reconvened in a two-room house in Bloomtown on Highland Avenue.  It was under the Rev. Thornton Hairston’s administration that a new church was built.  He would subsequently oversee the building of another church on Highland Avenue and 12½ Street – where the current church stands.  It is known as the “church on the hill, where everybody is somebody.” 

“Our church was founded the same year Winston-Salem State University was started,” said Dr. Paul A. Lowe Jr., who is the current pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and has been there for 25 years. “When the church started, there was a lot going on for African-Americans during that time.  It was their faith that kept them moving forward and Shiloh Baptist Church was a part of that faith in the community as a beacon of hope.”

After lunch was served, the committee presented tokens of appreciation to many of the church leaders and lay workers for their service to the church.  Special recognition went to the Dr. Manderline Scales for her dedicated work as the 125th anniversary chairperson. 

The event was very special for Scales in more ways than one.  She was released from the hospital on Friday and still managed to attend the luncheon on Saturday.

“It [the luncheon] was very important because we are going through trying times and we are using and looking to people who have contributed the ideas God has planted for the church,” said Scales.  “I knew I had to trust in God to be here for this event.”

As for the next 125 years, Lowe says he hopes to keep moving forward.

“We hope we can continue to have a history of giving back to this community,” he said.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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