Shiloh Baptist Church (Washington, D.C.)

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Coordinates: 38°54′35″N 77°1′27″W / 38.90972°N 77.02417°W / 38.90972; -77.02417

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Shiloh Baptist Church is located at 1500 9th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 in the historic Shaw District.. The church was founded in Fredericksburg, VA in 1804.

History[edit]

Origins in Fredericksburg VA[edit]

The Shiloh Baptist Church was organized by its white members in 1804. The church's membership included some free blacks but most were slaves. The black members were subjected to segregated seating. The church was sold to African American members in 1854, and this congregation was led by a white pastor.[1]

Civil War[edit]

At the start of the Civil War in 1861, Shiloh had about 750 members. The Civil War disrupted the church's life but also brought the possibility of equality for blacks. The Shiloh religious services were discontinued when the Union Army wanted to use the church as a hospital because of a planned attack on Fredricksburg in June 1862.

The Union Army protected and helped the slaves and free blacks escape to Washington D.C. About 400 members of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Fredricksburg arrived in Washington D.C. Once in Washington D.C., they became free civilians in April 1862 when Congress emancipated the slaves of the District of Columbia.[2]

Move to Washington DC[edit]

1862 Sunday School directed by J. McCleary Perkins, a white Union soldier, met in shanty on L St NW between 16th and 17th Streets. White and black teachers gave instruction on religion and basic reading and writing.

1863 January 1 - Emancipation Proclamation. September – Shiloh Baptist Church granted recognition by council. Rev. William Walker elected first pastor.

1864 Membership purchased building on L St NW between 16th and 17th.

1869 Membership numbered 243. Purchased larger building with Fredericksburg funds.

Growth of the Church at Current Location[edit]

1924 Shiloh moves to 9th and P Streets. L Street property sold for $60,000. 9th and P and adjacent property purchased in November 1924.

1945 First black church to unite with the Council of Church Women.

1950 Carter Woodson, a church neighbor, was a guest speaker for Negro History Week (an annual participation until his death).

1991 A fire nearly destroyed the entire church building. [3]

Presidential visit[edit]

On April 24, 2011, President Barack Obama and his family attended Shiloh Baptist for Easter Sunday services, the first Presidential visit to the congregation.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ From Strength to Strength: A Journey of Faith 1863-1988, p. 25
  2. ^ From Strength to Strength: A Journey of Faith 1863-1988, p. 25
  3. ^ http://www.shilohbaptist.org/Our_Heritage.htm
  4. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/obamas-to-worship-at-shiloh-baptist-church-for-easter/2011/04/24/AFZRm6aE_blog.html?hpid=z2

External links[edit]