Vision & History
The Ministry of Shiloh Baptist Church Vision:
“Through Faith, Answering God’s Call, For 21st Century Ministry”
Hebrews 11:1, Matthew 6:33
This is the Vision God has given to me for His Church. As the God appointed Under Shepard, confirmed by His Holy Spirit and the congregation of the Shiloh Baptist Church, we will work together to identify the current purpose God is calling for from the Shiloh Baptist Church through faith. This will allow us to be relevant and effective as we serve in the 21st century ministry, with a continued focus to build God’s Kingdom and, upon the strong historic Christian legacy of Shiloh.
I envision the Church having two dominant or prevailing purposes, which constitutes its identity. Gathering the body for the purpose of ministering to it, and scattering the body for the purpose of ministering to the world. It is important to distinguish these two purposes. On the one hand, the church gathers as a body of believers wherein believers minister to one another; on the other hand, the church is to minister the gospel to unbelievers in the world. These two purposes must be kept distinct: the church ministers to both believers and unbelievers. There are a number of functions in each of these two major areas. We as a body will endeavor to fulfill who “The Spirit” desires for us to become.
We will be a spiritual organism empowered by the Holy Spirit to share Christ with as many people as possible in our church, surrounding community, and throughout the world (Matthew 28:16-20). This church is solely concern with the leading of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of Christian Ministry. Through Faith, Shiloh will answer the Call.
Ninety years ago after attending a revival at the St. James AMEChurch, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Moyer, Mr. and Mrs. George Elliot, Mr. Frank Jones, Mr. John Leftridge, Mr. Charles Rabbi and Mrs. Samuel Clinckscales met at the home of Mr. William Rowe who resided at 5th and Wilson streets. Reverend L. McKissic, Pastor of theMountZionBaptistChurch,Wilkes-Barre,PA was the leader of this mission group which assembled for the purpose of establishing a church. It was at this gathering on May 12, 1915, thatShilohBaptistChurch was born. Reverend McKissic installed all official boards and other officers and helped with securing a place of worship. Realizing the need for a permanent leader of their group, a call was extended to and accepted by the Reverend Peter Clay Childs of Wilkes-Barre,PA onMay 29, 1915.
TheShilohBaptistChurchmembers held services in theEastSixthStreetBaptistChurch(now known as theWayneParkBaptistTemple,924 East Sixth Street). OnSeptember 18, 1915, they were admitted to the Oil Creek Baptist Association (a geographical division of the American Baptist Association). With a membership of 29, onAugust 22, 1916, they purchased a plot of ground at the corner of Fifth and Perry streets (where the church now stands) from Mr. Sidney McDonald ofEast Lake Road. The foundation was poured onOctober 11, 1916with the Rev. Peter Clay Childs as the leader. The walls were completed and the cornerstone laid on November 19, 1916 and the newly completed structure dedicated as Shiloh Baptist Church and pastor Childs and its members now had a church of their in which to worship. The congregation worked earnestly as one body in Christ and aided the church in donating labor, building materials, furnaces, church furniture and interior decorations.
Steadfastly following the leadership of Pastor the church began to grow spiritually, financially, and numerically. Due to this rapid growth it was necessary for the church to buy adjoining land, enlarge the chapel and erect a parsonage. The expansion work was completed and dedicatedSeptember 7, 1924.
The first mortgage was justified February 22, 1924and the second mortgage during the 9th church anniversary onMay 13, 1924. TheShilohBaptistChurch became an incorporated body under the laws of theCommonwealth ofPennsylvania in January 1925.
The years of 1925 through the 1930’s proved to be a time of “walking by faith.” Pastor Childs encouraged pledges, donations and called on the Deacons and Trustees to formulate a plan to address the church’s financial obligations. Weekly prayer meetings became essential in helping to build spiritual and financial success.
In the fall of 1940, Rev. Childs took a leave of absence asShiloh’s pastor due to illness. Yet having a concern for the perpetuation of the church’s business, he established a strategy for meeting its financial obligations by way of a yearly budget. This budget was presented to the church and was in place for 1941. During his leave of absence, the Rev. Charles S. Franklin an Associate Minister of the St. JamesAMEChurch servedShiloh.
Rev. Childs served as pastor ofShilohBaptistChurchfor 25 years. He passed awayFebruary 24, 1941inDejamette,Virginiaand Rev. Charles S. Franklin served the church as Interim Pastor until June 1942.
Shiloh’s second pastor, the Rev. J. B. Pratt ofMidland,PAwas called and served through July 1994. We were led briefly by the Rev. C. S. Dean and Rev. George Baker, both “Sons of Shiloh.” OnFebruary 4, 1945, the Rev. Delta Alpha Terry, ofAltoona,PAaccepted the call as the third pastor ofShiloh. He immediately instituted a financial drive to liquidate the mortgage.
Our church was blessed when the mortgage was burned six months later onAugust 12, 1945. Shilohbecame a member of the Allegheny District Association in 1947 with the membership approximately at 581. In the midst of this great work, Pastor Rev. Delta Alpha Terry went home to be with the Lord onApril 13, 1950. The Rev. A. B. Adams ofWarren,OHaccepted the call asShiloh’s fourth pastor in January 1951 and served untilNovember 1, 1952. Interim pastor was the Rev. Lee A. Butler, who maintained the stability of the church until the calling of the next pastor.
The Rev. Jessie L. McFarland ofNew Castle,PAwas installed as the fifth pastor ofShilohBaptistChurchonAugust 16, 1953. Rev. McFarland realized the need for the church to press forward to accommodate a growing church. The old frame building had been demolishedMay 16, 1953and for six months the members worshipped atWayneParkBaptistTempleand St. JamesAMEchurch with baptism services held atSecondBaptistChurch. The basement, the first phase of the new structure was completed and dedicated onDecember 14, 1953. The congregation worshipped in the basement for eight years before the main building was completed.
During the rebuilding of the church, our church body with Rev. McFarland traveled out of town to obtain bricks for this structure. The trip proved to be a dangerous task. Rev. McFarland and his fellow church workers were shot at for crossing the picket line during a strike. Additionally, many church members used their homes as collateral for financing this new structure. The current structure is due largely to the sacrifice and fervent dedication members who have since gone one to be with the Lord. Without their trust, faith, dedication, unity, strength, and prayers, we probably would not have this beautiful church today.
Other highlights during Rev. McFarland’s ministry include three trips made to the Holy Land by him and various members; participation in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery; Alabama as part of the Civil Rights Movement; becoming a life member of the NAACP (in 1964); the purchase of a 14-passenger van; and the establishment of a Day Care Center.
In 1972, Rev. McFarland accepted a call toBethelBaptistChurchinAliquippa,PA. For approximately two years the Rev. Lee A. Butler again servedShilohfaithfully as its Interim Pastor.
In January 1974, a call was extended to the Rev. Wendell Phillips ofPeoria,IL. He began his pastoral duties onMay 5, 1974and becameShiloh’s sixth pastor. Rev. Phillips faced great challenges; the Day Care Center had burned beyond repair andShilohhad many outstanding debts that needed to be cleared.
Under the leadership of Rev. Phillips the Day Care was given a new start being incorporated as part ofShiloh’s Community Share Center Corporation with ground breaking for the new building in 1975. Rev. Phillips organized a 10-week prayer-of-faith fundraiser, which resulted in the debt being paid in full and the mortgage burned in 1976. OnJanuary 14, 1978, Rev. Phillips went home to receive his eternal reward and forever be with the Lord.
A call was then extended to the Rev. Rosamond C. Kay, Jr. ofClairton,PAin July of 1978. The new building was completed and dedicated as theShilohCommunityShareCenter. OnOctober 8, 1978, Rev. Kay was installed asShiloh’s seventh pastor.
Under the Rev. Kay’s leadership, as body in Christ, we have successfully become a tithing church and our congregation to 745 worshippers. A few highlights from his ministry include the establishment of a library in memory of the Rev. Wendell Phillips, portraits painted of all former Shiloh pastors (located in the front foyer), updating the church office and Project Food Basket as an outreach ministry.
Rev. Rosamond C. Kay, Jr. went home to be with the Lord,June 26, 1993. Truly “his steps were ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23). The ministry he rendered was loved and appreciated by his members, the community, and thePennsylvaniatri-state area. Fellow yoke persons in the ministry from across the country came to celebrate his home-going. It was the largest funeral the city ofEriehas ever witnessed.
The church spent a year in fasting and prayer to ascertain the Lord’s direction for the church and its next pastor. Deacon Willard B. Sansom, ex-officio Chairman of the Deacon, worked diligently with the ministerial staff of Rev. Leo Manning, Interim Pastor, Rev. Stanley K. Smith, Minister Robert P. Holmes, Jr. Rev. Clifton McNairIII, and Rev. Frederick D. Thompson to ensure that the ministry of the church went forward. All of the ministerial staff assisted in the duties of the church. Rev. Leo Manning resigned as Interim Pastor the third Sunday in October 1994.
After an exhaustive search and corporate prayer, the Pulpit Committee presented two candidates for consideration asShiloh’s next pastor: the Rev. Frank Hearns ofWarren,OHand the Rev. Charles E. Mock ofHarrisburg,PA. On November 4, Rev. Mock was called to be Shiloh’s eighth pastor. We welcomed him and his family in December 1994.
Rev. Mock envisioned bringing the church “from behind the pews and stained glass windows to do intentional ministries,” such as health care, deliverance ministry to those addicted to drugs and alcohol, mentoring programs for youth as well as, and ministering to young adult males and females. “His Hands Extended Ministries” organized by Rev. Stanley K. Smith (now pasturing in Meadville, PA at the St. John’s Full Gospel Baptist Church), renamed to “Recovery to Redemption” is now an expanded ministry to reach both those in prison and to those who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. The “Women With Purpose” women’s ministry inspired by Evangelist Nettie Smith (now Associate Pastor of Word of Life Christian Center in Erie, PA, pastored by Bishop Clifton McNair, III) has been renamed to the “Mary and Martha Women’s Ministry” and primarily functions through the lay ministry of girls and women to other girls and women and addresses all phases of their lives. Rev. Mock also established the “Trusted Partners in Christ,” a men’s ministry whose goal is to bring men closer to God and each other. A night of the B.L.A.Z.E. (Believers Living Az Expected) youth ministry under the direction of Rev. Darrell Cook was also introduced with services held on the first Friday evenings of every month.
In 1997, Rev. Mock organizedShiloh’s ministry around three reaches: 1) Upreach through worship, prayer and praise, 2) Inreach through Christian Education and Fellowship, and 3) Outreach through Evangelism and Missions. In October 1998,Shilohhosted the Annual Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention with Rev. Mock serving as its president.
Under the leadership of Rev. Mock, Shiloh has undergone several major capital improvements: renovation of the sanctuary, foyer, kitchen, and lower men and women’s restrooms; air conditioning for the sanctuary, Fellowship Hall and kitchen, a new sound system, three church vans, a paved parking lot, conversion of the parsonage to an Administration Building under the supervision of a full time Office Manager (added in January 2001), a state of the art alarm system securing both the church and administration building, and the renovation of the lower annex (previously the Day Care dining area) into classrooms and a music practice area.
Under the theme of “Perfectly joined together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1”10)”, Rev. Mock’s ministry vision has caused him to take the mission of the church into the community witnessing of God’s concern for truth, justice & righteousness in society; including preaching against social and economic ills, seeking to convert the structures, policies & institutions that cause injustice and financial problems for the poor, oppressed, and imprisoned through the PA Baptist Convention, C.A.L.L. (Congregation Acting to Lift with Love) the African American Concerned Clergy of Erie, participation & presence at local government meetings, a weekly radio broadcast , and a monthly newspaper column andShiloh’s outreach ministries. In addition to ministering as pastor, Rev. Mock also served as the past president of PA Baptist Convention, founder and past president of African Concerned Clergy, past president of C.A.L.L., Chief Executive Officer of Shiloh’s two non-profit organizations: PC. Childs and A.C.E. (Alliance for Community Empowerment) and the HomeMission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
Rev. Mock has ordained five deacons: James Brodie and Anthony Carlgren (July 1, 2001), Kevin and Vincent Jones (August 8, 2004) and Charles Myers (December 29, 2004); ordained two ministers: Darlene Johnson (May 4, 2001) and Darrell Cook (October 1, 2002), licensed three ministers: Jeanette Myers and Anthony Carlgren (early 2004) and Joann Cook (December 29, 2004), and three evangelists: Nettie Smith, Jr (1997?), Denise Porter Whitaker (1997?), and Rozene Adams (April 1999).
Rev. Mock stepped down as Shiloh’s pastor on December 31, 2004 to accept a position with the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A. in Nashville, TN as the Executive Secretary of the Home Mission Board where he seeks to carry out God’s call on his life to witness, equip and empower NBC churches to offer ministry that is holistic in nature, that addresses God’s concern for truth, justice & righteousness in society and awakens society’s conscious concerning social and economic malformation.
OnJanuary 1, 2005, Deacon Cecil E. Woodard becameShiloh’s acting Head of the Church with Rev. Darlene Johnson as its Associate Pastor, and Deacon Artimus Brown as the Administrative Assistant. Rev. Darrell K. Cook was called to be the church’s primary preacher with the ministerial staff of Rev. Deborah Ross-Smith, Ministers Anthony Carlgren, Jeanette Myers and Joann Cook, Evangelist Rozene Adams and Denise Jamerson (Minister of Music) carrying out the ministry of the church in coordination with the Deacon and Deaconess Board.
During 2005 our church was in prayer as we sought God’s will for the selection of our new Pastor. We believe in our hearts that God’s will and answer to our prayers has been accomplished with the arrival of the Rev. Dr. Michael T. Williams toShilohBaptistChurch.
As a result of a prayerful search, onSeptember 2, 2005, the church body arrived at a selection that God had already ordained. The Rev. Dr. Michael T. Williams accepted the call to become our pastor and we welcomed his ministry gifts and vision to theShilohpastorateNovember 7, 2005. It is our prayer and desire that the work that has been commissioned us by God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be continued under Pastor Williams’ leadership.
The Pastoral Installation took place on December 11, 2005with the Rev. Dr. Allen B. Green, Pastor of the SecondBaptistChurchin Erie, officiating. On that occasion, we pledged our wholehearted support to Rev. Williams as Pastor, Leader, Director, Counselor and Shepherd of this flock. Every officer, minister, ministry and member endeavored to help, pray for, encourage, strengthen, inspire and follow him as he seeks to know God’s will and have God’s power operate through him to feed us and lead us. It is our earnest hope “That we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col1:10). We sincerely believe that God has chosen Rev. Williams to lead us in this next leg of our journey towards Him.
As ShilohBaptistChurchcontinues to grow and minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Eriearea, we continue to look to our God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the “author and finisher of our faith” to lead us in effective Spirit-led ministry for the 21st century. We will continue to remain:
“Perfectly Joined Together Under the Lordship of Jesus Christ!”