Sermon Notes: May 3, 2020

John 10: 1 – 10

“Abundant Life”

In the ancient Near East, kings and rulers considered themselves shepherds of the people

However, political leaders could not insure against earthquakes, famine floods, or other natural disasters.

The emperor in Rome considered himself a good shepherd because of his power and might, but his abilities to guard the people only went too far.

When Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd he was making the revolutionary claim that Caesar was not the good shepherd.

Jesus could claim the title Good Shepherd because He brought the gift of abundant life (verse 10).

Abundant life consisted of hope based on fact not fancy.

Abundant life focuses on things that will not pass away.

Abundant life replaces fear with faith.

In his book, “A shepherd looks at the 23 Psalm,” Phillip Kellar explained that shepherds are responsible for the safety and well being of the herd.

God provides abundant life because God protects; He  lays us down in green pastures and leads us beside the still waters.


My Dear Shiloh Family:

I pray that this letter finds you well. I write this evening to give an update on the ever-evolving development of the dangerous coronavirus – Covid-19.

The past several days have been challenging, to say the least.  We receive new details on the spread of the virus every day and those details are constantly changing.  We understand the fear and uncertainty that may be created as Special Reports continue to pop up on our screens.  

Finding new ways to cope with the threat of a menacing and deadly virus is difficult enough.  And yet, unscrupulous individuals seek to use this crisis to take advantage of our elders. Shiloh Seniors, please be careful.  As our kids say, “Stay Woke!”  Please don’t share any information or make any new decisions unless you are certain about the source and use of the information.  If you have questions, don’t do it.  Wait until you talk it over with a trusted friend. I know that we are unable to gather in our physical church building.  But we must remember,we are the church. The church is in us as we continue to meet to pray, study, worship, evangelize and even fellowship through 21st Century technology.  We hope to use every means available to us to maintain, as much as possible, the tie that binds us together. Here is what we are continuing to do to keep our congregation connected, spiritually, and emotionally:

  • Our regular Monday morning prayers with Rev. Bowen will be extended to Monday through Friday. The call-in number is 1-717-275-8941, access code 9331271.
  • As we have done for over a week, our noonday Lenten services will continue Monday through Friday until April 3. The call-in number is 1-857-232-0155, access code 428058.
  • On Thursday nights, March 18 through April 2, I will lead our Lifestyle Institute at 7:30 pm by phone: 1-857-232-0155, access code 428058.
  • Rev. Mensah along with some of our Associate Ministers, in the next few days, will be making phone calls to our Seniors 65 and older. 
  • Until further notice, we will continue our weekly worship service by livestream. This Sunday join us for a rebroadcast of one of our services at 10am; and at 11am a Conversation with your Pastor. For Livestream log on to Shiloh’s Website: click on Livestream. To engage Pastor Smith by asking a question: Text toll free 1(202) 558-0917 OR

As we take shelter in this health crisis storm, recall the lesson in Mark 4:35-41, “Jesus calms the storm.” As you recall, Jesus was sleeping in the boat with several disciples when a violent storm raged the Sea of Galilee. The frightened disciples awake Jesus. Jesus awoke with authority, rebuked the wind, and calmed the sea. Jesus is in the boat with us and has the power to calm all storms and bring peace to His people. Let us continue to fix our eyes on Him, the Master of ocean, earth, and skies.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Smith

Announcements! — Scholarships and 2020 Census information



The Deadline for Submitting Applications for scholarships offered by the Shiloh Scholarship Committee extended to March 29, 2020!

How to apply:  E-mail to request a fillable application package that includes the application and list of eligibility and selection criteria for the different scholarships available. You may also download the application package at

Important date: The deadline for submitting a completed scholarship application form, required essays, letters of recommendation, and an official transcript is March 29, 2020.

New scholarships this year:  

  • Dr. Harry Roberson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship   
  • Male Youth Project Scholarship — in memory of Gerard O. Bingham 

Please direct all questions to



Don’t be left out of the count! The U.S. Constitution mandates that every person residing in the United States be counted every ten years, so be on the lookout for census information. The first mailing will come the week of March 12 with instructions for how to complete the forms (online, by phone, or by mail). For more information, visit


The Pastor’s Pen: March 8, 2020

During our Communion service a week ago today, God stood with our church
family as we prayed together for Deacon Elias Kibler.  Deacon Kibler was
overcome with an emergency medical challenge that caused us all to collectively
hold our breaths. Deacon Kibler fell unconscious and remained in this state for
nearly 1½ hours. Fortunately, the emergency medical team arrived quickly after
the 911 call was placed. Deacon Kibler was taken to the hospital, where he
received excellent medical attention. As we concluded our Communion service, we
received word that Deacon Kibler had been revived and was sitting up and
communicating with the nurses and doctors. What an awesome God we serve!
What might have resulted in a much worse outcome was avoided by the quick
response of members of our congregation. I commend, specifically, the lifesaving
skills of Anita Jordan, Juanita Bailey and Dr. Alvin Reaves, all of whom are medical professionals. They immediately sprang into action and provided emergency medical protocols for Deacon Kibler. Their untiring, persistent, and diligent efforts before the
paramedics arrived, I believe, made the difference in his life/death ordeal. I have
shared countless times that Shiloh is at its best in times of crisis. This was another
example of Shiloh at its best.

For all the wonders of technology, we must never forget that it was God who
performed the miracle. Those of us who have no medical experience did our part
by praying mightily for healing mercies.

That evening, First Lady G. Elaine Smith and I visited Deacon Kibler at
Washington Hospital Center. We were both amazed to see what God had done
through him and for him. He looked great, his voice was strong, and his mind was
clear! He told us he remembered enjoying the worship service, but nothing else.
When he became conscious, he found himself in the hospital, recovering from
emergency surgery, and wondering how all this had come about.
I believe God allows certain circumstances to be occasions for teaching the power
of faith. What happened last Sunday was such an example. The medical emergency
of Deacon Kibler showed us that when we all come together in fervent prayers and
believe mightily in our prayers, miracles can and will happen. Hallelujah!


Our Youth On The GO!!!

 D’Andre Person, A Freshman and a Varsity Debater and Varsity Wrestler @ Washington Latin PCS and also a member of the Boy Scout Troop 524 here at Shiloh Baptist Church.  D’Andre has participated with the Troop in various activities such as cleaning the Church parking lot and Seaton School parking lot.

 Tionna Cozart attends McKinley Tech School, she is a member of the McKinley Tech Ambassador, and Honor Roll Student and a member of the National Art Honor Society.  Tionna was Student of the Month in January 2020.

 Kadena Cozart a student at Banneker High School and an Honor Roll Student.  Kadena is also enrolled at UDC and serves on the Newspaper Club and Book Club.

 Tyler N. Hughes received the highest award in Girl Scouting the Gold Award.  Tyler completed her project in September 2019.  Her Award was awarded in 2020.  Troop # 3812 @ Municipal Center in New Carrollton Maryland.

 Nya G. Person a Senior at Banneker High School. On Sunday, February 29, 2020 Nya received the Evelyn Hider A & B HBCU Scholarship Award from the Shiloh Baptist Church HBCU Council.  Congrualations!!!!!!

Shiloh Lenten Events

Weekday Reflections on Twitter

Thursday, February 27 – Friday, April 3

Lifestyle Institute

Thursdays, March 5 – April 2, 6:30 p.m. – Heritage Hall

Weekday Noon Dial-In Services

Monday, March 9 – Friday, April 3, 12:00-12:30 p.m. 1-857-232-0155, Access Code 428058

Palm Sunday Service

April 5, Unity Service 10:55 a.m.  

Holy Week Services

Monday, April 6 – Thursday, April 9, 12:00 p.m. – Chapel of Hope

Maundy Thursday Service (with Metropolitan Baptist Church)

April 9, 7:00 p.m. – Shiloh Sanctuary

Good Friday Service

April 10, 12:00 p.m. – Shiloh Sanctuary


Join Pastor Smith in Revival!

Monday, March 9 – Wednesday, March 11

Bethlehem Baptist Church

7836 Fordson Road

Alexandria, VA 22306

The Pastor’s Pen: March 1, 2020

Last Sunday’s observance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) was a joyous time for all of us to connect with our roots by celebrating our HBCUs. HBCUs have an important role in our culture and community. Since the time of their inception, HBCUs and their respective Greek organizations have been dedicated to academic excellence, kinship, social justice, leadership, and uplifting African Americans. A few years ago, it was expressed by many that in a post-racial world, HBCUs were no longer necessary. The recent reversing of political gains and economic advancements have clearly shown that we need our HBCUs now more than ever. We must not forget that HBCUs have greatly contributed to the nation’s workforce by producing a mass of distinguished graduates in many fields of study, most notably in science, technology, and mathematics. Overall, HBCUs provide a value that predominately white institutions do not have. As Christian churches have played a role in the establishment of HBCUs, I express my deepest thanks to Shiloh’s HBCU Council for keeping us accountable to our roles in helping our youth achieve an HBCU education. Job well done!
On February 24, 2020, the Washington Post reported the death of Katherine Johnson, one of the NASA mathematicians depicted in “Hidden Figures.” Last year, our Senior Citizens Club, in one of its many offerings of quality events, hosted a screening of the movie in Heritage Hall. I was blessed to have shared with some of our seniors in this significant event. We laughed, talked back to the characters on the screen, and just had a great time together! This was the first time I became aware of the enormous contribution Mrs. Johnson made to science and particularly to space travel. Washington, DC’s own, Taraji P. Henson portrayed Johnson with an excellently understated depiction of Johnson’s complex character   while providing deep insight into the resolve and courage of Black people and Black women particularly. Henson portrayed Katherine Johnson as a woman of class seasoned with sass. We must be mindful that Mrs. Johnson functioned in an era when Black women were still viewed by much of the nation as little more than mammies, maids, or entry-level secretaries.
The Post indicated that Mrs. Johnson died at 101 years old. Her remarkable career was marked by the fact that she developed NACA’s (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a precursor of NASA) codifying mathematical principles that to this day remain at the core of human space travel. One particularly interesting fact the movie illustrated was that John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, would not launch his mission to space until he directed NASA to, “get the girl to check the numbers.” “If she says the numbers are good, I am ready to go,” said Glenn.
It is an interesting coincidence that as Black History Month ends and Women’s History Month begins, we celebrate the life of a woman who was an icon of Black American excellence. We also celebrate Katherine Johnson as a pioneer in the Women’s Rights Movement, demonstrating that women can excel in a field usually reserved for men. Katherine Johnson was not only a woman ahead of her time, but a Black woman who showed the world that Black people are as intellectually gifted in mathematics as any culture or race of people. To God be the glory!

Lent 2020 @ Shiloh

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5: 1-2)

The 40 days of Lent will commence on Ash Wednesday, February 26. Lent is the high holy season where Christians emulate Jesus’ resistance to Satan’s temptations. Shiloh’s theme for this year is “Reimagining a Life of Sacrifice.” In commemoration of God’s ultimate sacrifice, during this Lenten season let us endeavor to sacrifice one personal affinity and resist the temptation to default. Beginning Ash Wednesday, February 26, through Good Friday, April 10, there will be a receptacle in the sanctuary foyer to symbolically and anonymously dispose of undesirable aspects of our life culminating in a ritual burning ceremony on Good Friday. Join in with Shiloh in the many activities in observance of Lent.

What constitutes a sacrifice?

A sacrifice is not a mere ritual to appease God. Rather, it is a loving service performed with a repentant heart in appreciation for God’s mercy.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:16-17)

What is an appropriate Lenten sacrifice?

A Lenten sacrifice is a commitment to temporarily relinquish a corporeal pleasure or convenience in order to spiritually draw closer to God.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9:23-24)

Shiloh Lenten Events

Ash Wednesday Services

February 26, Oil and Ashes 12:00-3:00 p.m. – Sanctuary

Evening Service 7:00 p.m. – Sanctuary

Weekday Reflections on Twitter

Thursday, February 27 – Friday, April 3

Lifestyle Institute

Thursdays, March 5 – April 2, 6:30 p.m. – Heritage Hall

Weekday Noon Dial-In Services

Monday, March 9 – Friday, April 3, 12:00-12:30 p.m. 1-857-232-0155, Access Code 428058

Palm Sunday Service

April 5, Unity Service 10:55 a.m.  

Holy Week Services

Monday, April 6 – Thursday, April 9, 12:00 p.m. – Chapel of Hope

Maundy Thursday Service (with Metropolitan Baptist Church)

April 9, 7:00 p.m. – Shiloh Sanctuary

Good Friday Service

April 10, 12:00 p.m. – Shiloh Sanctuary

The Pastor’s Pen: February 23, 2020

On this Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Sunday, we welcome to our pulpit, renowned theologian and preacher, Rev. Frank A. Thomas, Ph.D. Dr. Thomas is the Director of the Ph.D. Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric and the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. We thank God for this preacher and teacher of the gospel. We look forward to his insightful and spiritual presentations.

We thank God also for the continuing good work of our HBCU Council. Over the years, the Council has helped to keep us critically aware of the important role of HBCUs in the African American community and across this nation. HBCU graduates have blazed trails in civil rights, made great contributions in science, law, and medicine and developed entrepreneurial and business enterprises. Unfortunately, HBCUs have struggled with the realities of racism and prejudice that have forced these schools to function from their inception with insufficient funds, inadequate support, and the misperception of many in the majority community that anything Black is inherently inferior. We are proud of our HBCU Council here at Shiloh. It has taken root in our congregation and become a model for churches around the nation.

As we have observed the nation’s politics in the last few years, the notion of a post-racial America is nothing but a myth. The doors of economic opportunity remain boarded up and nailed shut. Although the success of the Civil Rights Movement made it possible for African American students to attend predominately white institutions, also known as PWIs, the nurturing and equipping of Black students to face the challenges of a racialized world have always happened best in HBCUs.

 In 2002, the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) under the leadership of the late C. Mackey Daniels, encouraged PNBC churches to intentionally support the work of our HBCUs. I brought this notion back to Shiloh, shared it with J. Otis Harris, Jr., and David Hayes, who immediately began to develop an HBCU Council. From meager beginnings, this ministry has grown and flourished into what it is today. We must never forget that without HBCUs, the history of race in this country would be taught by the victors and not the victims. Also, the extraordinary contributions of such stalwarts as Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, and Dr. Charles Drew might never have been fully appreciated or valued without the teachings from HBCUs.

Thank you, HBCU Council, for your tireless efforts to promote the health and life of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. To God be the glory!





Applications for scholarships offered by the

Shiloh Scholarship Committee are now available!

How to apply:  E-mail to request a fillable application package that includes the application and list of eligibility and selection criteria for the difference scholarships available. You may also download the application package at 

Important date: The deadline for submitting a completed scholarship application form, required essays, letters of recommendation, and an official transcript is March 22, 2020.

New scholarships this year:  

  • Dr. Harry Roberson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship   
  • Male Youth Project Scholarship — in memory of Gerard O. Bingham 

Please direct all questions to

Calling All Volunteers!

The Shiloh Debutante Program Committee invites women and men to serve our church and community as leaders and mentors to teen girls through our faith-based rites of passage. A meeting will convene soon to orient you as committee members and points of contact.  Please send an email to if you are interested in attending the meeting to learn more about the program and committee members’ roles and responsibilities.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sharon Parker, Director

Elizabeth J. Carroll, Assistant Director

The Pastor’s Pen: February 9, 2020

During Black History Month, we commemorate the achievements and legacies of African Americans and recognize the role of Blacks in American history. Today, I pen my thoughts on the memory of an African American legend who worshiped with us for many years. Although Harry Roberson, Jr. contributed much to our community and beyond, many of us knew little about him because he was a “quiet giant.”  Today, we launch the Dr. Harry Roberson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. Meet this “Prince Among Men.” 

A native of a tiny town in Arkansas known as Malvern and born to humble circumstances, Dr. Harry Roberson, Jr., fulfilled a lifelong quest to advance professionally and to inspire and help others to excel regardless of social, racial, and economic barriers.

Dr. Roberson believed that a better life could only be achieved through education.  Nevertheless, when he graduated from high school in 1946, he had no idea how he would manage to pay for his college education. But as fate would have it, one of Dr. Roberson’s former teachers–Ms. Fanning-Bailey–opened the door for Dr. Roberson to launch his education. Dr. Roberson never forgot the encouragement and opportunity provided by Ms. Fanning-Bailey that enabled him to advance and succeed in his chosen career of finance, business, and management. Consequently, Dr. Roberson vowed to “pay it forward” by supporting students seeking educational opportunities. 

Dr. Roberson began doing so the day he graduated from his beloved Philander Smith College (PSC) in 1950.  Since that day, for nearly 70 years, Dr. Roberson provided scholarship assistance to eligible students. As part of Dr. Roberson’s activities, in 1988, he established the Harry Roberson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance to students at PSC.  He also established the Fund to demonstrate his gratitude to the school that had given him so much and made it possible for him to attend college and lead and live a successful business career. 

For his philanthropic and altruistic desire to improve human welfare, in 1989, Dr. Roberson received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the National Alumni Association of PSC after serving more than 40 years of active membership. Also, in 2010, Dr. Roberson was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by PSC in recognition of his unstinting service and devotion to the ideals and precepts of the College. 

A proud life member of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc., Dr. Roberson was a “man after God’s own heart.” He passionately sought God’s wisdom and word and recognized early on his journey that God’s grace ordered his steps. Throughout his quest for higher education and successful entrepreneurship, Dr. Roberson remained faithful to God and the church. 

Dr. Roberson’s quiet strength of humility and integrity were the essences of his generosity.  The scholarship named in memory of this “Prince Among Men,” bequeathed to the historic Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, DC, under the stewardship of the Shiloh Scholarship Committee, is a testament to Dr. Roberson’s love for his church of 35 years, and affirms his commitment to providing financial assistance to youth who are pursuing a college education. The legacy of Dr. Harry Roberson, Jr., will live in perpetuity.


“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his ways.”

– Psalm 27: 33