The Pastor’s Pen: September 22, 2019

We welcome to our pulpit the Reverend Desiré P. Grogan, one of the most effective preachers and communicators of God’s Word in our midst. Rev. Grogan grew up in Shiloh and has been an active member of our congregation since childhood. Over the years, she has consistently presented the gospel of Jesus Christ with power and clarity. On this 156th church anniversary celebration we know that she will deliver again a powerful message that will bless our spirits with hope and encouragement.

Today, we also celebrate  the completion of our Covenant Commitment Campaign. This effort has been an overwhelming success. God has answered our prayers. The adage is true, “When prayers go up, blessings come down.” We thank all who while continuing to commit their tithes and sacrificial gifts, took on this campaign in faith.  We conclude this campaign with, “Hallelujah,” the highest form of praise! 

 Beginning Tuesday this week, we will observe our fall revival. Our revivalist will be Rev. Matthew L. Watley, Senior Pastor, Kingdom Fellowship A.M.E. Church (Silver Spring, MD). Bring a friend, Shiloh, and let us welcome this dynamic preacher of God and his congregation to our sanctuary as we celebrate the beginning of our new church year.

This year, we have been blessed with outstanding experiences for worship and reflection in celebration of our 156th church anniversary. Mack Paschal, Church Anniversary Chair, and Joy Patterson, Co-Chair, introduced many new and creative ideas throughout the month of September. On the first Sunday, the Prayer of Intercession included a segment on “Prayers of the Many,” where members of our congregation prayed in Spanish, American Sign Language, Farsi, and Aramaic. Many have commented on the powerful moment felt during this special time of prayer. On the second Sunday, we celebrated “Circle Day” in a service filled with spiritual joy! Our Circles responded with pride and in great support, and the attendance was outstanding. On the third Sunday, we honored members who were called home to God throughout this church year in a very special “Service of Remembrance.” Families of our deceased members came from near and far to join us in remembering our dearly departed. The Service of Remembrance is always a time for us to pause and thank God for those who walked among us. This years’ service was no exception. 

Today we bring our month-long anniversary festivities to a close with the celebration of Shiloh’s 156th anniversary. One hundred and fifty-six (156) years ago, 21 of the 400 men and women (former slaves) who fled Fredericksburg, VA (Shiloh Baptist Old Site) to Washington, DC decided to form a Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, DC. The group was formally recognized as a church by the Council of Baptist Churches of Washington, DC on September 23, 1863.  Later that month the Council ordained William L. Walker, a member of the group, as their minister.  Let us take a moment of silence tomorrow, Shiloh, and give thanks; we have come a long way in 156 years and have a lot for which to be thankful.  On a personal note, it is gratifying that I stand as the sixth pastor of this historic house of worship in its 156-year history, and on the shoulders of giants who laid the path for me.  “Hallelujah,” is indeed, the highest praise! 

Deepest thanks to Mack and Joy and their fellow committee members for their hard work and sacrificial efforts throughout the month. Thanks to their exceptional work we will enter the new church year with renewed energy and appreciation. To God be the glory!  Happy Anniversary, Shiloh.