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Ordained by our Heavenly Father and guided by the hand of His Son, Jesus Christ, two separate chains of events were set in motion during a fifty-seven year time span leading to the founding of Shiloh Baptist Church. First in 1815, Cyrus Carter the founder of Shiloh, was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. Later came the beginning of Odrick’s Corner, where Shiloh now stands. Cyrus Carter rose from the humblest beginnings to do great things for the African-American community of Northern Virginia. Between 1866 and 1873, he organized the First Baptist Church of Chesterbrook, the First Baptist Church of Vienna, the Mount Salvation Baptist Church of Arlington, and the greatest of all, Shiloh Baptist Church.
In 1873, seven members under the leadership of Rev. Cyrus Carter organized the Shiloh Baptist Church. Services were held in the Odrick’s Public School in McLean, Virginia. The church membership increased rapidly, influenced by Rev. Carter and his deacons, Brother Willis Gaskins, Brother Henry Brooks, Brother Titus Milner and Brother Edmond Thompson. When members became interested in purchasing land to build a church, a committee was formed to lead the effort. Four acres of property to erect an edifice was purchased from Charles Elgin.
On September 25, 1887, Rev. Carter assisted by Rev. Jenkins of Alexandria, laid the cornerstone for the church. The church was immediately enclosed by Christopher Walters at a cost of two thousand dollars. The families that took an active part in erecting the building were the Turners, Millners, Brooks, Waynes, Days, Thompsons, Carters, and Kellys. Rev. Carter completed his work on earth two months before the church was dedicated. On October 11, 1891, the spirit of his good work and evidence of his determination were present during the dedicatory services concluded by Rev. Robert Woodson of Oak Grove, Virginia.
Shiloh’s more recent history can be traced back to Rev. Oliver Hall, who was called on April 15, 1926. Three days later the church burned down and the congregation was forced to hold services in the Odrick’s Public School. It wasn’t until 1929 that Shiloh was able to lay another cornerstone for a new building. Among the pastors that have served Shiloh since then are the Rev. Roger Bush, the Rev. Harvey Patterson, the Rev. Ronald Winters, and Rev. Dr. Carson Wise, Sr. Under the leadership of Pastor Wise, the church began remodeling efforts while services were held at various locations, including the Langley School gymnasium. After ten long years, rebuilding efforts were successful and members of Shiloh returned to the new renovated space on March 18, 2006.
On September 29, 2007, our beloved Pastor Rev. Dr. Robert Cheeks, Jr. was called to serve. Under the guidance of Dr. Cheeks, Shiloh celebrated 136 years of ministry in 2009. Our membership has grown and the thirst for spiritual growth has increased. With a new ministry strategy in place that frames our areas of opportunities, the Lord has renewed our focus and re-energized our strength. A number of new ministries have been added as well as outreach projects to further meet needs within the community and the greater DC Metropolitan area.
We are grateful to God for the many years that He has blessed us, and we look forward to many more as we continue Advancing His Kingdom.