One century and counting
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News April 27, 2012 10:50AM
The original Shiloh M.B. Church Pioneers under the leadership of Pastor Harris located on 200 Rev. Walton Drive in Lockport. The church has post them as shown in the photo. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
If your go
What: Shiloh Baptist Church 105th anniversary celebration
When: Sunday. Worship service is at 10 a.m., which includes sanctuary dedication. The burying of the time capsule and memorial garden dedication follows. The afternoon will conclude with a dinner.
Where: Shiloh Baptist Church, 18101 Oak Ave. in Lockport.
Updated: May 30, 2012 8:09AM
LOCKPORT — Despite the burying of a 3-foot-high and 2-foot-wide time capsule and the dedication of a memorial garden, sanctuary and ministry campus, the 105th anniversary celebration at Shiloh Baptist Church is more than just a glance backward.
It’s a commemoration to a church that is still thriving, attracting new members and setting short- and long-term goals for its future.
Over the next five to 10 years, members at Shiloh Baptist Church hope to erect a traditional church on part of its 42 acres. Projects for 2012 include expanding the church parking lot, erecting a sign and reaching into the Fairmont community with sporting, drama and musical events in its new multipurpose center.
“We want people to know we’re not religious stuffed shirts, that we’re real people and that we know how to have fun,” said Pastor Richard House.
Almost a year ago, members at Shiloh Baptist Church moved their church into its new ministerial phase by walking from the former church building at 200 Reverend Walton Drive to its new one, half a mile away, at 18101 Oak Ave.
Despite a new location, the legacy upon which founders built Shiloh Baptist Church — hard work and sacrifice, even in the midst of challenges and struggles — as well as the Rev. James W. Walton’s vision for ministry, flourishes.
As proof of it, during the anniversary worship service, members of Shiloh Baptist Church will dedicate the auditorium and ministry campus to Walton and to his wife Rose (both deceased).
“Pastor Walton was a great leader and a great man of God,” House said. “He made all his people feel like they were an integral part of this church and he always had something for young people to do. He kept us engaged in his ministry, so we never felt we had to go seeking somewhere else. When we looked around, we never saw a church doing anything more than we were.”
House has always attended Shiloh Baptist. He has fond memories of participating in the children’s choir. He taught Sunday school and served first as a deacon, later as an assistant pastor and, since 1990, as pastor.
This is part of the reason for both the memorial garden and the time capsule. The memorial garden will be in the area between the auditorium and future sanctuary. Its walkway will be marked with stones bearing the names of deceased members.
“It will be an attractive showpiece as people drive by,” House said, “and a place to sit and reflect on the people who came before us.”
The time capsule, in addition to holding historical memorabilia for the next generation, will be an opportunity for shared memories when it’s opened in 25 years. Some people, like House, intend to be around when that happens.
“I’ll probably be retired by then,” House said, “but I’d love to see the faces of the pastor and the younger generation when we open that capsule.”