History of Shiloh Baptist Church
Shiloh has a very rich history which dates back over 100 years. The evolution of our church has been steady and monumental in many regards. Shiloh has evolved in its structure; starting as a small membership and evolving to an incorporated body. Structurally, Shiloh has grown from a one-‐story red brick church to our current edifice. We now hope to further expand to include The Woodson Family Life Center. Below is a brief timeline of our beautiful growth.
1880 – 1897 … Early Evolution of Shiloh
- Berean, the First Colored Baptist Church of Trenton, was founded in the spring of 1880 with sixteen members. Reverend Charles H. Barr was the pastor.
- In 1893, Berean was reorganized by Reverend J.B. Randolph as the Shiloh Baptist Church.
- It was then incorporated in 1897 as the Shiloh Baptist Church of Trenton, under the pastorate of Rev. Randolph.
- On the date of incorporation, Shiloh’s home was located in a rented hall at 118 Perry Street.
Construction of the first building
- Trenton Newspaper, page 5, July 4, 1902, reports…Colored Baptist Church, Shiloh Baptist, and location on Belvidere Street…broke ground for a one story red brick church, 50 x 22 feet with basement…
- The building will cost $2,500 of which $800 had been raised and another $400 pledged…
- The congregation, organized in 1896, was the only Colored Baptist congregation recognized by the Trenton Association.
- The then-‐pastor, Rev. A. R. Satterfield, was a native of North Carolina.
Our Extraordinary Progression from 1904 to Vision 2020
Shiloh has been blessed with the long-‐term presence of three extraordinary, talented, and outstanding spiritual leaders from 1904 to 2015:
- The Reverend John A. White was called to Shiloh in 1904: Rev. White reorganized the Church and cleared a debt of $2,000 to avoid losing the church that had been built in 1902.
- Among his many accomplishments, Rev. White grew the congregation and purchased nearby property on Calhoun Street to build a new church to accommodate an increasing membership. He dedicated the new church in 1918.
- After 42 years of honorable service Rev. White retired, passing the baton to Reverend S. Howard Woodson, Jr. in 1946.
The Reverend Dr. Samuel Howard Woodson, Jr.:
- A dynamic orator, effective community activist, highly respected theologian, achieved many “firsts” in the state of New Jersey.
- Rev. Woodson organized the church to reach out in support of projects that would connect with Haiti as well as local causes.
- He established an active relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement.
- He grew Shiloh in membership and inspired the congregation to build a new church in 1972.
- After 53 productive years of outstanding service, Rev. Woodson retired in 1999 passing the baton to interim Pastor Darrell Armstrong in 2000.
At this point in the history of Shiloh, three building programs had been undertaken in 1902, 1916 and 1972 and successfully completed by the Shiloh congregation.
The Reverend Darrell L. Armstrong:
- With his intellectual and historical curiosity, Pastor Armstrong is well grounded in his understanding of the challenges and accomplishments of Shiloh’s past and the unprecedented promises and possibilities of Shiloh’s future.
- In his 14th year of service, Rev. Armstrong continues to promote and elevate the Core values of Shiloh as a thriving church community of faith rooted in a worship tradition which represents the richness of the African Diaspora.
- Under his dynamic leadership, Shiloh has grown spiritually and tangibly. The church’s budget has more than tripled to $1.8 million, and its membership has tripled to 2,200 (approximately 500 families).
- Shiloh Baptist, in 2015, is in the midst of a $6 million capital campaign to build a “Rev. Dr. S. Howard Woodson, Jr. Family Life Center” as the first phase of the strategic VISION 2020 plan.