A (not-so) Brief History (We’ve been around a long time!)
In 1660 and 1662 Yeopim King Kiscutanewh granted land to Nathaniel Batts and George Durant recognized as the first land deeds in North Carolina. By 1697 the Yeopim leaders complained to the colonial government about nearby European settlers encroaching on their lands. In 1704 the Executive Council granted 10,240 acres (16 square miles) along both sides of the North River to the Yeopim Nation. The deed for the reservation granted the Yeopim exclusive hunting and fishing rights. The area known as Indiantown was only about six miles north of Raymons/Raymonds Creek where the first worshipers of what would become Shiloh Baptist Church first began to meet.
The beginnings of Shiloh Baptist Church are humble and span back to before 1727, when a Baptist missionary named Paul Palmer, organized the Shiloh Baptist Church. William Burges (spelled with one “s”) was the first pastor. The total population of the area known as North Carolina was about 30,000 people. The entire Albemarle area accounted for approximately 4,000 residents. In 1711, the Tuscarora Indians, who lived on the southern side of the Albemarle Sound, went on the warpath and almost overwhelmed the colonists of the Albemarle region. The Yeopim/Yawpim Nation who had settled around the North River on the nearest reservation to what is now the township of Shiloh, in Camden County were not greatly involved in the Tuscarora Wars since the two tribes were not allied with one another. Most likely, there were more Indians than colonists living in the area around the shores and rivers of the Albemarle region.
Since the colonists were scattered and transportation was difficult, the organized church began meeting once a month in the home of William Burges which was located about three miles south of the present location of Shiloh Baptist Church at the head of Raymons/Raymonds Creek. Prior to 1775, present day Camden County was still a part of Pasquotank County requiring that official business be carried across the Pasquotank River to be recorded. The earliest known existing record of the Shiloh Baptist Church is a petition to the Court of Pasquotank Precinct, requesting that the court record the meeting of the Baptist Congregation. This petition was signed on the bottom right by William Burges; also to the left are the signatures of Paul Palmer, Francis Brocket, Thomas Herenton (modern spelling Harrington), William Jones, Philip Torksey (there are several modern spellings including Toxey and Doxey), Robert Wasson, and Charles Scarborough (once misinterpreted from the script on the original document as “Leutrough”). Shiloh Baptist Church is the oldest continually worshipping Baptist church in North Carolina.
By 1727 people were worshiping in the home of pastor, Rev. William Burges. The number of worshipers grew and in 1736 Reverend Burgess built a small church next to his home. The petition was made by the church to the King’s Court September 5, 1729 for them to continue worshiping as they had been for several years. A photographic copy is available in the church today. According to Morgan Edwards, an early Baptist Historian, a meeting house was built on the land of the pastor, William Burges in 1736. Edwards gave the membership at that time as about 30. His records also show January 20, 1758, as the date when the constitution of the church changed from the General to the Particular Order. He lists the names of 12 members who had “embraced the particular scheme” and states that “in 13 years they increased from 12 to 192” and that “most of the brethren of the General Persuasion” had rejoined them.
When these 12 left for the Particular Baptists, they erected a separate meeting house, described by Edwards as being fifty feet by twenty-five feet on the ground owned by the pastor, John Burges, son of William Burges. The meeting house was located on Portahonk Creek, a distance of about three miles from the 1736 meeting house, and across the road from the present building. The new location near the present location was now about halfway between Raymons Creek and Indiantown. A marker was placed on this site in 1974. In 1723, the Yeopim Indians had gained permission to sell their reservation land and began to sell their land in multiple parcels over time.
By this time the Yeopim leaders had taken on English names such as John Durant, John Barber, John Hawkins, Henry Gibbs, and George Durant so it becomes difficult to determine from any surviving primary documents the degree of interaction between the church and the Yeopim people from the reservation. Evan Forbes served the church as pastor 1829-1842, 1845-1848, 1851-1853, and 1853-1857. James Forbes and his family, originally from Scotland, were admitted to North Carolina on October 20, 1701. James Forbes was granted 532 acres on the east side of the Pasquotank River on October 21, 1715. This land was adjacent to the Yeopim Reservation so it is reasonable to think that there was at least some interaction between the Forbes family and the Yeopim. Wesley Episcopal Methodist Church in Old Trap began meeting around 1834.
Providence Baptist Church located in what is now Shawboro in Currituck County was originally called Providence Meeting House in 1817 and was constituted as a Baptist church in 1826. Although the evidence is mostly circumstantial, it is likely that if the Yeopim Indians accepted Christianity and assimilated with the Colonial Europeans that Shiloh is where they would have had the greatest opportunity to do so. The present sanctuary, which originally included a balcony for Negro Members, was built in 1848-49, at the cost of $2400.00. This meeting house was built on land included in John Burges’ estate. In 1774, John’s son, Dempsey Burges, conveyed the property to the Baptist Society.
Mary and Luke Stevens donated funds and labor to add the steeple in 1878. Luke Stevens died from flu and pneumonia on March 8, 1878 and Mary Stevens died from the flu ten days later. (Courtesy of Linda Ann Mansfield.) Page 89, Camden County, by A. Burgess Jennings, Arcadia Publishing. Several additions have been made to the 1849 structure. The Steeple and bell were added in 1878. The present windows were installed in 1913. Eighteen Sunday School rooms were built in 1924 and fourteen more were added in 1954-55.
The present entrance and vestibule were added in 1947. When the sanctuary was renovated in 1949, the baptistery was installed, the choir loft was built and an electric organ was purchased. This organ was replaced in 1973. New pews were purchased in 1955, and the structure was bricked in 1966. The sanctuary was air-conditioned in 1969, and in 1974, air conditioning was installed throughout the rest of the church. New pews were purchased in 1955, and the structure was bricked in 1966. The Fellowship Hall, Pastor’s Study, and offices were added in 1992. In 1994, the Children’s Playground was built.
Although the spiritual growth of the church cannot be accurately measured, a glimpse of its membership at specific times, during its history, might be significant. We do not know how many members there were when the church was organized in 1727. In 1736, the membership was given as about 30. By 1800, membership had increased to about 200. Associational minutes record membership in 1848 at about 369, 316 whites and 53 blacks. In 1857, membership had grown to 448, 369 whites and 79 blacks. Services were interrupted during the Civil War, while Federal Troops occupied the building and used it as an arsenal. Associational minutes of 1890 list 91 male members and 316 female members.
In 1925, there was a total of 461 members; in 1961, records show 617 members. In 2002, there were 457 members listed. In 2008, we had approximately 481 members on the church roll. The church has not been without some controversy. As mentioned earlier, in 1758 the membership split over doctrinal differences. The minutes of the Kehukee Association reveal that Shiloh Church was admitted to that association in 1771, but was expelled in 1775 because the church and pastor, Henry Abbott, took a stand against proposed reforms. The church was readmitted in 1778 and remained with that association until 1806, when the Chowan Association was formed.
There have been four name changes since the church was formed. The first name given to the church was Burges’ Meeting House. It was changed to North Meeting House and later, to Camden Meeting House. In 1812, the name Shiloh was adopted. The name Shiloh is biblical and means peaceable or pacific. Shiloh was the ancient city of Ephraim, which was one of the earliest and most sacred Hebrew sanctuaries. • In 1831, Sunday School was organized within the church. • We do not know when the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) was organized, but it was listed in the associational minutes in 1906. •
In January 1919, Reverend Joel Brown became the first full time pastor. • The first Training Union was organized in 1921. • Shiloh extended its ministries to the surrounding area by organizing nine churches: Pungo, now known as Oak Grove Baptist, Princess Anne County, VA, in1762 Yoppim, in Chowan County, NC, in 1771 Cowenjock (now spelled “Coinjock”), in Currituck County, NC, in 1780 Knobs Crook, now known as First Baptist, in Elizabeth City, NC in 1786 Flatty Creek, now known as Salem Baptist, in Weeksville, NC, in 1790 Sawyer’s Creek, in Camden, NC 1790 Shady Grove, in Currituck County, NC, in 1828 Oak Ridge, in Riddle (Camden County) NC, in 1889 Pleasant Grove, in Indiantown (Camden County) NC, in 1891 (Oak Ridge, and Pleasant Grove no longer exist, though Shiloh Baptist absorbed much of the memberships of the two churches.)
Many ministers have been ordained here at Shiloh Baptist. They are listed as follows: William Burges Sr. William Burges Jr. John Burges Joshua White Thomas Etheridge David Duncan William Lurry David Biggs Lemuel Burkitt Evan Forbes Jesse Bray Benjamin Dozier Abner Berry Wells Briggs Charles S. Burgess John L. Pritchard A.W. Burfoot Gideon Bray Charles B. Williams M.B. Toxey James B. Sawyer Don Clinton Steve Hughes Kenneth Wallace The most noted of these, was Dr. Charles B. Williams. Dr. Williams was ordained in 1890 and later became an educator and author. He taught Greek at Southwestern Seminary, from 1905-1919. He held the position of Dean the last six years at Southwestern. He served as president at Howard College from 1919-1921. Dr. Williams went on to Mercer University, in Georgia, where he taught New Testament Interpretation for four years. He then became a professor of Greek and Ethics at Union University in Tennessee until 1932. Dr. Williams most noted literary work is his translation of the New Testament into the language of the people. (Moody Press 1949) In 1941, Dr. Williams returned to Shiloh and served as pastor until 1946.
In 1968, Shiloh Baptist extended its ministries by broadcasting the Morning Worship Service over the radio in Elizabeth City, NC, at WCNC. The broadcast continued until 1980. Shiloh Church has also be influential in political affairs. One of our early pastors, Henry Abbott, was elected to both the State Congress Meetings in Halifax, NC in 1776. On April 12, 1776, the first Congress adopted the famous Halifax Resolves. The last paragraph of the Halifax Resolves reads in part: “Resolve, that the delegates for the Colony in the Continental Congress, be empowered to concur with the delegates of the other colonies in declaring Indepencency…” The Provincial Assembly met again in Halifax, in November of that same year.
One of Abbott’s assignments was with a “committee to form, and lay before this House a Bill of Rights, and form a constitution for the government of this state”. Tradition credits Abbott with being the author of Article Nineteen of the State Constitution, “That all men have natural and inalienable rights to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience.” Dempsey Burges was a member of the majority of the congress convened during the Revolutionary period, including the two at Halifax, in 1776. Burges became Lt. Colonel in the Continental Army, during the Revolutionary War and was a member of the United States Congress from 1795-98. According to Baptist Historic Papers, in 1776, the deacons of Shiloh Church were asked by the newly elected governor, to serve as Magistrates and Conservators of the peace, until the machinery of state government could be put into operation.
In 1990, Shiloh church history added a new page. Earline Revelle was ordained as the first woman deacon to serve in the church and served Shiloh Baptist Church as an active deacon for three terms. In 1995, Andrea Garrett was hired as an American Sign Language Interpreter. In May of 2000, Shiloh Baptist embarked on a more relaxed style of worship. The Early Worship Service began. It provided a relaxed atmosphere with Praise and Worship Music, a condensed version of the sermon for the 11:00 Worship Service, and a more contemporary worship experience. This worship experience still goes on in 2015.
Beginning in December 2013, Billy Royal has been serving as our pastor. He is originally from South Carolina and served 15 years in the Marines and is currently a Navy Chaplain Candidate. He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Interim Pastor – December 5, 2010, we were blessed to have Reverend Roland Cooper serving as our interim pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church until Pastor Billy was called to Shiloh. Reverend Cooper brought over 50 years of pastoral experience in God’s ministry to our church and Shiloh was very blessed by his family and look forward to seeing him at Shiloh as his ministry allows. Choir Director/Pianoist – Angel Lasher came to Shiloh Baptist Church in 2011. Angel has worked to buildup the SBC choir ministry to provide our congregation worship and praise through music each Sunday. Angel works with our children’s choir ministry and SBC Vacation Bible School yearly event for the children in the church and surrounding community. Church Secretary – Faye Richardson began serving as the church secretary in December 2010. Additionally, Faye serves in the SBC choir, Vacation Bible School and in SBC children’s ministries. Financial Secretary – Holly Staples – Holly grew up at Shiloh Baptist. She has also served as the church secretary. Custodian – Annette Berry serves as our custodian maintaining the church facility.
The Baptist Faith & Message Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith & Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who we are. Copies are available at our church, or visit the Southern Baptist Convention website for more information. Below is a brief, partial summary.
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ. God There is one and only one living and true God. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgement. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.
God’s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel … and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. This church is an autonomous body. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
Baptism & the Lord’s Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members … memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
The Lord’s Day
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world its appropriate end. Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly … the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell. The righteous … will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Evangelism & Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations … to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort.
The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence … there should be proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trustee-ship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions.
Christ’s people should … organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations.
The Christian & the Social Order
Every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in his own life and human society. The Christian should oppose in the spirit of Christ every form of greed, selfishness, and vice.
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord.
When you come to worship with us, you may have questions about a few things.
We hope the information below will answer some of these questions. If you have additional question, please feel free to call us at our church office or contact us by email.
Some ask – what should I wear?
Most people come comfortable and we invite you to do the same. You will see a mix of jeans and suits, dresses and shorts, and you are welcome to come and fit in with us.
What about my kids?
Both of our Sunday morning services are family-friendly. Families should feel comfortable keeping their children with them or allowing them to participate in the appropriate age childcare at the 11:00 service. The pastor has four children of his own and enjoys the curiosity they bring to worship.
As you drive into the paved street entry parking lot located on the left side of the main church building, you will see designated “handicapped parking” spaces. If you require handicapped parking, you are free to park in any space in our parking areas designated as “handicapped parking”.
There is additional parking on the south side of the church.
Handicapped Ramp Entry Access:
We have a Handicapped ramp for wheelchair access. It is located next to the Handicapped Parking spaces in the parking area to the left of the main church building.
Assisted Listening Devices
We offer Assisted Listening Devices for the Hearing Impaired during worship services. Prior to the beginning of the service, please see the Sound Panel Operator, who will be located in the back corner of the sanctuary.