Shiloh Baptist

Marion County
Org 1812
Photography by Steve Robinson

The Greek Revival style church building above is the second church structure on this site and was constructed in 1835. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Shiloh-Marion Church is the most significant extant physical link with the history of the once substantial community of Church Hill. It is the only remaining church of the five churches that gave the crossroads town of Church Hill its name. Church Hill was quite a community in the mid 1850’s although little is left of it now.

The history of Shiloh-Marion Baptist Church began in 1812 when a Methodist and Baptist missions station was established at a point between Kinchafoonee Creek and the west fork of Lanahassee Creek along a major trading path. This trade route went from the Chattahoochee River to the town of St Marys on the coast. With the Creek cessions of 1826-1827, white settlers began to come into the southwest and south central Georgia. This influx of settlers was accompanied by the improvement of the old trading paths and the creation of a network of new roads. Where these roads crossed new communities were established. Such was the case with the missions point that became the site of Shiloh-Marion Baptist Church.

The Methodist and Baptist churches, were the leading religious denominations in this county. In the earliest days, churches were constructed of pine logs which in later years were reconstructed into neat frame buildings. The large open fireplaces were discarded and pot-bellied stoves installed. According to some local history, “Brush arbor” or camp meetings were popular in certain areas. Candles were first used to light the church, then kerosene lamps. All denominations participated with each other and the congregations would be greatly moved with religious fervor. The “Social” affairs of the church were all day meetings with “Dinner on the Ground”. Members would bring a big basket lunch, and spread delicious food in the table outside under shady trees. Water was brought from the spring which is still present below Shiloh Church in the woods.