Shiloh Baptist was organized in 1795, one mile from Penfield and was first known as Towns Creek. It is one of the oldest churches in Georgia. Towns Creek was received into the Georgia Baptist Association at Phillip’s Mill in 1796. Georgia was still a dangerous place at that time and the early worshipers carried their guns to church and posted sentries. The Creeks held the land on the other side of the Oconee River and there were frequent clashes. We are told the law required every man to carry his gun and four to six men guarded the church during services.
In 1807 a more substantial building was erected and the name changed to Shiloh. This building was destroyed during a cyclone in the 1850’s. The church prospered in these early days and, at one time, membership totaled over 400. Early records show that members were turned out of the church periodically for the usual abuses of profanity, fighting, drunkenness and sexual misbehavior. The church was added to the National Register in 1994 and recently, the membership was able to raise funds and restore the church to some of its former glory.
The church has recently been refurbished with new paint, floor finishes and a new roof. This will buy a lot of time for a Georgia rural church that has been standing for over 150 years.
The love and care that the congregation has lavished on the old church really shows. Many souls in the Georgia back country were saved from this spot.
A beautiful and quite simple display of the Lord's word and the lilies of the field.
Always prominent among the rural churches are the instruments of the music. Always a piano and sometimes an organ as well. Baptists love to sing and what a place to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
There are 89 interments in the cemetery. The oldest is Judith Baldwin who died in 1832.
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