Who We Are
On April 10, 1892, thirteen men and women met in the basement of Trinity AME Zion Church to discuss the formation of a new church. These pioneers formed a Christian fellowship based on love, trust and hope. This fellowship became Shiloh Baptist Church. This hard working group of Christians, who were formerly affiliated with Providence Baptist Church, dreamed of a church that would meet the needs of their members and the surrounding community. “… if you have faith as small as a mustard seed…nothing will be impossible for you,” Matthew 17:20.
The Rev. L. R. Jeffries served the young church for four years. During this time the first building was erected on Austin Street. It served as Shiloh’s home until 1925. Following Rev. Jeffries, the Rev. S. S. Henderson was called as pastor in 1896. He served the church for two years. The Rev. B. B. Hill served Shiloh for four years and was followed by Rev. T. D. Atkins. Rev. Atkins resigned after five years.
On May 10, 1907, Rev. John Thomas Hairston preached during revival service and was called to lead the flock. Rev. J. T. Hairston embarked on the longest history of service to date—a total of fifty-three years from 1907 until his death in 1960. During his tenure, the second building was erected. Completed in sections, beginning in 1925 and continuing through the Great Depression and World War I, the new building was completed during the 1940s. The membership also increased to 500 members. A number of auxiliaries such as the usher board, church neighborhood groups (later called wings and teams), youth choirs, junior church, Baptist training union, missionary program and Sunday School were initiated and/or improved on under his loving and disciplined leadership. The Boy Scout Troop was charted on July 23, 1925. Rev. J. T. Hairston was a respected leader on a state and national basis.
In April of 1960, the Rev. Otis L. Hairston was called to serve Shiloh after the death of his father, Rev. J. T. Hairston. Assuming his pastorate just as the Greensboro and world communities began facing turbulent times; Rev. Otis L. Hairston continued the tradition of bold Shiloh leadership. Shiloh stood at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. In addition, two of the students who initiated the national sit-in movement on February 1, 1960 were Shiloh members. Shiloh developed the J. T. Hairston Memorial Apartments in 1967.