Shiloh Sketches

Written by Edna Liggin


The other girl, Melinda, married Louis McCallum, and of their seven children living today in Bernice is Mrs. Allie Evans. Others were Jeff, Jim Louis, Emma, Alma, Maggie, Willie Belle and John Clifford. The McCallums, too, were part of Shiloh church life for awhile and then became part of the Patrick community.

It was four years after 1870 that the path of the Porters led to Shiloh Church. Perhaps Pulaski Smith, the pastor, spoke words that started them on their many years of faithful service for Christ there. Perhaps the Smiths and Porters had known each other in Georgia, or maybe they were very good friends. Their descendants have intermarried until the old friendship is now forever sealed.

The first move was made by Zach Porter, when he was baptized and received into Shiloh Church in 1874 on June 6th. In September of the same year his young wife, Esther, was baptized, too. The next year, Zilphy, the mother united with the church by letter, (was it from Georgia?) in May while her husband, Tillman was baptized Dec. 6th, 1875, certainly at a time of the year that must have been uncomfortably cold in a pond or creek for there was not a warm baptistery for the ordinance. In 1876 it was recorded that the brother and sister, “Key” and Emma, united with Shiloh by letter. This is a bit of a mystery as they could not have had letters from a Georgia church, however, Mt. Tabor was two years old in 1876 and not too many miles from where the Porters lived.

As the years went by it was not long before Tillman Porter’s grandsons were baptized at Shiloh with Dan coming in 1892, (Edgar in 1897) so that the old records bear the name of four Porters many times over…Tillman, T. T. (Zach), Dan and Edgar while others were over at Patrick church, founded by Robert Patrick who felt the Lord calling him to go out into “the highways and hedges”.

“Grandpa” Tillman did not live to see his grandson, Edgar, baptized for he died a few months before (Feb. 1, 1897), living out his last years at his home, with his granddaughter, Mrs. Estelle Patrick, still remembering seeing him sitting on the front porch in his last years. He helped in his garden almost to the last, of the firm belief that a mule did not belong in a garden, but it should be dug by hand with a hoe. So in February, 1897 he was found dead in bed one morning. His wife, Zilphy Kendrick, survived him fourteen years, outliving her daughter, Georgia, by seven months. Zack and Esther did not live much longer, with death coming to her in 1916 and to Zach in 1918.

The Porters had lived long lives as good stewards of Shiloh, filled with a zeal to serve as they recorded conferences, collected money, served on committees and traveled miles through the years to worship God.

(cont. next week)

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