Written by Edna Liggin
Services were held in the new church for the first time February 13, 1938. An old clipping from the Shreveport Times reads “The church is small, modern and one-storied with an auditorium and four Sunday school rooms. R. B. Mabry was supervisor of the construction.” An old record estimates the cost as $3,000.00.
The new church was dedicated April 10, 1938 with an estimated 1,000 people present. A registration book placed on a table at the entrance recorded names suggestive of the founders and pioneers of the church. Many came who had not been to Shiloh for a long time, some had not been back home in 50 years. Among those were the wife and daughter of one of Shiloh’s most illustrious sons, Mrs. J. R. Edwards and Mrs. David Cook.
The welcome address was given by Dale Goss while Bro. M. V. Burns told of memories of old Shiloh with Bro. A. T. Mitchell of Bernice speaking of the new Shiloh. Pastor O’Bier preached the dedication sermon and special music was brought by Mrs. M. A. Porter. At noon all enjoyed a bountiful basket lunch spread on long tables and old friends greeted each other and shared memories together. The afternoon program featured informal testimonies, talks by Bro. M. A. Treadwell of Farmerville and Bro. Lloyd Baird of Dubach. In the end the entire congregation joined in singing “Til We Meet Again”. It was a glorious day as old Shiloh joined hands with the new Shiloh, then parted, many indeed to meet no more this side of heaven, yet the old wished God’s blessings on the new.
In June of 1938 Rev. S. G. Rodgers (he had led the singing in the dedication program) was called to serve the church as pastor. Bro. Rogers was well know as a district missionary; before that he had worked at Bernice and was married to Lois Burns of Bernice. The church now had 134 members, an active Sunday School; the Training Union was gaining momentum, and it was to this organization Bro. Rogers left a charge to the church to nourish that it might continue.
In reply to a letter to Bro. Rogers from the author he wrote, “The ministry at Shiloh was one of the most enjoyable of my entire ministry. The good people were so eager and responsive. In addition to the enjoyable fellowship I recall that one thing I tried to lead the people in, and it seemed that they responded, was the taking of an evening offering each night during revival meetings. My reasoning was that the offering was an act of dedication to the Lord and ought to be so, even in a revival. I believe the kindness of the people at Shiloh made a profound impression upon my young life and ministry that has enable me to render better service for the Master.”
After one year at Shiloh, he left to pioneer in mission work among the French speaking people of South Louisiana. He is at present Superintendent of the Acadia Academy.
May 12, 1939 the church called Bro. Dewey Rockett of Spearsville and in July he preached a revival with Hugh Moore leading the song service. Interest was shown that October in a study course taught by Bro. Mitchell of Bernice and Bro. and Mrs. Rockett. That year the Shiloh W.M.U. went over to Patrick to the brush arbor to give a program. Bro. Rockett left Shiloh to carry on the Lord’s work elsewhere and is now deceased.
The next year there came to serve the church as pastor young Porter Lazenby, son of Mrs. Emma Lester Lazenby and the late Oscar Lazenby, and descendant of pioneer Tillman Porter. The previous year had been a high point spiritually for Concord Association when besides young Lazenby, three other young men were ordained, Allan Buckley, Thomas Barrett, and John Wesley Green. These four had begun preaching under a brush arbor at old Patrick cemetery and brought about a revival of the church so that a new building was erected and the church reorganized. Several members of Shiloh moved their letter to the new Patrick to be closer to home. These young men in 1939 made a mark for Christ never to be forgotten.
Bro. Lazenby left Shiloh and subsequently helped organize a Baptist church at Collinston; taught school at Lawson, Ark., pastored at Mt. Union and Camp Creek and Fellowship, then went to central Louisiana where he is at present at Pine Prairie. He married Laura Colvin and they have three daughters.
The next pastor after Bro. Lazenby was G. M. Stinebaugh (from 1942 to 1944) who saw the church add name after name to a list of its young men serving with the armed forces. One of them, Hugh Moore, lies buried in France today, his life sacrificed for his country. The body of another young man, Marvin Fomby, was brought home to be buried in the Shiloh cemetery.
(continued next week)