Shiloh Baptist

Greene County
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Org 1850s-1860s
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Photography by Gail des Jardin

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.