Church photo

History of Shiloh Baptist Church

 Around 1869, plans were made to organize a church in Gunston, (Lorton) Virginia. Oral history passed down through the years tells us that before Shiloh was erected on land purchased on November 18, 1879 congregants may have walked to Shiloh Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1878, trustees Relius Allen and Archie Gilliam purchased one acre of land on Gunston Road and the first meeting was in a log cabin, located across the road from our present church. Reverend John Webb was believed to be the first pastor of the original church.

The Early Years

In 1885, Reverend S.M. Johnson, of Alexandria, Virginia was pastoring and served for more than 30 years. In 1900 another acre of land was purchased directly across the road from the original land purchase that included a building known as the Gunston White School.  This schoolhouse served as Shiloh Baptist Church. About 1925, Reverend A.B. Givens of Mt. Bethel Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. came to Shiloh as pastor and under his leadership the vestibule and cement step was added. The annex was dedicated and completely paid for in August 1957. The choir platform was built and the pulpit was extended. Suddenly, on the second Sunday in November 1961, after delivery of a powerful message, Reverend Johnson became ill and passed within a few hours. On July 20, 1980, Reverend Robert E. King, son of Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia was installed as Pastor. Then in January 16, 1999, Reverend Anthony B. Cardwell Sr., son of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Occoquan, Virginia, was installed as the first full time Pastor, until October, 2000. From May 2000 until July 2002, Reverend Harvey Henderson, son of Mt. Salvation, Arlington, VA served as our Interim Pastor.

Shiloh Today

On Saturday, June 15, 2002 the members of Shiloh Baptist Church, Gunston met and voted to call Dr. Luther M. Bailey as their Pastor. This event marked the beginning of a new life for both Dr. Luther M. Bailey, son of Shiloh Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia, and the Shiloh Family of Lorton Virginia. His vision included such activities as: Instituting Quarterly Strategic Planning Sessions and improved Leadership Training at all levels to include the Iron Sharpens Iron Bible Institute.

Interesting Facts:

  • Prior to 1950, candidates for Baptism were baptized in the Potomac River.  Baptismal services were only held inhe spring and summer months due to water temperature
  • Groundbreaking service for the current sanctuary was held on August 11, 1984. Dedication of the new building was held on September 8, 1985.
  • Two additional acres of land (including a house), adjoining the church property was purchased in 2004
  • In May 2011, Shiloh Baptist Church was designated a historical site by the Fairfax County Historical Commission.  A historical marker for this distinction is located at the north end of the church parking lot