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Good choice and good story ... this is why this country was created
... why people shed their blood for it ... a good reminder of where we came from.
According to the church's pastor, Dr. Wallace Charles Smith, 21 freed slaves made it to the nation's capital from Fredericksburg, Va., to establish a place where they could worship freely and where "they could reach others with the good news of their salvation."
The Shiloh Baptist Church was organized by its white members in 1804. The church's membership included some free blacks but most were slaves. The black members were subjected to segregated seating. The church was sold to African American members in 1854, and this congregation was led by a white pastor.
At the start of the Civil War in 1861, Shiloh had about 750 members. The Civil War disrupted the church's life but also brought the possibility of equality for blacks. The Shiloh religious services were discontinued when the Union Army wanted to change the church into a hospital because of a planned attack on Fredricksburg in June 1862.
The Union Army protected and helped the slaves and free blacks escape to Washington D.C. About 400 members of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Fredricksburg arrived in Washington D.C. Once they were in Washington D.C., they became free civilians because in April 1862 Congress emancipated the slaves of the District of Columbia.
We also have one in our little state of Rhode Island
We have a Shiloh Baptist Church in Alexandria, too.
Interesting history - something I didn't know about Alexandria until Harry's link had me look it up.
During the Civil War, the Union Army occupied the City of Alexandria to prevent the Confederate Army from having a route into Washington, D.C., the capitol. Since the Union Army was not in the slave trade, Alexandria became a haven for runaway slaves (then referred to as contraband). These contraband, along with captured Confederate soldiers, were housed in the old slave pen area at 1315 Duke Street. It was here that Shiloh Baptist Church began March 29, 1863, as the Old Shiloh Society when 50 former slaves gathered in a U.S. government mess hall to worship and praise God. When the congregation outgrew the mess hall, it moved to the nearby barracks. Shortly afterward, that building was destroyed by fire. Staunton School temporarily became the next meeting place. The Reverends Charles Rodgers and E. Owens, who were white, and Leland Warring, who was black, served during the first two years.