Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Historical marker tells of Lowndes County, Ala. church organized in 1850

'Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church' in Lowndes County, Ala.
This week’s featured historical marker is the “SHILOH PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH” marker in Lowndes County, Ala. This marker is located near the entrance to the church, which is located at 4694 State Highway 21 North in Lowndesboro, Ala.

This marker was erected by the Alabama Historical Association in 2002. There’s text on both sides of the marker, but both sides are the same. What follows in the complete text from the marker:

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“SHILOH PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH: Organized in 1850 as Shiloh Baptist Church on the Pritchett Plantation, later known as the R.D. Spann Place on Highway 21, North, three miles north of Hayneville. Primitive later added to the name. Building originally constructed of logs, then a wooden-board structure added as the community grew. Understanding the need to educate blacks in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the church served as both a school and a place to worship God on the Lord’s Day. In 1875, the Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Association was organized at the Spann Place site, the Elder Morris Jaree, Pastor. Church remodeled in 1960 under the leadership of Elder J.H. Betts. 1970 building addition made under the leadership of Elder J.S. Johnson. Congregation in 1990 decided to purchase parcel of land to relocate some three miles north of original site. New building dedicated in 1995. Congregation has taken active role in social ministry contributing to the well being of the community. Cornerstone reflects its philosophy: ‘We’ve come this far by Faith.’”

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I encountered this historical marker back in February while taking the back way, State Highway 21, from Montgomery to Monroeville, Ala. Not far from this historical marker, you’ll find a large brick sign for the church which says that the proper name for the church today is “Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church of Jesus Christ.” According to that sign, the Elder George A. Johnson is the pastor.

This church is between Montgomery and Hayneville (pronounced “Hayne-ville,” not “Hay-Nee-Ville”), which is the county seat of Lowndes County. If you’re traveling south on State Highway 21 from Montgomery to Hayneville, the church will be on your left-hand side, that is, the east side of the highway. You’ll also encounter a green highway information sign indicating an historical marker ahead a few hundred yards before you get to the church’s driveway.

In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another historical marker. I’m also taking suggestions from the reading audience, so if you know of an interesting historical marker that you’d like me to feature, let me know in the comments section below. 

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