Reverend Anthony R. Sadler, Pastor

our history

Shiloh Baptist Church

© 2024 Shiloh Baptist Church

3565 9th Avenue Sacramento, CA 95817     916.664.3850

Shiloh Baptist Church was organized in 1856 at a Chinese Christian Chapel on 6th and H Streets, Sacramento, California. At that time the church, Shiloh was called Siloam Baptist Church. The Rev. Charles Satchel was the founder, organizer and first pastor (1856-1859). Shiloh was the second church in Sacramento to be founded and organized by and for African-Americans.

Soon after being organized, Shiloh purchased its first property, a small frame house on 5th Street, between N and O Streets, for $800.00. This structure was used for worship and other church functions until destroyed by fire in 1861. The membership, which totaled approximately 40 persons at that time, replaced the house with a new brick structure at the cost of $2,500.00.

In 1891, the name was officially changed from Siloam Baptist Church to Shiloh Baptist Church. Shiloh was incorporated into the State of California on November 29, 1898.

Shiloh purchased a property at 6th and P Streets and had a cornerstone laid on June 18, 1905 for the structure erected there. In November of the same year, Shiloh was again the victim of a fire. However, the building was not totally destroyed. The damage was repaired and Shiloh continued.

Between the years of 1920 and 1923 when Rev. I. E. Allen was pastor, the church conceived the idea of erecting a completely new edifice. Fruition of this idea was realized in the laying of the foundation at the 6th and P Streets site between 1923 and 1925. Rev. W. H. Hughes was pastor.

This structure was completed in 1931 at a cost of approximately $45,000.00 during the pastorate of Rev. E. D. Sims. It was beautifully and practically designed and considered at the time to be one of the best equipped African-American church buildings in Northern California. The building consisted of a sanctuary with the capacity of approximately 200 people, a balcony, a choir stand; a loft with additional seating capacity for approximately 100 more people; a social hall; and kitchen.

The depression of the 1930's and the reductions associated with it adversely affected Shiloh as it did so many other institutions and organizations. In August 1934, when Rev. J. T. Muse came to pastor Shiloh, the membership had declined from several hundred to 53 persons. Under his pastorate Shiloh was abundantly blessed spiritually, numerically, and financially. When Rev. Muse left Shiloh in 1947, the membership had increased to over 800 persons. Shiloh had also purchased its first bus to transport children to and from Sunday School , and had paid off most of its bills.

By May 15, 1948, Shiloh had paid off all of its indebtedness. This significant accomplishment was celebrated with a colorful parade led by the Salvation Army band from 3rd Street to the church site at 6th and P Streets. Here the mortgage was burned in an impressive ceremony presided over by Rev. Joseph Williams, who was pastor from 1947 to 1956.

In 1949, Shiloh purchased its first parsonage as a residence for the pastor and his family. This property was located on San Jose Way, near Broadway in the community of Oak Park. Also that year, the church made modifications to the edifice by adding a wing to each side of the sanctuary. One side was used as a nursery and the other as a combination classroom and area for additional seating during worship.

In 1954, Shiloh acquired some undeveloped property at 9th and 36th Streets. Additional adjacent property was purchased in 1957 in anticipation of the forced move from the property at 6th and P Streets because of Sacramento's Redevelopment Project. These newly acquired parcels of land were to be the site Shiloh's proposed new edifice. The architectural design and specifications for the building were developed by James C. Dodd & Associates, Inc., a locally owned African American firm. A ground breaking ceremony was conducted on the property site on April 13, 1958 with Rev. W. P. Cooke, pastor from 1957 to 1982, presiding.

Pastor Cooke completed the construction with volunteer assistance from the men of Shiloh. During this period, the women of Shiloh performed an invaluable service by providing delicious hot meals for the brethren, as they labored to help complete the church building project.

The new building was officially dedicated on October 13, 1963. Rev. F. D. Haynes, pastor of Third Baptist Church, San Francisco, delivered the dedication sermon.

Shiloh had many other noteworthy accomplishments under the leadership of Pastor Cooke, who in addition to serving as Pastor from 1957 to 1982, also served as Interim Pastor from 1990 and 1991. Some of these accomplishments are as follows:

  • Increased membership from approximately 800 to over 1,500.
  • Purchased additional property in close proximity to the church for parking.
  • Constructed an educational facility.​
  • Sponsored the building of Shiloh Arms, Inc., 4009 23rd Avenue, Sacramento. This development provided reasonably priced quality housing for some persons who were displaced by the Redevelopment Project and others who were in need of housing. It also provided a day care center for the children of working mothers. Some of Shiloh's members served as the first members of the Board of Directors.
  • Observed the first Women's Annual Day and the first Men's Annual Day in 1960.
  • Observed Shiloh's 110th Anniversary in 1966. Congratulatory messages were received from the following dignitaries: a. The Honorable Lyndon Baines Johnson, President of the United States of America. b. The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of the State of California. c. The Honorable Walter Christensen, Mayor of Sacramento.
  • Organized the Political and Social Action Committee in 1975. This Committee serves to apprise members of events and situations which might impact their lives.
  • Organized the church council in 1975, for the purpose of improving communications and promoting unity between the pastor, members, and auxiliaries.
  • Observed Shiloh's 124th Anniversary in 1980. Congratulatory messages were received from the following dignitaries: a. The Honorable James E. Carter, President of the United States of America. b. The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of the State of California. c. The Honorable Robert Matsui, Representative, United States House of Representatives. d. The Honorable Philip Isenberg, Mayor of Sacramento.
  • Observed a Silver Anniversary in honor of Rev. W. P. Cooke, in 1982, for 25 years of dedicated ministry as the pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church.

In January 1983, Dr. O. C. Jones became pastor of Shiloh. He served until September 1985. During Dr. Jones' tenure, the membership grew significantly. Other accomplishments include the following:

  • Expanded the Sunday School Worship Service to include a 7:45 a.m. service.
  • Established weekly church at learning.
  • Reorganized the Shiloh Music Department.

After his resignation approximately 100 members requested letters of dismissal and organized Antioch Progressive Baptist Church.

Shiloh choose one of its Associate Ministers, Rev. Samuel Mullinax as Interim Pastor, while a search was made for a new pastor. Rev. Mullinax served in that capacity for approximately 2.5 years (1985-1988). He provided the church with the spiritual leadership and guidance needed to keep the church family together until a pastor was called.

The church called and installed Rev. Robert Porter as pastor in June 1988. He served in that capacity until April 1, 1990. At the time of Rev. Porter's departure, approximately 200 members requested letters of dismissal and organized Genesis Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Cooke was requested to act as Interim Pastor. He served in that role for one (1) year. On April 14, 1991, Rev. Clifford W. Cheathon, Sr., was installed as the new pastor. Some of the Church's accomplishments under his leadership are as follows:

  • Increased membership from 800 to 1200.
  • In 1991 made structural and esthetic improvements on the educational facility and the main sanctuary. Also established a Elderly Appreciation Day and Program.
  • In 1992 purchased new computers and software.
  • Implemented a Pastor and Deacon visitation plan. Under this program a team consisting of the Pastor, a deacon, and other members visit hospitalized and home bound members. This visitation program is in addition to the Deacons' Family Ministry Program, the Sunday School Home Bound Program, and other programs in which members of the Shiloh family are regularly visited.
  • In 1993 started a new building program and initiated the search for property to purchase.
  • Purchased a home in Elk Grove as the Church parsonage.
  • Established yearly goals and objectives as standards for measuring the effectiveness and accomplishments of Church auxiliaries and committees.
  • Expanded the Church's Outreach Ministry to include inmates at the Sacramento County Boy's Ranch twice a month. As a result several inmates have been baptized.
  • Ordained fifteen (15) new deacons to assist the Pastor in ministering to and serving the members of the congregation.
  • In 1994 purchased 26 acres of land in Southeast Sacramento for Shiloh's future expansion.
  • Two members, Benny Ellis and Timothy Jemott, were called to the ministry.
  • In 1995 established the "Loving Little Kinsmen" Christmas project for the foster children in the county.
  • Also in 1995 experienced a significant growth in income and installed new fencing and gates in the parking lot.

In its 140 years of existence, Shiloh has had 26 Pastors and two (2) Interim Pastors. Shiloh was responsible for the organization and the founding of the following seven (7) churches.

  • New Hope Baptist Church, 1932.
  • Trinity Baptist Church, 1947.
  • Christ Temple Baptist Church, 1955.
  • Rising Star Baptist Church, 1955.
  • Greater Light Baptist Church, 1956.
  • Antioch Progressive Baptist Church, 1986.
  • Genesis Missionary Baptist Church, 1990.

The following brethren were members and Associate Ministers of Shiloh when called to Pastor other church's.

  • Rev. John Marshall, Pastor, Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church
  • Rev. John Rogers, Pastor, New Home Baptist Church
  • Rev. Samuel Mullinax, Pastor, 24th Street Baptist Church

As Shiloh Baptist Church moves forward we shall continue to embrace the scripture: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Cor. 15:58) We have come this far by faith in God.