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Shiloh History

In the early 1900’s on Azuza Street in Los Angeles, the Pentecostal experience became synonymous with the Holy Spirit’s renewal of Holiness in America. What began in Los Angeles’ barn became a powerhouse and streaked across the country like fire which touched down in Weirton to start the first holiness church on Kessel and Weir Avenue. Elder Collins held tent services at the little park grounds near lower Sixth Street in the north end of Weirton. In 1928, the main Shiloh Apostolic Faith Assembly was established in a small store front building on Lower Avenue A in the north end of Weirton by Elder Bradshaw. Later, Elder Freeman and his wife were accommodated in two rooms in the rear of the church as the parsonage, because the congregation was so small. Water baptismal services were held in the Ohio River.

Mrs. Ferris Roseberry opened her home located on the banks of the Ohio River for the preparation of the baptismal candidates. One of the charter members, Mrs. Ella Mae (Gilliam) McGee, experienced such a baptism 57 years before. She attended Shiloh until her death. Mrs. Inella Alsbrook, sister-in-law of Mrs. Ferris Roseberry was also a charter member.

Elder McAllister of Pittsburgh served as pastor followed by Elder Burke. At this time a Holiness Church Convention was entertained in Weirton. The guest speaker was the Presiding Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Samuel A. Hancock from Clinton Street, Greater Bethlehem Temple, of Detroit, Michigan.

Elder Burke moved on and District Elder Goodson of Bellaire, Ohio and District Elder William Rawlings from Pittsburgh pastured at the fledgling church until the death of Elder Goodson. Elder Rawlings continued to serve as acting pastor from 1935 to November 18, 1937, when Elder J. J. Gibson was installed as the pastor of Shiloh.

In the early 1940’s, Pastor Gibson headed a drive for a new building and the congregation purchased the Polish Hall on Avenue A and Fourth Street and converted it into a church. The wood frame building was given a facelift with permastone. As you entered the two large doors, the pastor’s study was located just inside. A pulpit was built and a water pool was constructed behind the pulpit for baptisms.

Further back was an extra room where the nursery and primary Sunday School classes were held. The other Sunday School classes met in the main auditorium. In the lower level, was a kitchen and dining area which saw many congregation dinners. Services held in the newly remodeled building were regular preaching services, weddings, bible studies, vacation bible school, concerts, and district meetings. In 1972, Shiloh’s active membership was approximately 30 families. Because of Weirton Steel’s expansion, the congregation discussed plans on building a new church. During services the blast furnace would shoot off loud sounds to compete with the gospel sounds of praise. The church stood as long as it could against the advancing mill. The movie, “The Deer Hunter” has several scenes filmed in the church. In 1978, the church was sold to Weirton Steel.

The business manager and financial secretary, Elder Willie Williams, spent over 4,000 hours of time in plans for the new church. He was the overseer to purchasing land and coordinating the construction of the new building. The congregation worked tirelessly to see the new venture proceed. Numerous projects and fund raisers were held. Weirton Steel was also a generous contributor.

In 1980, the congregation moved from the Avenue A church into the basement of the newly built edifice. The first service was held on Father’s Day, June 15, 1980. Services were held for several years in the basement until the congregation was moved to the completed sanctuary of the golden brick building.

Elder J.J. Gibson pastored at Shiloh for over 50 years until he became ill, and was given Pastor Emeritus status until his death in August 1991.

In 1987, Elder Paul Moore was installed as the new pastor of Shiloh. The air conditioning units were installed and also the choir was reformed and performed at events and festivals in Weirton. He pastored until 1998, at which time Shiloh accepted and installed Elder Johnnie Edwards as pastor. He was known for his community involvement in Weirton, including being a part of Weirton Ministerial Alliance and serving as the Weirton Police Chaplain. Elder Edwards became seriously ill in 2004 and he was named as the Pastor Emeritus of Shiloh. His loving wife, Sis. Faye Edwards cared for him until his death in January 2011.

Since 2004, District Elder Darrell Cummings has presided as pastor. Under his leadership, a benevolence fund was started for Elder and Sister Edwards with help from the ODC churches, PA Churches, and local ministries. These funds helped until their relocation to Ohio. He also was instrumental with having funds collected to purchase a memorial stone placed in memory of Elder J.J. Gibson at the Bowers Memorial Fountain at the ODC Campground in Zanesville, OH, starting the bus ministry and outreach ministries. The church is still being showered with many blessings for which we are eternally grateful to God.