Shiloh Baptist Church

Shiloh Baptist Church (HM1PKX)

Location: Yorktown, VA 23690 York County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 13.517', W 76° 30.417'

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Civil War Yorktown

Shiloh Baptist Church was started in 1863 by former slave and lay minister, John Carey; and Reverend Jeremiah Asher from Shiloh Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The church sewed the residents of Slabtown, a community established by the United States army during the Civil War for contrabands (Contraband were enslaved Americans who had fled Confederate controlled areas of the South.) Today, the congregation of Shiloh Baptist Church continues to thrive and provide valuable religious support within the local community.

Jeremiah Asher
Chaplain Jeremiah Asher was the grandson of a slave, but was born free in Connecticut. On the eve of the Civil War, he was a prominent abolitionist and minister of Shiloh Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When the federal government began recruiting African Americans for newly formed United States Colored Regiments, Asher wrote President Abraham Lincoln, advocating African Americans should serve as military chaplains to these units. African Americans were prohibited from serving as commissioned officers in their own regiments, which included chaplain positions. However, Lincoln eased the policy, and began allowing some African Americans to serve as regimental chaplains. Though 50 years of age, Asher, with the signed support of every white officer in the 6th United States Colored Infantry Regiment, mustered with the unit as chaplain, in December 1863. In addition to ministering to the troops, Asher also, at Yorktown, helped form a new Shiloh Baptist Church in the local contraband community. Jeremiah Asher gave his life for his ideals, being the first African American chaplain to die in military service. He passed away on July 27, 1865 from disease contracted while tending to ill soldiers.

Back with Hardy and Hawkins to Baptist church. Crowded. Patrolled Slabtown.
Master Sergeant Christian A. Fleetwood, 4th United States Colored Troops, Diary, March 27, 1864 Courtesy of Library of Congress

The members of Shiloh Baptist Church probably first worshiped in a simple cabin, but by 1866 were meeting in a former Confederate military barracks. Thirty tears after its founding, the congregation constructed a new edifice across the road from the Yorktown National Cemetery. When the church burned four years later, it was rebuilt and in continuous use until 1974 when a new house of worship was constructed about one mile to the west at the intersection of Route 17 and Goosley Road. In 2001, Shiloh Baptist Church reached another historical milestone when Pastor Barbara Lemon was installed as the congregation's minister, becoming the first female African American Baptist minister in the local area.

In 1866-1867, Captain James Miles Moore, of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Department,oversaw the development of the Yorktown National Cemetery. As part of the project, he directed a map of the immediate area be diagrammed. This map shows Shiloh Baptist Church's original location. Map and photo courtesy of the National Archives

James Miles Moore
Placed ByColonial National Historical Park, National Park Servcice
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, November 26th, 2015 at 1:01am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 366309 N 4120927
Decimal Degrees37.22528333, -76.50695000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 13.517', W 76° 30.417'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 13' 31.02" N, 76° 30' 25.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1605 Goosley Rd, Yorktown VA 23690, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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