Second Shiloh Baptist Church was organized in a living room at 13th and Poplar streets in October, 1927. Nearly 85 years and ten pastors later, Second Shiloh is forging ahead with the Rev. Antonio McAllister, a senior pastor who is focused on discipleship and solid Biblical teaching of his congregation.
Second Shiloh was founded by eight people who referred to themselves as “The Mission.” The founding members, according to the church’s website were Ellen Wilson, Jennie Pope, Bessie Cowan, Deacon Thomas Earl, Deacon George Myrt, Sister Richardson, Mother Elizabeth Garrett and the Rev. George Wilson.
Blease and Helen Burno are 40-year members of Second Shiloh,
“(Forty years ago) We came up from Miami, we had relatives here, so we went to the same church they were (attending),” said Blease. They served under the leadership of the Rev. Charles H. Anderson, who was senior pastor for almost 37 years until he was called to glory in February, 1997. Blease has been a trustee for 25 years, overseeing the financial wellness and upkeep of the church. His wife currently serves as the pastor’s aide, “But I’ve been on the Nurses’ Unit, and I’ve served as a trustee,” she said
Blease considers McAllister to be a, “good preacher, and a smart man and a go-getter.” Helen loves McAllister’s preaching and teaching style and admits she has grown under his pastoral leadership, “He’s a good man, a good pastor and a hard worker … he’s done marvelous things!”
Kevin H. Washington Sr., has been a member of Second Shiloh for six years, and has served as a deacon for four years. Washington, 60, recalls when he first joined Second Shiloh, “One day I was just walking past (the church), I had a heavy heart at the time, and I just walked in the doors … the Holy Spirit led me here.” Washington’s ministry activism includes the Culinary Ministry and Senior Choir. “Basically, I’m just a servant trying to do all the things that need to be done around the church house.” Washington agrees with McAllister’s vision and goal to reach out in the community to attract the youth, “The youth are the next generation.”
“I am a part of the Youth Ministry, Sunday School teacher-intermediate class, I teach praise dance, (overseer of the) Junior Ushers Ministry, and I serve on the Adult Usher Ministry,” said Lisa Morgan. A mother of two young boys, Jorian and Jordan, Morgan 39, is an actively involved single parent who has a compassionate heart in serving the youth. She believes that her life serves as a personal testimony for the youths to avoid some of the mistakes and pitfalls she’s experienced in life.
Morgan hopes the youth take their relationship with God seriously, as she wishes she had done growing up, “I was one who thought that if I just showed up at church and did good things, and because my parents were saved and Christian, that I would automatically get into Heaven. I found out that was not the case.” Morgan believes that one of the biggest challenges facing youths today is their ability to hold fast to their faith in all aspects of their lives. For someone looking for a church that embraces its members as family, Morgan recommends Second Shiloh, “So many people are genuine at the church, and they have a heart for people, they care about people.”
Morgan extends an invitation to interested women to attend Second Shiloh’s second annual Women’s T.E.A. Time (Teaching, Encouraging & Affirming) women in Christ) fellowship, on May 5 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Morgan will be this year’s keynote speaker.
A widow, and mother of four children (one deceased), Thilanthia “Nan” Pinckney, 82, has been a member of Second Shiloh for at least 70 years. She recalls the merging of two congregations. In 1942, St. John Baptist Church merged with Second Shiloh, The Rev. J.H. Dudley orchestrated the merging of the two congregations, and he served as senior pastor over the united congregations for 17 years. When asked her opinion about which ministries are the most prominent, Nan said, “The Mothers Board, Deacons Board, the Trustees board.” Prior to McAllister’s arrival, Nan served as a pastor’s aide.
“The reason I go to Second Shiloh, it’s a small church, and I’m very shy, so, I get along with the people there,” explains Jorian. A quiet young man, Jorian, 14, is actively involved with the Youth Ministry, and he’s proud of the youth outlets at the church, “We have Super Saturdays, Youth Conventions and car washes to raise money.” He likes McAllister’s preaching and considers his senior pastor to be very humorous, saying, “He’s not boring!”
McAllister has been the senior pastor for five years. He was ordained and licensed by the Rev. Vaughn Wilson, senior pastor of New Fellowship Baptist Church in Southwest Philadelphia. At New Fellowship, he served in various leadership roles for 17 years, eight of which he served as an ordained deacon.
McAllister believes that one of the greatest challenges facing the church community today is the lack of evangelistic outreach, “(The church community has) lost focus on the Great Commission charge that’s on our lives — that Jesus spoke about with his disciples in Matthew 28:19–20. (This) needs to become our number one priority.”
McAllister is very proud of the activism of Second Shiloh’s Senior Support Ministry: “Members volunteer a couple of hours per week to go support our seniors in whatever realm of support that’s necessary.” He recalled a time where members of the Senior Support Ministry took shifts around the clock, ministering to an elder member who suffered from dementia to ensure that she was comfortable and cared for until the Lord called her home. McAllister said the SOAR Youth Ministry is another ministry on the rise, “We’ve created an environment for them to be who they are, and for us to meet them right where they are. On a quarterly basis, SOAR Youth Ministry hosts a Christian Youth and Young Adult Café.” Along with SOAR, a Youth Sunday School class was organized to address the needs of the young people.
As a very in-demand preacher, McAllister frequently travels in and out of state for preaching engagements. He is a graduate of Cabrini College, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting, and his master of divinity at Philadelphia Biblical University in Langhorne, Pa.
The church is located at 1433 N. 21st St. in Philadelphia; phone: (215) 232-8344.