MARIONVILLE – Situated in the Ozarks countryside is a little place called Shiloh Baptist Church. As soon as people walk through the door they are greeted with a smile and a handshake.
Founded in 1889, Stone County Shiloh Southern Missionary Baptist Church formed when the Charity and Chapel Churches consolidated. Shiloh found its permanent home in 1890 when Bro. J.W Hair donated one acre of land outside of Crane to construct a church building on. Just like in 1894 when the building was finished and services began, Shiloh still holds a special place in the hearts of those that attend services every Sunday.
“Shiloh Baptist Church is a special place to me because it is a small church where everyone knows each other,” said member Bob Lawrence. “It’s where I received my salvation. It is also a church where God comes first and entertainment in the church is not important. I love church and fellowship in God’s name.”
Another Shiloh church member, Donovan Dobbs, enjoys how the congregation is able to focus on the fundamentals.
“Shiloh is a church that focuses on what Christ stated are the two greatest commandants,” he said. “Loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving others as yourself. This is done without much funding, without any big fancy church building, and without programs or flash. The members of Shiloh do it with what God has provided and they know that is truly all you need.”
Stepping into Shiloh is like coming home. Everyone is welcome regardless of appearance. The church loves by not being judgmental of anyone that walks through the door. In other words, there is a genuine interest shown to everyone present. Members strive to maintain humility as they attempt to share Christ with as many people as possible.
“Shiloh Baptist is a peaceful quiet place I can go to on Sunday morning to worship God and get away from the stress of everyday life,” said member Kitty Lawrence.
“Jesus Christ is loved at Shiloh,” said another church member, Lisa Dobbs. “Not only in name but in heartfelt desire to serve, love, honor, glorify and obey Christ. Christ is relied upon for strength, hope, and comfort at Shiloh. There is a visible desire from the members to know Christ better and to love him more. This can be seen in their faces and heard in their worship.”
There is no dress code at Shiloh, so people come as they are. Regardless of whether he or she wears a dress, a suit and tie, or blue jeans and a t-shirt, individuals are always welcome for worship.
The church functions like a family. The level of caring for each other is identical. Church family practice results in needs being met. Help can be provided in various ways.
“In a family like the one I have at Shiloh, I don’t have to worry about what anyone thinks or about being judged,” said member Barbra Harden. “I can be myself and that’s nice.”
Christie Hindman’s husband was the pastor of the church when he passed away, which resulted in many blessings being directed her way.
“The members of Shiloh were so wonderful,” she said. “No matter what my family or myself needed, they were there to help. Whether it was food or a shoulder to cry on, I always had support. They have been there for me through all that I have lost.”