Shiloh church still calls 'em in after more than 100 years

By Submitted

September 15, 2016 12:00 AM

Come all ye faithful Parishioners (above) congregate for a service Sept. 3, some came from as far away as Edmonton.

It was what their ancestors would have done 106 years ago.
In a humble, one-room church they worshiped and shared stories about the present and the past.
On Sept. 3, descendants of Shiloh people and others interested in the historical site gathered at Shiloh Baptist Church and Cemetery, north of Maidstone, Sask., to do just that.
Among the Edmonton visitors were Doug Mayes and sisters Madeline and Melinda, great grandchildren of Joseph and Madie Mayes.
Pastors Samuels and Thomas Henry of the Edmonton Oneaccord Bible Fellowship Baptist Church officiated.
It was a wonderful time of fellowship with the people of the community.
There was a common bond.
I can see this event happening next year and more of the families will come.
“We will bring more than the bus load we brought today” said Pastor Samuels.
Preserving history for future generations was the undertone of many comments.
According to longtime district resident Keith Schwartz, Shiloh Church was built in 1910, finished in 1911 with Pastor Joseph Mayes as church leader together with his wife Mattie (often referred to as Granny Mayes).
The church name comes from Oklahoma.
Church services were held until the 1940s, and received its provincial historical site status in 1971.
In 2002 members of the Shiloh Baptist Church and Cemetery Restoration Society of Edmonton unveiled a memorial and bronze plaque that listed people buried at Shiloh Cemetery.
The church restorations were completed in 2008.
Keith spoke fondly of Granny Mayes as being a midwife to many children including some of her own great grandchildren and Keith’s sister, Audrey.
He recalls a huge fire in about 1948-49 on the Jeff Wright quarter (SE 12-50-23,W3).
The fire was fought by farmers from all surrounding districts and
brought under control about 5 a.m. the next morning.
On their way to school, Keith and Audrey noticed a fire burning in the caragana hedge on the northwest corner of the cemetery.
They ran across the field to seek help at Ed and Toonie Mayes’ home, only to find Granny home alone.
Keith told her about the rekindled fire. Granny prayed a very long time; then let the children go.
They went back to see about the fire, only to find it was out.
The fire had burned up to three feet from the church and scorched some corner logs, but no real damage.
These logs were replaced during restoration.
Another parish member, Etty Cameron, commented, “The younger generation needs to know about this heritage and to appreciate the legacy that has been created by our forefathers.”
It is commendable of the Shiloh Baptist Church and Cemetery Restoration Society of Edmonton, for continuing the commitment
for the preservation of their heritage in order for future generations to enjoy and appreciate their history.
The president is Leander L. Lane and vice president is Doug Mayes.
We look forward to future celebrations.
A delicious supper was brought by the Edmonton group with desserts provided by district ladies.
It is much appreciated the care of the church grounds by local resident Justin Johner.

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