Shiloh’s history in the community dates back almost 200 years.
It was 1818 when a group of pioneers began worshiping in their Delhi Township homes. The township was just beginning to boom. The Anderson Ferry had just started operating the year before, allowing goods and people to traverse the Ohio River on Cincinnati’s West Side.
It took 12 years before those first Shiloh worshipers got a church building. Member and trustee Peter Williams sold an acre of his land for the first building. Pricetag: $30.
That first church, finished in 1830, still stands today on Anderson Ferry Road next to the preschool playground and cemetery. It is one of the oldest buildings in Delhi, one of few remaining from its time.
The cemetery is Delhi’s oldest church cemetery, with its oldest headstone engraved 1828. Henry Rutenschroer, a member of a long-standing Shiloh family, was the last to be buried there, in 1934. The cemetery is also sometimes referred to as the Shiloh Community Methodist Churchyard.
The cemetery’s current spot isn’t its original location. The graves were closer to what is now Delhi Middle School across the street. The headstones were moved when the current streets were built.
The church’s first 100 years brought a series of circuit pastors and student ministers. Church services were held in the afternoons. Part-time and retired ministers served the church for more than the first century. The first full-time pastor was hired in 1947.
As population boomed in Delhi in the 1950s, so did the church’s membership. In 1951, 143 people were members. Before the end of the decade. that number had soared to 470. The sanctuary was expanded.
As the membership grew, so did the physical church. Board members agreed to buy a parsonage and add a kitchen, classrooms and restrooms on to the original church, an area which later was used as the pastor’s study and secretary’s office. In 1952, the church broke ground for its educational building, now used as the administrative offices.
Work on a new sanctuary began in the summer of 1958. The cornerstone was laid that autumn. The following year, members sat in their new 400-seat sanctuary for a consecration service.
The 1960s brought dedications of the organ and tower chimes as well as additional parking. The new fellowship hall and education building were consecrated and the new sanctuary, now debt-free, was dedicated.
Shiloh continued to see growth and change. The congregation celebrated 150 years of the Methodist Church, in 1976, the same year as America’s bicentennial. The church also accepted and installed a bronze plaque from the Daughters of the American Revolution in honor of Shiloh’s place as the oldest continuously used church in western Hamilton County.
The ’80s and ’90s brought dedications of the etched symbols between the narthex and the sanctuary, the church’s first ramp for handicapped people and the consecration and cornerstone-laying celebration for the new parlor. Shiloh marked its 175th anniversary in 1993.
The community building was consecrated in 2010.
The joining of Shiloh’s Delhi campus and its Price Hill campus took place in 2012 when Delhi members felt God calling them to help serve the people of Price Hill, where a Methodist church had dwindled in membership and closed. The first Meal, Message & Music took place at Shiloh @ Price Hill in January 2013. The first Sunday worship at Price Hill happened, fittingly, on Easter Sunday as Christians everywhere celebrated new life.
Price Hill is a missional church. That means, as Pastor Daniel Hughes explains, attracting people to be followers of Christ to represent the kingdom of God not necessarily in the church building but wherever they go. It’s about getting to know the community, finding the heartfelt needs and brokenness and attempting to address them.
Shiloh draws upon its nearly 200 years of worship and service to continue meeting the needs of its congregation and community, from Delhi Township and Price Hill throughout the world.