Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)
TITLE: Outbreak at Shiloh Hills
By Jackie Smithwick
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It was 1971, my life was full of church life, small children and building a home. I came to know my Creator and began a spiritual journey of growing and learning that has lasted over 50 years.
The small family church where we were members was quite a drive from our new home. One Sunday evening my sister and brother-in-law invited us to accompany them to visit a nearby church about which they had heard many good comments.
It was a Sunday evening service like I had never seen. The singing was so inspirational and moving, and the spirit filled preaching about Jesus Christ cut deep within my heart and I was sold on this place. Not long after that first visit we moved our membership to Shiloh Hills Baptist Church where we were fortunate and blessed to experience the moving of the Holy Spirit not to be paralleled in my life since.
Bus ministry, Sunday School, Children’s Church, Youth ministry, Ladies Action, Word of Life trips, Choir rehearsals, and Vacation Bible School were only a few ways one could be involved in this church. Each of these ministries, and ones I failed to mention, were all bathed in prayer, and the members were willing and anxious to serve where needed. My what memories.
At the beginning of every Sunday morning, evening or Wednesday evening, everyone entered the building with smiles on their faces and eager to greet the person next to them. There was a lot of hand shaking and hugging going on even before the service began. The enthusiasm was contagious, spreading from the regulars to first time visitors.
Afterglow fellowships sprung up almost every Sunday evening. Groups would gather and have dinner at a nearby restaurant or at someone’s home for impromptu sandwiches or burgers. It was not just the fellowship, however, that made us eager each Sunday morning to go back to this place. It was an amazing moving of God over the congregation.
Many children and adults came to know the Lord as savior at every service. The altar was a place to kneel without embarrassment. Each person who walked the isle was followed by two, three or more with their arms around them ready to help. Hallelujahs and amens resounded with each candidate for baptism, rededication, or new membership.
Was it the great singing or the Bible based preaching that gave this church an almost magical attraction? Often we, who experienced these years at Shiloh Hills, have asked ourselves that question, but I believe it was a precious gift from God, for no reason other than He simply wanted to bless us.
This was an outpouring of the glory of God on an unsuspecting, undeserving church. Ask anyone who went there during those years and they will tell you the same story. Nothing can compare to those sweet days during the 70’s, when an outbreak of God’s love was experienced by the Shiloh Hills family.
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