Founded in Edmonton in 1910, Shiloh Baptist Church is the oldest black Baptist church in Western Canada.
In the early 1900’s, the Canadian government advertised for settlers to purchase 160 acres for $10.00 or a quarter section of land and homestead in Alberta. Invited black settlers came by train from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi and other southern states between 1908 and 1914. For many of these settlers, coming to Alberta, Canada meant freedom from the laws of segregation in the United States.
At first it was clearly pointed out to the black settlers that they were not wanted in Canada. Still, even though it meant encountering prejudice and hardships, they came this far by faith.
Shiloh Baptist Church was officially formed in 1910 out of the need for persons of ‘colour’ to have a welcoming place to gather to worship, only because other existing churches in Edmonton turned them away from joining their congregations. Shiloh was initially Edmonton’s community hub for the first black settlers, their families and all other persons who had no other church or community in which they felt welcomed. Through it all, God kept the doors open and His word continues to be the guiding light.
The church members first met in a renovated blacksmith shop in 1910. There were a number of moves over the years as well as changes to pastors and congregation composition for example Sherwood Park Place Church of the Arts merged with Shiloh Baptist Church in the fall of 1994. Shiloh also purchased the former Emmanuel Baptist Church building in 1997 at 10727-114 street.
But one thing never change, God’s loving and guiding word.
We are the roots - A Documentary of the Black Settlers in Alberta
(Please select the link below, copy and paste it on a new window to see the documentary)