Shiloh United Methodist Church is an integral part of the quiet Burwell community, eight miles west of Carrollton, Ga. Nestled among massive oaks on a 24-acre campground, the church celebrated its sesquicentennial, or 150th birthday, in June 2006.
Shiloh was organized by five families in a log cabin schoolhouse near the current church site in 1856. In 1867, members of nearby New Salem joined Shiloh, bringing with them their church building. The current church was constructed in 1881 and while several additions and renovations have occurred since, the integrity of the original sanctuary has been fiercely protected, preserving the historic nature of the building.
Following the tradition of country churches of the time, Shiloh was served by Methodist “circuit-rider” preachers in its early years and later shared a preacher with Bowdon United Methodist Church. In 1952, Shiloh became a full-time charge with John Minter serving as its first pastor.
Today, Shiloh continues a vibrant ministry of service to the community. Not only does it provide a solid Christian foundation that brings people closer to God, it also offers its heart to the community at large. Shiloh is the official polling place for local elections, the unofficial gathering spot for community activities and the rallying hub in times of crisis. In fact, Shiloh is so entrenched in Burwell that when the community petitioned for a post office in the 1930s, it chose the name of Shiloh. Since there already was a Shiloh, Ga., the name couldn’t be used. But that didn’t keep Shiloh from claiming the community and is well poised to continue in this role for generations to come.