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FairfaxHistoric church celebrating 150 years of community service

Historic church celebrating 150 years of community service

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Interfaith congregations from throughout the region have joined together to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the historically black Shiloh Baptist Church at 8310 Turning Leaf Lane in McLean, with additional special activities on the way.

The religious center has supported area residents through times of segregation, women’s right to vote, political unrest and progress as Northern Virginia has grown.

“God has done so many great things throughout the life of this ministry; however, there’s so much more to be accomplished,” said the Rev. Dr. Robert F. Cheeks Jr., who is celebrating 15 years of leading the congregation. “At a time when many churches have closed, Shiloh still stands on solid ground.”

Shiloh Baptist Church was founded and organized in 1872 by Cyrus Franklin Carter, who also organized other historic churches like First Baptist Church of Vienna and First Baptist Church Chesterbrook.


Sesquicentennial events kicked off with food and fellowship at a picnic hosted by the church on July 16. Congregants from Lewinsville Presbyterian and First Baptist Church Chesterbrook attended the event.

“We are proud members of a church that has sustained and thrived worship and service in the community for 150 years,” said Michelle Spady, a Shiloh member and team lead of the anniversary celebration.

Like many religious institutions, Shiloh Baptist has had to adapt over the past two years during the COVID pandemic. The church currently live-streams all its Sunday services and also has resumed in-person gatherings the first and third Sundays of the month, with the second and fourth Sundays being virtual-only.

The celebration continues on Aug. 20 with “Spotlight on Shiloh,” to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the McLean Community Center.

The milestone anniversary’s festivities will culminate with a brunch cruise on Sept. 17, followed by a special service on Sept. 18, at which time the restored church bell will be ceremonially rung. The public is invited.

For information on the church, see the Website at https://shilohbcva.nm-secure.com.

Congregants from a number of churches attended a July 2022 picnic kicking off 150th-anniversary celebrations of Shiloh Baptist Church in McLean.
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