The Methodist in the Newcomb Township area was organized about 1854(36 years after Illinois became a state)with about 10 members as follows: Samuel and Mary Rhodes, James and Lettie Rector, William and Phoebe Broderick, Nancy Rector(widow), Mrs. McLain, Misses Minerva and Martha Merrill. Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Holloway and ten year old daughter Mahala moved from Tippecanoe, Indiana and joined this little Methodist band just after it was organized. It was in the area know as Pancake Point named after an early settler William Pancake.
The Methodist Church organization was a part of a very large circuit extending from East Bend Twp. east of Fisher, following the Sangamon River to Monticello. The congregation held Sunday School each Sunday. When the Pastor was not there to preach, they had "Class Meeting" after Sunday School led by some spiritual leader in the community. The first year's services were held in the home of J. S. Hannah.
In the year 1865, the year the Civil War ended & President Lincoln was assinated, this little band of people became very anxious to have a Church instead of worshiping in homes, log school houses, and sometimes under the trees as they had been doing. They secured the beautiful spot where the church now stands and was deeded by Gabrial Bryan so long as it was used as a Church site. Many plans were to be discussed and many questions settled by such men as J.H. Funston, Hiram Trotter, William Broderick, Elliott Holloway and Dennis Lester.
There were no lumber yards to order material from and no trucks to haul it out, so the brave pioneers shouldered their axes, saws, and wedges and went out into the forest where trees had to be felled, hewed, and sawed until they had lumber suitable for use in the building. A John Hubbard Funston was a carpenter who came from Ohio, did much of the of the carpenter work, managed and planned the entire work for the first church. It was a simple one room building with an aisle on each side. The men and boys sat on the south side, the women and girls on the north side while some of the Church fathers occupied the Amen Corner. Finally the church was completed and dedicated July 16, 1866.
The choosing of a name for the church was of course a great event, and many names were submitted, but the one chosen was "Shiloh" suggested by Elliot Holloway. After worshiping in the first church for about 36 years it was decided to build a new and much larger and better building
The original building was moved east of where it stood and was used for a Town Hall. It was later moved a little farther east on the south side of the road and served as a Town Hall until 1937 and then used as a storage place for township road equipment.
The work on the second church was begun in 1901(President McKinley assassinated succeeded by Theodore Rosevelt), under the direction of Rev. E.K. Crews. The contractor who had charge of this building was William Miller of Fisher. He brought carpenters who lived in tents and Chas. Austin cooked for them. The second church building was completed and dedicated May 4th, 1902 The day began gloriously bright and warm and people began winding their way toward Shiloh in buggies, carriages, wagons and on horse back. At 9:30 there was a Love Feast led by Rev Phillip Shaffer. After the morning dedication service the people of the community took all the visitors to their homes to dinner expecting to come back for the afternoon, but a heavy rain storm caused attendance to be somewhat less. After using this building for a number of years it was felt the need of a basement where meals could be served. In 1915 the basement remodeling was done. The next summer on July 19, 1916 the church was struck by lighting and burned to the ground.
Plans were immediately begun for a new and modern church and it was completed in ten months. It was built under the supervision of Rev J. W. Dundas. The building committee was D.H. Lester, Pearl Hazen, T.D. Hinton, W.A. Hinton and H.S.Wright. A very splended piece of work was accomplished by these men. The building was erected at a cost of $10,000 and was dedicated May 13, 1917, free of debt.
The present brick parsonage that stands just east of the church was erected in 1920 at a cost of $8,000.
For a complete list of Pastor's who haved served Shiloh, click here.