ABOUT US

OUR HISTORY

 The Shiloh Baptist Church of Jamaica was organized in 1872.     

OUR BELIEFS

 We believe that the Bible–Old and New Testament–is divinely inspired, written by men as an authoritative history and witness to the revelation of God. 

OUR PASTOR

Rev. Dr. Michael B. Gittens

Our History

  The Shiloh Baptist Church of Jamaica was organized in 1872. Shiloh was founded in the home of Brother James Johnson, grandfather of one of our deceased members, Sister Deborah Hayden, at 99 Douglas Avenue. Later, Brother Johnson donated land, also on Douglas Avenue, on which Shiloh built its first structure.   The building was typical of the structures that were built before the turn of the century. The edifice was wooden, and two or three steps elevated it from the ground. In those pre-electricity days, Shiloh was heated with a potbelly stove and lit by kerosene lamps. The only musical instrument was an old organ that squeaked, but the choir and congregation did not mind. They sang to the glory of God, and the squeak was barely noticeable.  

The first pastor was the Reverend George Bailey. Pastor Bailey had the distinction of pastoring one of the first Black Baptist churches on Long Island and the first in Jamaica, New York. It is not known when he vacated the pulpit.  

The Reverend Coleman was called and pastored Shiloh until 1904. Reverend Coleman was a dedicated pastor who took in many members. They were baptized at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Flushing, New York because there was no baptismal font. 

In 1904 Reverend J. A. Jordon became the third pastor and served seven faithful years and resigned in 1911.  

Our next pastor the Reverend Harry T. Batton was called that same year. Reverend Batton, a graduate of Virginia Seminary and College, Lynchburg, Virginia (now Virginia University at Lynchburg) graced the Shiloh pulpit for 46 years. As a preacher he was an intellectual man of wisdom whose preaching was edifying and realistic.  He was a community leader, whose hands extended beyond the membership of Shiloh. Even the Great Depression could not stop the spirit of the Shiloh members.  During the Batton era Shiloh had much growth. In 1943, Shiloh was the host church for the first banquet held by the Layman’s Auxiliary of the Eastern Baptist Association.  On Saturday May 15, 1954 the church building located on Douglas Avenue was completely destroyed by a tragic fire. The pastor, officers and members rallied together and negotiated to rent space elsewhere to hold worship services. Pastor Batton retired after a dedicated and committed tenure in 1957.  

On June 5, 1957 Reverend John K. Brewington, a graduate of Shelton College was called to pastor Shiloh Baptist Church of Jamaica. Pastor Brewington, a young dedicated leader, was married to Winifred Broomstaff-Brewington. He took the flock and continued the work which Pastor Batton had so nobly begun.  Pastor Brewington’s ministry was assisted by The Reverend Temple E. Banks. Little time passed before the new pastor, officers and members decided to build a new church home. Under the leadership of Pastor Brewington, ground breaking took place on September 20, 1957. Under the supervision of the late Brother Samuel D. McCain, the new building was started. Shiloh members proudly watched and prayed through the construction process. On Easter Sunday April 17, 1960 the members of Shiloh proudly marched into the present building on 173-70 106th Avenue to worship. They marched in without heat, pews and appropriate furniture; nevertheless, they marched in faith.  Under the leadership of Pastor Brewington, the officers and members made memorable advancements since the construction. New clubs were organized and functioned with the many that were already in existence. Many of our members were honored throughout the years for their dedicated service. In 1976, a part time salaried secretary, Sister Rosetta U. Miller, was added to Shiloh. Reverend Brewington had many other plans to put on the agenda for Shiloh, but our Heavenly Father called that great soldier to his reward on August 31, 1988. Sister Winifred Broomstaff-Brewington was called home to be with the Lord in January 1992. Reverend Banks continued to serve as Shiloh's Assistant Pastor until his demise in 1995.

 Under our Heavenly Father’s guidance, on January 16, 1990 the Reverend Alvin Tunstill, Jr., a graduate of the University of Louisville, Kentucky and Chicago Theological Seminary was called to be the shepherd of Shiloh’s flock. He is married to Sandra Mitchell and they have three sons, Alvin III, Michael and Lloyd.  Under the ministry of Reverend Tunstill, Deacons Kenneth Payton, Sr. and Gene O. Birch were licensed to preach the Gospel on August 31, 1993 and October 29, 1995 respectively.  Shiloh continued in the tradition of meeting the needs of the church and the community. Shiloh opened its doors on Friday nights to the community providing opportunities for arts and crafts for the young and old.  The church started a nursing home visitation ministry.  They also began to actively visit the sick and shut-ins.  Holiday gift baskets were also distributed.  Shiloh formed a new subsidiary, The Shiloh Baptist Church Nursery. Parents could leave their children in a secure and stimulating environment.  The needs of the church community were further addressed through the Vacation Bible School and the Shiloh Baptist Church Summer Youth Employment Program. This program was funded by donations from the church members. Youth were being placed in small businesses and given weekly stipend. In addition, contacts were being made with Fortune 500 companies which resulted in numerous summer employment opportunities for our youth. The church also developed a College Scholarship Fund. Each year a banquet is held to present college bound students a monetary award. A church van was purchased and the part time secretary’s position was also increased to full time. Pastor Tunstill had the church office computerized. The new membership class, which continues to be a viable ministry to our new members, was also started under the guidance of Pastor Tunstill. In March 1996 Reverend Tunstill resigned and assumed the Pastorate of Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles, Ca. 

In June 1996 the church called The Reverend Hildreth G. McGhee, Jr. as its seventh pastor and on October 20, 1996 he was installed. His wife Sister Louise McGhee and their children Shayla, William and Morgan were a blessed addition to the Shiloh church family.  Under Pastor McGhee’s tenure Minister Kenneth Payton, Sr. was fully ordained in March 1998. Reverend Payton continues to be an Associate Minister at Shiloh. Minister Gene O. Burch was also ordained by Reverend McGhee September 1998. The mortgage for the parsonage was retired during this time. Reverend McGhee’s tenure ended in October of 2002. Once again the people of Shiloh prayerfully petitioned the Lord to send them a pastor. After praying and fasting, God answered our cries.  

On March 23, 2004 and The Reverend Russell T. Marquis, who holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from Iona College, NY and a Masters of Divinity degree from Drew University Theological Seminary, accepted the call to become Shiloh’s next pastor. He is married to Martrice Miles-Marquis.  In July 2006 Pastor and Sister Marquis were blessed with a son, Julius Terence.  Under Pastor Marquis’ direction, worship had an added dimension of inclusiveness. Lay persons became more active in the Sunday liturgy. The Deacon and Deaconess Boards have been merged to form an inclusive Diaconate ministry. Both men and women are referred to as Deacon. The youth choir and the liturgical dance ministries were reorganized and growing. As part of that growth, a male liturgical mime ministry was formed. In the fall of 2006 a Forty Days of Purpose Campaign was successfully completed leading to exponential spiritual growth for the entire congregation. A wheelchair lift and a stair lift were installed for added accessibility. In the fall of 2008, a voter registration drive was conducted and over 50 people were registered in the “Bricktown” area of Jamaica, New York. On November 9, 2014 Sister Patricia Wyatt was the first woman to be licensed to preach the Gospel at Shiloh Baptist Church. Rev. Marquis’s tenure ended in February 2016. 

A pulpit committee was formed and after a prayerful and thorough search Reverend Dr. Michael B. Gittens was called to the Shiloh Baptist Church of Jamaica. On November 12, 2017 Reverend Dr. Michael Gittens, will be installed as the 9th pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church.      

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Our Beliefs

We believe that the Bible–Old and New Testament–is divinely inspired, written by men as an authoritative history and witness to the revelation of God.  

 

Scripture

We believe that the Bible–Old and New Testament–is divinely inspired, written by men as an authoritative history and witness to the revelation of God.

Trinity

We believe in one God, an intelligent, powerful, personal, life-giving Being.  God exists as three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  God the Father is Creator, Sustainer and sovereign Ruler of all things.  God the Son is Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, lived and died as a human being for the sins of humanity, and resurrected in body by the power of God so that we may have eternal life with God.  God the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, who is Counselor, Comforter, and giver of spiritual gifts, and who also lives in and empowers each person who accepts Jesus as Savior.

Humanity

We believe that from the beginning humanity was created in the image of God and was designed to be in relationship with God.  In committing sin, humanity separated itself from God, leaving humans powerless to restore right relationship with God on their own.

Salvation

We believe that salvation from God cannot be achieved or gained but only accepted from God through grace in acknowledging the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection from the grave.  Jesus died for the sins of all persons and resurrected from the dead that all who believe may have forgiveness and eternal life with God.

Church

We believe in gathering together to celebrate, worship and give glory to God through the reading of scripture, singing, playing instruments and other forms of expression that honor and praise God.  We do this in obedience to scripture and in order to strengthen our relationship with God through communal worship, discipleship and bearing one another’s burdens in Christ Jesus. 

Our Pastor

Rev. Dr. Michael Gittens accepted Christ at Bayview Baptist Church in San Deigo, CA.

and has been active in Christian service for over 20 years. He served as a deacon and

trustee for over eight years at Pilgrim Baptist Church, now known as Pilgrim Cathedral.

Through the years, God has nurtured within Michael a true passion for people of all

ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and walks of life, spreading the gospel from the U.S. to

the coasts of West and East Africa.

While serving, as a member on the ministerial staff at the Greater Allen A.M.E.

Cathedral of N.Y., Michael desires to show God’s love by serving the different needs of

the church and the community. He also served as the English Service pastor at the

New People’s Church of New York, a multiethnic congregation comprised mostly of 2nd

Generation Korean Americans in Flushing New York.

Michael has served in various ministries throughout the years: marriage, singles, men,

discipleship, pastoral liaison to senior residences, and the Hour of Power services. For

over 10 years he has served at various correctional facilities housing youth, women and

men. His evangelistic outreach has reached even the shores of Lagos, Nigeria and

Kigali, Rwanda.

He is also co-founder of Flame Ministries, a ministry devoted to Transformational

Discipleship, evidenced by the birth of the Flame Curriculum that addresses the need of

a “holistic” approach to discipleship. He developed the Who Am I curriculum and

conferences, that are devoted to those in pursuit of their ordained purpose and identity.

He has authored, "State of Emergency: A Clarion Call for Transformational

Discipleship." For further info: romans12n2.org.

Michael has attended New York School of the Bible, New York Divinity School, and

Bethel Seminary of the East where he graduated with his Master of Divinity degree and

certificate of Theological Studies. He graduated on the Who's Who list at Bethel.

Michael also has a Doctorate of Ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary

with a focus on Christian Discipleship. In order to grow in faith and walk in the liberty

and power that Christ has given to each believer, he believes that we must be steadfast

in our "Christ" identity, grounded in God’s Word, saturated in prayer, filled with His Spirit,

walk in holiness, and be endowed with His power manifested in our living, our purpose,

and our gifts.

He is married to his ministry partner, Rev. Val for over 19 years and they have one

daughter, Tanaya, who resides in Atlanta GA.

May the name of the Lord be praised!