Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church will celebrate 100 years of service and stability in Greenwood with several special events Saturday.

The church has participated in a celebration beginning Wednesday with services and speakers every night and will continue through Sunday. The theme of the 100th anniversary is “We Are Nearing Home.”

“I am looking forward to seeing former members and pastors and friends and family members of the church,” said Pastor Keenan West. “And to all of us being able to celebrate this church ministering for this community for 100 years.”

People from all across the country will be joining the Greenwood congregation to celebrate the church’s anniversary. West said the congregation is preparing for 150 participants.

Historian Ruth Gray, whose mother and father-in-law were organizers of Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church in 1917, has family coming into town for the event. Her son Jerry Gray, the national weekend editor for the New York Times, will be returning home, she said in an email.

Congregation members old and new have been taking part in the week’s celebrations. Anita Blake, who joined almost a year ago, said that since she has joined she has learned about the Sabbath, unconditional love and helping other people.

“It is about all the legends from the church beginning and growing. They have always have served and helped people,” Blake said. “I look forward to Sunday, when everybody will be getting together, praising God and still serving the people.”

Shiloh first began in the community when missionaries came to the area and preached from a tent at the corner of McLaurin Street and Avenue F.

“People would come to the big tent to hear the music, to hear the singing and to hear the word,” said Minnie Whittaker, head elder of the church, in an interview earlier this year.

Later, the church established its location in a storefront on Avenue G, one street over from its current location. Then it moved to a small building on the corner of Avenue G and Scott Street. Today, the church is located on Avenue H, where it has been since 1978.

Over the years, despite the church’s consistent change of pastors, congregation members and locations, its beliefs have remained the same. Seventh-Day Adventists believe in communicating their faith in Christ across the globe and helping others.

“What we are most proud of is that we minister to the community,” West said. “It is about meeting other people’s needs.”

On Wednesday evening, West kicked off the anniversary celebration, speaking about how God has blessed Shiloh for 100 years and how the church will continue to move forward.

“Despite the storms we have gone through as a church and as individuals, we are still here,” West said.

On Thursday night, Pastor Marcus McIntyre of Natchez spoke about youth in the ministry.

Contact Lauren Randall at 581-7239 or

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