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Shiloh Presbyterian Church


Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, Illinois


Coles County



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shiloh church

The Shiloh Presbyterian Church was built on land next to the Gordon Graveyard in 1881. The first Reverend of the church, John Wesley Woods, served as chaplain of the 5th Illinois Calvary during the Civil War. He knew a number of people in the Pleasant Grove Township, since many of the men that served in the Civil War were also in the 5th Illinois Calvary.

In 1921, the original wood structure was enclosed in brick. The church windows are stained glass, with the south-facing window illustrating the original Lincoln Log Cabin. Materials found in the church’s cornerstone, which are now in the possession of the Coles County Genealogical Society, include a list of church members in September of 1921, as well as lists of those that helped in the construction in 1921. John W. and Susan Baker, who donated land north of the church for the purpose of creating the Shiloh Cemetery, were listed as members, as were W.W. and Mahala Balch (who are buried north of the church).

Due to its close proximity to the Thomas Lincoln Cemetery, the Shiloh Presbyterian Church has, throughout its history, been a site open to visitors and tourists from around the globe. According to the Shiloh Presbyterian Church History File at the Charleston Carnegie Library, between 1970 and 1973, the church registration book, which all visitors sign, listed an average of 1,000 visitors annually. In 1972, the church received 1,300 visitors from thirty-seven states and three foreign countries.

The church no longer has an active membership and does not hold regular worship service.


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