Shiloh United Methodist
The history of the Shiloh United Methodist Church actually began in March 1873 when Rev. O.A. Barnett pastor of the Haysville Methodist Episcopal Church (long since abandoned) with the assistance of several interested residents of the vicinity of Ireland organized a Methodist Episcopal Society. The society became the Ireland Methodist Church and they met for five years in an abandoned school house. Realizing the need for a better house of worship the trustees of the church purchased four lots in the town of Ireland on July 8,1878. Soon after the purchase of the lots construction of the building began and was ready for occupancy in a very brief time, however, the congregation would not dedicate the church building until August 18, 1881 when all the debt was paid off. Services were held there for over a hundred years. The original building still stands and has had many modern changes for time to time. The building is in good condition and since 1996 has been owned by the Ireland Historical Society. The most notable person to remember was Lily Dexter Greene who spent over forty years as a Missionary to India.
One hundred and thirteen years after its beginning in Ireland, the Ireland United Methodist
Church sought a way to attract new members to their church in 1986. Their
membership had diminished to less than 10. The district and state
leaders of the United Methodist Church were contacted and were interested
in helping the Ireland area. These church leaders came to the Ireland/Jasper
area and were taken through the many new sub-divisions there by D. "Junie" Himsel. The group
also visited the schools and saw the clean appearance of Madison &
Bainbridge Townships as a whole. Their report back: We are very
impressed with the potential of the Ireland/Jasper area, however, expanding Methodism
in the vicinity would have to come from a new start and a new location in the area..
The Ireland/Jasper area was granted a "New Start" along with financial help from the Indiana State United Methodist leadership. The Vincennes District Committee for new starts, expansions,
and buildings met several times at different locations about the new start
in the Jasper/Ireland area. It was decided to move forward.
Bishop Hodapp chose Rev. Steve Seitz to be the minister for the church.
Rev. Seitz held services at Ireland for a time. A phone bank
was set up in the Ireland Methodist Church and the calling began to find
interested persons. Enough interest for a new church was shown from the results of the phone calls. A site for the new church was next.. Walter
Harris and Delbert Hmsel were a committee of two and the site was selected
and approved. The owner of the property met with the Ireland church
members in Ireland and an agreement was reached on purchasing 10 acres
in the Northwest corner of Highway 56 & County Road 350. Soon after,
Rev. Steve had a sign painted and Walter Harris, Edgar Frank, and Delbert
Himsel, erected a sign desiginating the purpose of the site to the public.
More meetings were held in the Ireland United Methodist Church by the district committee
for various purposes and a name was selected for the new church.
Names submitted were: New Covenant, Calvary, Carpenters, Sunrise, Shiloh,
Grace, Wildwood, Morningside, St. Luke, and Wildflower. The vote
was taken with Shiloh being selected. St. Luke and Morningside were
next in that order. Also, at the same meeting, the district &
state leaders decided to have the services of the new church at the Jasper
Community Arts Building until the new church was built. While the
church was getting started in Jasper, the ten acres was mowed as needed
by a John Deere tractor and a 16ft. wide mowe furnished and used by Himsel.
From a core of
10 people and the eventual 25 original members, the church has grown
to over 300 members with an additional 100 attendees. Shiloh has
a very active Sunday School with classes for all ages. The church
has services at various times (click on Shiloh website for
current details). Shiloh has many bible studies, organizations
and ministeries. The TGIW (Thank God It's Wednesday) brings many
together at mid-week.. Shiloh has went through four building projects
and expansions and has added 12 acres to it's original 10 acres. Rev.
Seitz has since retired. In 2012 Shilohs present Pastor is Rev. Larry VanCamp, his assistant is Rev. Paul Alvey . Go to www.shilohum.org. for schedules and other happenings of the Shiloh United Methodist Church..