Near Inman in Spartanburg County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Shiloh Methodist Church
This church, organized late in the eighteenth century, held its first services in a brush arbor and later constructed a log meeting house. This frame sanctuary, built between 1825 and 1830, was the second building to serve Shiloh. In 1836 Adam Gramling, Jr., donated it and three acres to church trustees William Brooks, Adam Gramling Sr., John Gramling, and Ruben Gramling.
Shiloh Methodist Church was the mother church of many Spartanburg County Methodist churches and some affiliated with other denominations. It was active until about 1915, when its last 14 members transferred to Inman Methodist Church. The old sanctuary, still an important part of the community, has been the site of an annual homecoming service since 1915.
Erected 2000 by Friends of Shiloh. (Marker Number 42-20.)
Location. 35° 1.561′ N, 82° 5.07′ W. Marker is near Inman, South Carolina, in Spartanburg County. Marker can be reached from Blackstock Road (South Carolina Route 40) 0.2 miles north of New Cut Road, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Church sits well off the road down a dirt drive way and may have a gate blocking access. Marker is in this post office area: Inman SC 29349, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Inman Veterans Monument (approx. 1.6 miles away); Edward Bomar (approx. 3.7 miles away); Joshua Hawkins (approx. 3.7 miles away); Mount Zion Baptist Church Cemetery (approx. 3.7 miles away); Fort Prince (approx. 4.7 miles away but has been reported missing); Kevin Earl Carper (approx. 4.8 miles away); In Honor of the Students of (approx. 4.8 miles away); Holly Springs Baptist Church (approx. 5.4 miles away); Holly Springs School (approx. 5.5 miles away); Holly Springs Rock Wall (approx. 5.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Inman.
Regarding Shiloh Methodist Church. The church is an unadorned, one room, rectangular building clad in whitewashed horizontal wood siding. There is a church cemetery that contains grave markers dating from 1816 to 2004. The markers are a mix of granite headstones, old markers that are barely readable or unreadable, and a number of plain field stones. Shiloh Methodist was a circuit church that was dependent on a traveling minister.
The church is one of a handfull of Methodist churches in South Carolina to be considered a Methodist Historic Site (#138).
Also see . . .
1. Shiloh Methodist Church, South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Shiloh Methodist Church, built between 1825 and 1830, is significant as a particularly intact example of the vernacular meeting house form of ecclesiastical architecture common in rural churches in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
2. Shiloh Methodist Church. Shiloh Methodist Church is a historic church in Inman, South Carolina.
3. Methodist Historic Sites in South Carolina. This is a list of the United Methodist historic sites in South Carolina.
1. Shiloh Methodist Church
Located within a remarkable intact rural setting, Shiloh Methodist Church is a simple, unadorned, one-room, rectangular building constructed in a common or vernacular meeting house form and clad in whitewashed horizontally-applied drop or German siding. The rear of the building features a small, three-sided polygonal bay, which is centered on the building, provides additional interior space at the chancel area, and irritates the apse on churches of antiquity. The building sits upon its original foundation of undressed, mortared, slacked, random stone, some of which measures over 54' wide. The gable-front roof is steeply pitched, and was originally covered with wood shakes that have since been overlain with asphalt shingles. The original rough-hewn roof rafters, some of which still have bark on them, are intact. Exposed rafter extensions at the eaves are carved or fashioned
The three-bay wide facade consists of a central double-leaf entrance with flanking windows. The eight windows are actually cased openings with no sashes and are protected by single-leaf battened shutters composed of five vertically-arranged boards fastened together by an upper and lower horizontally applied rails or battens on the interior. Shutter hardware appears to be non-original steel strap hinges with hook-and-screw eye locking. Doors are constructed of multiple vertically-arranged boards with three, interior, applied, horizontal rails, similar to the shutters. The front door is a four-foot six inch wide double-leaf door, and the side door is single. There are reports that a left side door existed, but was closed off at some point in the past. Steps leading up to the doors are poured concrete and are not original.
The interior walls are whitewashed, 11 1/4" wide, horizontal boards. The existing whitewashed, board and batten ceiling is not original and is reported to have been installed to prevent birds from nesting in the rafters. The original ceiling was apparently replaced in more recent years. The existing floor material is unfinished, narrow board, tongue-and-grove pine, which is not original. A pair of 7 1/4' x 7 1/4" trimmed
The building has never been wired for electricity or electrical lighting. Candles were used to light the interior space and were placed on simple, wall-mounted, wooden candlesticks; these are still in place, and at least some are original. The original, eleven-foot-long, unfinished pews are still in the building and are of two different designs. Most pews are constructed with basks and seats created from up to fifteen-inch wide pine planks, fastened to solid wood and panels by wedged, mortise and tenon joints. A six-inch high, raised chancel platform with rounded corners occurs at the front of the church, along with a twenty-eight inch high picket alter or communion rail. A crude, built-in pulpit is located at center and leading edge of an additional six-inch high platform that forms a hexagon plan shape within the three sided polygonal bay or apse. The polygonal bay creates, on the interior of the building, a ten-foot wide niche with canted wall and ceiling planes.
The church cemetery occupies the back portion of the three-acre lot.
Shiloh Methodist Church, built between 1825 and 1830, is significant as a particularly intact example of the vernacular meeting house form of ecclesiastical architecture in rural churches in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It is the earliest surviving church sanctuary in Spartanburg County and one of the earliest in the South Carolina upcountry. Its congregation, founded shortly after the American Revolution, is the "mother church" of several Methodist churches in the area and churches of other denominations as well. The church's simplicity of form and materials, as well as its strikingly rural and pastoral setting, has been preserved for more than 175 years.
Tradition has it that prior to construction of its first permanent church the congregation met as a coup as early as 1786 in a nearby brush arbor and later in camp meetings.
Shiloh was part of the Broad River Circuit 1785-1802, the Saluda Circuit 1802-1805 and the Enoree Circuit 1805-1833. The original sanctuary built on this site was of hand-hewn logs. After this building burned, the present sanctuary was constructed to replace it.
The three-acre site, which the deed describes as "Shiloh meeting house on Lawson Fork," was donated to the congregation through its trustees by Adam Gramling, Jr., in 1836. Trustees during the 1830s soon after this church was built, included William Blackburn, William Brooks, Enoch Duncan, Walter Farrow, Adam Gramling, Sr., John Gramling, Ruben Gramling, Hosea Kennedy, and Asa Waldrop.
Shiloh Methodist Church was a circuit church for most of its existence, dependant on a minister traveling circuit to preach at several churches. About 1915, the last fourteen members of the congregation transferred their membership to Inman Methodist Church, now Inman United Methodist Church, which owns the historic church and cemetery.
Though Shiloh Methodist Church has been inactive since 1915, "Homecoming" services are held each year on the third Sunday of May and Watchnight
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