(Extensions of Remarks - December 09, 2003)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2507]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                         HON. ROBERT T. MATSUI

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, December 8, 2003

  Mr. MATSUI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in tribute to The Shiloh Baptist 
Church and The Reverend James B. Rodgers. On December 21, Reverend 
Rodgers will officially be installed as the twenty-seventh Pastor of 
the Shiloh Baptist Church, the oldest African-American church west of 
the Mississippi River and the first Baptist Church organized by 
African-Americans in Sacramento. I ask all my colleagues to join me in 
congratulating the Shiloh Baptist Church family and Dr. James B. 
Rodgers, Pastor, on this momentous occasion.
  The Shiloh Baptist Church, located in the Fifth Congressional 
District of the State of California, was established in 1856 as the 
oldest African American Baptist Church West of the Mississippi River 
and the second oldest African American church in the City of 
Sacramento. Since the church had no facilities upon its establishment 
in which to hold religious services, it forged a strong relationship 
with the Chinese Americans in the area, which resulted in an offer 
being extended for Shiloh to hold religious services at the Chinese 
Chapel, located at historic Sixth and H Streets in Sacramento.
  Shiloh has overcome many obstacles to its missionary services, 
including bank foreclosure in the 1860s; significant reductions in its 
membership because of relocations; destruction of the church facility 
by fire in 1861 and 1905; and the inability to secure building loans on 
several occasions. However, today Shiloh stands firm as a testament to 
the strong faith, perseverance, determination, character and courage of 
its founders and early congregations.
  Since its establishment, Shiloh has provided dedicated service to the 
citizens of the Capital Region, much of which was accomplished during 
26 plus years of outstanding leadership by Pastor Emeritus Willie P. 
Cooke. Shiloh has provided many services through its many ministries 
and has participated in numerous community based programs, including 
but not limited to, establishment of an Elderly Appreciation Day; the 
participation in the annual Sacramento Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Celebration; host church for the Sacramento Children Summer Food 
Program; organized a prison ministry for youth incarcerated in the 
California Youth Authority and the Sacramento County Probation 
Department; and instituted a Care-giver's Program to provide services 
to sick and residence-bound citizens.
  In recognition and appreciation of these community services, Shiloh 
has received numerous Presidential, Congressional, Gubernatorial, and 
State Legislative commendations dating back more than 40 years.
  For the past 18 months, Shiloh has continued its mission under the 
direction of Pastor Emeritus William P. Cooke. However, Shiloh recently 
called on Dr. Rodgers to serve as its 27th pastoral leader and to add 
to the rich religious and community history it has developed over the 
past 147 years.
  The Reverend James B. Rodgers has served faithfully in the ministry, 
preaching and teaching the gospel for over 32 years. In preparation for 
his calling to the ministry and in continuation of his ministerial 
duties, Dr. Rodgers commenced his academic studies with the United 
States Naval Academy and has earned an Associate of Arts Degree in 
Business; a Bachelor of Arts in Theology; a Masters of Theology; a 
Doctorate of Theology; and a Masters in Education Administration.
  Dr. Rodgers' official installation as pastor will occur during a 
three-day ceremony at Shiloh Baptist Church commencing with a community 
night on Friday, December 19, 2003, and concluding with the 
installation on Sunday, December 21, 2003. These services are designed 
to introduce Dr. Rodgers to the Shiloh family and to the Greater 
Sacramento community.
  Mr. Speaker, I am honored to thank and congratulate the Shiloh 
Baptist Church for nearly 150 years of invaluable service to the City 
of Sacramento. I would like to especially welcome Dr. James B. Rodgers 
to our community and to the Shiloh Baptist Church. I ask all my 
colleagues to join me in wishing the Shiloh Baptist Church and Dr. 
Rodgers continued success in all their future endeavors.