December 9, 2003 - Issue: Vol. 149, No. 176 — Daily Edition108th Congress (2003 - 2004) - 1st Session
TRIBUTE TO THE SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH AND THE REVEREND JAMES B. RODGERS
(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 [www.gpo.gov] TRIBUTE TO THE SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH AND THE REVEREND JAMES B. RODGERS ______ 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. ____________________