The people of Brandy Station have suffered a grievous blow, seeing Shiloh Baptist Church gutted by fire on Nov. 2. But the historic church’s members hope to rebuild their house of worship.
Since the disastrous blaze, multiple churches and community organizations have banded together to help. They’re planning a benefit concert on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Culpeper Baptist Church to lift spirits and raise funds.
“The community continues to come together to help Shiloh, and this concert is another part of that,” the Rev. Dan Carlton, the church’s pastor, said Thursday. “Music, singing and worship have helped everyone in tough times, so the idea of a gospel concert seemed like the right thing. We look forward to seeing a wonderful response of generosity and love at the concert.”
The event will feature a dessert social and silent auction starting at 5:15 p.m. in the church’s courtyard and worship center, followed by a gospel concert at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.
The concert will include choral groups from around Culpeper. If you would like to participate, contact Alex Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-497-2459.
If you’d like to donate an item for the silent auction or volunteer for the event, contact Beth Miller at email@example.com or 540-905-9962.
Businesses that would like to sponsor the event should contact Scott Found at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-229-2341.
Shiloh Baptist Church’s point of contact is Monica Daye, at email@example.com.
Earlier, Found and Alice Young, Shiloh’s finance director, created a GoFundMe site to encourage contributions to rebuild the church, whose first congregation formed in 1867.
Found, an owner of Found & Sons Funeral Chapels in Culpeper, updates fundraising totals each day via his personal Facebook page.
On Thursday, he wrote “So much kindness today...thank you, Reginald!!!” and credited Reginald Laws for giving $500 to the church fund.
Found concluded: “You can help. Please donate and share.”
On Wednesday, Clore-English Funeral Home contributed $500.
To date, the GoFundMe page has $2,172 raised of its $50,000 goal.
On Wednesday, Found reported on the GoFundMe page: “Just want to keep this going ... we are getting closer to our goal. ...And THANK YOU” punctuated with a red heart emoji.
During business hours, there are three drop-off sites for people who prefer to write a check (made out to Shiloh Baptist Church), Found wrote: Rosson & Troilo in Brandy Station, Found and Sons Funeral Chapels on State Route 522, and the Ole Country Store on U.S. 29-South.
The church’s supporters are asking individuals to donate a total of $50,000 to combine with the total donated by businesses, Found wrote.
Area businesses and business people have pledged $40,000, he said Thursday evening.
They include Rosson & Troilo, Steve and Rachel Corbin, K&M Equipment Rentals, Gary and Melissa Deal, The Ole Country Store, Hometech Construction, Michelle Daly, Certified Massage Therapist, Found and Sons, Sneaker Thrift, Deli-icious, Culpeper Dental Associates, Found said.
He is asking other businesses that would like to contribute to rebuilding Shiloh Baptist Church to contact him at540-229-2341 or Pep Troilo at 540-229-2127.
Also, checks can be made payable to Shiloh Brandy Church and addressed to Atlantic Union Bank, FBO Shiloh Brandy Church, 102 South Main Street, Culpeper, VA 22701.
“We are far from being done and would love to include your business,” Found wrote on the GoFundMe page. “... The more we share and spread the word, the more likely the goal will be met. Separately, we can only do so much. Together, we can move mountains.”
Shiloh Baptist Church was built on land donated by Willis Madden, a free African-American entrepreneur who operated a popular tavern and store in Culpeper County between Stevensburg and Lignum. His great-grandson, T.O. Madden Jr., wrote an acclaimed memoir titled “We Were Always Free; The Maddens of Culpeper County, Virginia: A 200-Year Family History.”
Virginia historian Eugene Scheel has written that Shiloh’s 1897 cornerstore is the oldest surviving such stone from any black church in Culpeper County.
After the Civil War, many formerly enslaved African-Americans wanted to form their own congregations, and Shiloh was one result.