Dirty Laundry & Church

Normally I’d leave the subject to other bloggers closer to the area, but I think I have a little to add.
The District section of the Washington Post has two articles regarding Shiloh, I’m glad to see the second about Rev. Wallace Charles Smith. The reason being is that I hope that those outside the church understand at least one of the factors that make it difficult for Shiloh to move forward, because it is not of one mind.
As mentioned to me by a relative who has been a long time member of Shiloh the divisions have gotten to an upsetting point. There was a meeting with an architect with plans for ther properties where she claims the deacons were acting up and telling outright lies about Rev. Smith. And there is some little side group having meetings, attempting to oust Rev. Smith. She defends him as a good pastor and pointed out the problem properties were problems way before Rev. Smith got there. And really, the church fire back in the 90s did not help.
In other conversations I know that tithing seemed to be a problem before all the negative press. People not tithing properly is not a problem unique to Shiloh. And it is those tithes as well as a building fund campaign that will get those properties up to snuff and maybe get a senior center. When the church does finally come together, deals with their infighting, and makes the senior center/senior housing a priority mission, it will be good for the church and the neighborhood.

8 thoughts on “Dirty Laundry & Church”

  1. Shiloh has spent $271,081 since 2005 just to pay property taxes for its vacant properties. I think members are justified in witholding tithes when their hard-earned money is being so ineffectively used. There are so many other wonderful Christian organizations that spend limited resources so much more effectively to affect lives. I would rather know that my 10% (or more) is helping as many people as possible than just paying taxes because leaders can’t get it together.

    I think I speak for all neighbors of the church in saying I would welcome well-executed affordable senior housing in Shiloh’s vacant buildings. I have trouble seeing Shiloh–at least given its current state of affairs–pull anything like that off well. Thankfully the O Street Market development has a large affordable senior housing component to it to meet the need.

  2. senior housing, great! how much time should it take? 10 years? 20 years? 50? They have owned the vacant property for decades already. How long is too long?

    As far as money, the government gave them money years ago to make it happen but they never got it together. Not to mention the bequest, the money paid for the woodson properties…

  3. I do know that inheriting ‘stuff’ or other property in one’s job is a huge pain. I inherited an unsalvageable solar-powered vehicle at work and had to find a way to get rid of it! Fun!

    Property management and priesthood are two separate career paths, and it’s got to be difficult juggling both responsibilities.

    That said, vacant properties that just sit there for years suck.

  4. That reminds me, I need to update my will. I’ve told my executor that he is to sell the property and divide it, but I have yet to state that in the will. Right now he gets the whole thing and there might be something about him living in it.

  5. Last weekend, I was visiting with a contractor who is working on the Shiloh properties. I asked him what kind of renovations they were going to be doing, and from what he said to me, unfortunately, his job is pretty much only to secure the buildings (plywood, etc) right now.

  6. Dealing with contractors and renovating properties is expensive business. You almost need twice as much as your project might seem to require at the begining because initial contactors may not complete the job and after paying them off, the property owner might need to hire another contractor to do the job over correctly.

  7. I have become a senior waiting for them to build that promised housing. I still think their original plan touted twenty years ago to neighbors and Jack Evans — when he cared about this community– is to build that giant money-making parking garage. MLK: “I have a dream.” Shiloh: “I have a scheme.”

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