Welcome to Our Deaf Ministry
Historical Highlights | 1913-2012
The Silent Mission Ministry for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was organized during the administration of its third pastor, Reverend Dr. John Milton Waldron in 1913. Records indicated that 6 Deaf persons applied for membership by baptism and more followed in May of 1919. For years this small congregation worshiped in the Lower Auditorium of the Sanctuary and joined the hearing congregation on the first Sunday night of each month for Communion Services.
In 1964 when segregation was ruled unlawful by the United States Supreme Court, Andrew Jackson Foster enrolled in Gallaudet College and three years later during his senior year in college, assumed leadership of the Silent Mission. He served as minister for more than a year until his departure for Africa where he established several schools for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing across the continent of Africa.
The Silent Mission Circle was established under the direction and guidance of Reverend Henry C. Gregory III. Three Deacons were ordained and two Deaf women became deaconesses. Additionally, the Silent Mission Choir became a component of the music ministry at Shiloh.
Currently, under the Pastorate of Reverend Dr. Wallace Charles Smith, efforts are being made to communicate with members of our Deaf and Hard of Hearing congregation. The entire membership signs the Doxology and the Lord's Prayer in unison while sign language classes are taught to further facilitate communication.
Deaf persons serve faithfully on Shiloh's deacons and well as deaconess ministries, Sunday school teachers, and one of the first missionary organizations within the church.
Technology now plays a role within the Silent Mission Ministry while signing songs and praises to thousands of persons via the internet. Deaf persons are featured signing the Doxology, Shiloh's Welcome Song, as well as signing video clips in American Sign Language of coming attractions. Even though the ministry has become smaller because of age and deaths over the years, the rich legacy and respect within the Deaf community still lives on. We pause now to salute 100 years of faithful service to our Lord and Savior.