Approximately 50 members of the Church were recruited into the study for which they thought they were receiving treatment for “bad blood”, when in fact, they were never told the true nature of their disease, nor were they offered any treatment, even after the availability of penicillin, the curative drug for syphilis. Many of these men are buried in the Shiloh Cemetery.
Located in front of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church is a large oak tree. It was under this tree that participants in the U.S. Public Health Study of Untreated Syphilis in Negro Males in Macon County, Alabama, met to wait for Nurse Rivers, the Shiloh School nurse, to come and either provide medication, update health history or transport the men to Tuskegee for treatment.
The Shiloh School
Located in the town of Notasulga, once a vibrant farming community that was and still is the epitome of education, self-sufficiency, a strong work ethic, community partnerships, human dignity, and self-respect.
Children walked miles to Shiloh, a school with a pot belly stove, no electricity and outside privies to fulfill their parent’s dreams of an education and a more prosperous life.
The School was built on two acres of land adjacent to the Church property land given by Reverend Sam Moss.
Missionary Baptist Church
Established in 1870 for those families leaving the Beulah/Second Baptist Church in Notasulga for black slaves.
The Shiloh Church began as a bush harbor located across the road behind the current Church, with the blue back speller and catechism used as the basic textbooks. These were later replaced with the Bible. To conduct a baptismal, members had to go to the creek trestle or just anywhere the officers would find water.
Later, a frame church was built below the old pool to accommodate growing membership. After 1890, Reverend Sam Moss built a second frame Church a little closer to the road. The present Church was built in 1919.
Established in 1870. Burial at the cemetery was initially permitted by Mr. Barn, a white resident of the community and a neighbor across from the two acres of land which became the cemetery. He gave his permission to the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church to bury their members on the property.
In later years, Mr. Charlie Pollard, a member of the Shiloh Church and a Tuskegee Syphilis Study participant, purchased the property from Mr. Barnes and donated the property to the Shiloh Church. After the Civil War, African Americans established not only their own communities and churches but also their own burial places.