MANASQUAN — Shiloh Baptist Church reopened its doors last month after closing in 2019 for renovations focused on improving handicap-accessibility and the church’s structural needs.
When Rev. Michael Morgan took over as pastor in 2014 he wasn’t planning on remodeling the church, but he eventually noticed a need for greater handicap-accessibility
“The old building, the way it was laid out and constructed, it was very difficult if you were elderly or if you struggled to walk,” he said. “The stairs on the side were really dysfunctional, the steps in the front were high and then once you got into the sanctuary getting to the bathroom was a process.
“Then as we got going we realized the structure of the church is pretty bad, and so one thing led to another, and eventually it ended up being a complete revamp,” he said.
Much to the pastor’s delight the church was also able to install an elevator despite the water table’s proximity to the basement. “Just to be able to pull it off and have an elevator go down to that level is an incredible accomplishment,” Rev. Morgan said.
During the renovation, which began in July 2019, construction workers had also found several artifacts including old bottles, license plates and lamps that are now on display in the church’s lobby.
“The construction guys were so gracious because every time they would find something they would save it,” Rev. Morgan added.
Rev. Morgan had stopped by the church every day during the renovation, which served as a reminder of Shiloh Baptist Church’s past. He remembered thinking how incredible it was to see the original walls revealed during construction.
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