Thanks to Ray for the heads-up about the City Paper's December 29, 2006 discussion about Shiloh Baptist Church. Of particular note is the article's last paragraph, which reads:
Shaw residents can’t say that Shiloh Baptist Church isn’t doing anything for the neighborhood. During the Ministry of Giving in the middle of the [Christmas Eve morning] service, deacons took up three separate offerings—one for missionary efforts to help the poor around the world, one for members’ tithes, and one for debt reduction and the refurbishment of the church’s properties on 9th Street NW.I don't think Shaw residents have ever complained that Shiloh's not doing "anything" for the neighborhood; whether their actions generally benefit or hurt the neighborhood is the chief debate. Looking around at the numerous, highly visible vacant buildings in Shaw owned by Shiloh but presently boarded up, tagged with graffiti, attracting homeless people for sleeping on the front stoops and/or inside them, and making the streetscape unattractive, it's easy to see that Shiloh's most visible impact on the neighborhood is overwhelmingly negative.
We need to put increased pressure and increased city-wide attention on Shiloh's--and other local churches'--role as a bad neighbor and bad steward with respect to these properties.
Photo Credit: DC Rob on Flickr