This land, set on a beautiful hilltop overlooking rural Kalona, Iowa, soon became a home to what the Living Word churches originally called “The Iowa Camp.” It was later named Shiloh, in reference to the Shiloh of the Old Testament where the school of the prophets was centered, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, and where God’s glory rested. It was John Robert Stevens’ deep hope that in the midst of a famine for hearing the Word of God, many would hear the voice of the Lord at Shiloh (Amos 8:11; I Samuel 3:1,21).
In the late 1980s, young adults from throughout the fellowship began spending a portion of their summer vacation at Shiloh. This led to the first organized Young Adult School of Prophets (YASP) camp in 1990, which ran concurrently with the fellowship-wide School of Prophets summer camp. The YASP program has continued every summer since.
In 1987, Gary and Marilyn Hargrave worked with ministries from Shiloh and throughout The Living Word Fellowship to develop a master plan for Shiloh’s property. The campus covers over two hundred acres and includes a main lodge building, a dining hall, an outdoor amphitheater, recreational lakes, playing fields, walking trails, a cemetery, and a maintenance building. The 90,000-square-foot lodge building, which was remodeled in 1997, houses the sanctuary, a library, a café, hospitality rooms, dormitory-style rooms, resident apartments, and administrative offices for Shiloh, The Living Word Fellowship, and the Shiloh University.
Adjoining Shiloh’s property is Marilyn Farms Company, a six hundred-acre farm owned by several of the Living Word Fellowship churches. Marilyn Farms Company carries out the Joseph Ministry commission which is to restore the land and minister to the health of God’s people.
Shiloh houses a passionate and growing local church. It is also a place where members and ministers from throughout The Living Word Fellowship assemble for conferences, retreats, ministry training, and times devoted to prayer and seeking the Lord. As part of our annual fellowship-wide School of Prophets and summer camp, an annual amphitheater show is performed around the Fourth of July for camp attendees as well as thousands who live in the surrounding communities.
Shiloh continues to grow as an expression of faith and hunger before God and fulfill its mission to be a place of worship and prayer. Throughout its thirty-year history, Shiloh’s roots have remained inseparable from John Robert Stevens’ drive to see God’s Word proclaimed by a school of prophets under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.