Midway Congregational Church 1872 - Present

Midway Congregational Church 1872 - Present (HM5RK)

Location: Midway, GA 31320 Liberty County
Country: United States of America

N 31° 48.097', W 81° 27.879'

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Dorchester Academy

— Museum Of African American History —

The Old Midway Congregational Church, twomiles east on U.S. Highway 17, was formed by whites (Puritans & Congregationalists )when they settled in Liberty County. They were driven to church by their black slaveswho were allowed to sit in the church balconyduring worship. Eventually, these slaves became members and certain slaves, such asWilliam A. Golden (Golding) became Selectmen.When slavery ended, white members abandonedthe Old Midway Church Building. The Church's governing body leased the building to the morethan 500 newly freed slaves. This lasted two orthree years until two influential formerslaveholders said they would rather see theOld Midway Church burned to the groundrather than to have the former slaves use it.Thus, between 1867-1868, William A. Goldingoffered land, on which he and the membersfashioned a "Brush Arbor" church by placingposts in the ground with poles on the sides and brushes on top. This place became knownas "Golding's Grove ".

William A. Golding, as the pioneeringCongregationalist Pastor and one of twofreedman serving in the Georgia Legislature,petitioned the American Missionary Association (A.M.A.) to send a preacher topastor the church and a teacher to lead a school. The A.M.A. responsively helpedestablish Midway Congregational Church and its Mission School at McIntosh.In 1872, Midway Congregational Church was formally organized by the ReverendFloyd Snelson, the first graduate ofAtlanta Theological Seminary.

The first church building was completedand dedicated in 1874 largely with funds from the A.M.A. and the local church body.The school, named Dorchester Academy in 1877, was formally created by the A.M.A. (Congregationalists ) The new church building served as the Worship Center for the Academy and all assemblies, graduations, Vespers and special events occurred in church.

In March, 1877, The Church Bell was erected, purchased with the funds raised by "New England Friends."

The initial church building was torn down in 1956 and Midway Congregational Church heldWorship Services in the Dorchester Academy Center. The present Church Building was constructed in 1962 and dedicated in 1963.

On April 4, 1968, the A.M.A. ceded its authority to the newly formed Dorchester Improvement Association. Inc. The founders were: 1,*James A. Lewis, President; 2. Rev. Charles A. Maxell, Vice- Pres.; 3.* Herbert M. Turner, Chaplain, Ft. Stewart; 4. * Milton P. Crenshaw; 5. Clarence Williams; 6. Jessie A. Stevens; 7. Alfreta L. Adams; 8.* Lillie W. Gillard; 9*. William M. Walthour,Sr.; and 10.* Alberta S. Mullins ( * denotes members of Midway Congregational Church.) Mrs. Gillard was the longest serving member of the D.I.A. Inc. Board.Midway Congregational United Church of Christ remains the only existing link between this community and the A.M.A.; the first historical integrated abolitionist organization.
HM NumberHM5RK
Year Placed2004
Placed ByCity of Flemington
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 8:49pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 456016 N 3518540
Decimal Degrees31.80161667, -81.46465000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 48.097', W 81° 27.879'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 48' 5.82" N, 81° 27' 52.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)912
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8600-9098 Hwy 84, Midway GA 31320, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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