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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Midway in Liberty County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Midway Congregational Church 1872 - Present

Dorchester Academy

 

—Museum Of African American History —

 
Dorchester Academy Marker, Midway Congregational Church 1872- Present image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 2008
1. Dorchester Academy Marker, Midway Congregational Church 1872- Present
Inscription. The Old Midway Congregational Church, two miles 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 slaves who were allowed to sit in the church balcony during worship. Eventually, these slaves became members and certain slaves, such as William A. Golden (Golding) became Selectmen. When slavery ended, white members abandoned the Old Midway Church Building. The Church's governing body leased the building to the more than 500 newly freed slaves. This lasted two or three years until two influential former slaveholders said they would rather see the Old Midway Church burned to the ground rather than to have the former slaves use it. Thus, between 1867-1868, William A. Golding offered land, on which he and the members fashioned a "Brush Arbor" church by placing posts in the ground with poles on the sides and brushes on top. This place became known as "Golding's Grove ".

William A. Golding, as the pioneering Congregationalist Pastor and one of two freedman serving in the Georgia Legislature, petitioned the American Missionary Association (A.M.A.) to send a preacher to pastor the church and a teacher to lead a school. The A.M.A. responsively helped establish Midway Congregational Church and
Dorchester Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dorchester Academy Marker, 2008
2. Dorchester Academy Marker
its Mission School at McIntosh. In 1872, Midway Congregational Church was formally organized by the Reverend Floyd Snelson, the first graduate of Atlanta Theological Seminary.

The first church building was completed and 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 held Worship 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
Dorchester Academy Marker, Midway Congregational Church image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
3. Dorchester Academy Marker, Midway Congregational Church
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.
 
Erected 2004 by City of Flemington.
 
Location. 31° 48.097′ N, 81° 27.879′ W. Marker is in Midway, Georgia, in Liberty County. Marker can be reached from East Oglethorpe Highway (U.S. 84) near Lewis Frasier Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8787 East Oglethorpe Highway, Midway GA 31320, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. We want a school, we need a Teacher 1870-1872 (a few steps from this marker); The Story of the "Bell" at Dorchester Academy (a few steps from this marker); Dorchester Academy (within shouting distance of this marker); Dorchester Academy Boy's Dormitory (within shouting distance of this marker); The Growth Of Dorchester Academy 1874 - 1930s (within shouting distance of this marker); Elizabeth Moore at Dorchester Academy 1925-1932 (within shouting distance of this marker);
Midway Congregational Church 1872 - Present Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, February 18, 2011
4. Midway Congregational Church 1872 - Present Marker
Present state of the marker. Text is completely illegible.
Liberty County Citizen's Council 1946 - 1953 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Working Together at the Dorchester Cooperative Center 1930s-1940s (about 300 feet away); Civil Liberties at Dorchester Cooperative Center 1940 - present (about 400 feet away); S.C.L.C. and the Voter Education Program 1962-1970 (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Midway.
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches & ReligionEducation
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 11, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,902 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 11, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4. submitted on April 15, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page.
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