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History of Midway Baptist Church, Pulaski County, Georgia
Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Georgia | No Comments
For many years Old Adam Meeting House was the only religious structure on the old River Road or in the Lampkin settlement. In fact, after leaving Hawkinsville, prior to the year 1800, and for nearly three-score years in the nineteenth century, Old Adam Meeting House was the only place of worship situated on the east side of the Ocmulgee River, south. This church was located about eleven miles from Hawkinsville on the lower River Road just below Mosquito Creek. At this time James L. Lampkin owned all the land in that vicinity, and the church site was donated by him.
This House of God, like so many of our present-day organizations, was not immune to differences and arguments. So, due to some political split among the members which grew out of several years’ friction, part of the members decided to pull away from the Adam Meeting House and erect a church of their own. The little flock of seceders decided on a spot half way between Old Limestone Church on the Chicken Road, and old Daniels Church on the lower River Road. In 1857 the new meeting house was ready for dedication, and since it was about half way between the other churches the church fathers decided to name it Midway.
The minutes of this church were lost from the year 1857 to 1838. These records were burned in the home of the late W. S. Lancaster in 1900, the same day the church voted to disband and the same day the minutes were carried into Mr. Lancaster’s home.
Midway Church lived and thrived for more than a quarter of a century, but the membership soon grew to include so many new members and settlers who lived farther east of the river that it was found inconvenient for more than half the congregation to attend services. Consequently, Rev. W. R. Steely suggested that they have their meetings at the Ruhama schoolhouse (named by Miss Janie Stewart), which was a small building about three miles east of Midway. This seemed a more central location for worship.
Rev. W. R. Steely was pastor of Midway sometime prior to the year 1888, until 1890. Midway was a member of the Houston County Association until the year 1893, when they decided to cast lots with the New Ebenezer.
We find from the minutes of Midway, dated May 20, 1893, “It was decided to build a New church house 30 by 52 feet 15 feet between joints.” The following were appointed as a building committee: L. W. Harrell, C. M. McAllister, D. C. Daniels, J. J. Handley and D. H. Holt. The building was ready for occupancy by March 1894. The new church was to be called New Midway. It continued to grow and prosper until the spring of 1915, when this building was destroyed by a cyclone: also several homes of the members. Then it became necessary to have the meetings in the Midway school building until a new building could be erected.
May 25, 1915, a building committee was appointed as follows: C. M. McAllister, chairman; D. T. Daniels, D. H. Holt, Reubin Brown and B. F. Lancaster.
The church decided to move the building nearer the schoolhouse, so they bought part of the land now owned from W. A. Simmons and exchanged the old lot for one in front of the New Midway schoolhouse. Due to the World War at this time it was a difficult task to finish the new building, but it was finally ready to be dedicated in about three years.
This building now stands as erected with the exception of three Sunday school rooms and electric lights, which were added this year. The church was repainted in 1933.
New Midway Church has had a flourishing Sunday school from the time the name was changed from Midway to New Midway, in the year 1893.
The following are those who served as superintendents: C. M. McAllister, H. A. Brown, S. W. McAllister, B. F. Lancaster, J. W. McAllister, B. J. Harrell, E. A. Vaughn, C. B. Gatlin, John Cobb (serving at the time of writing).
Those who served as Deacons: D. C. Daniels, L. H. Harrell, B. F. Lancaster, H. A. Brown, J. B. Stewart, D. L. Daniel, B. J. Harrell, J. W. McAllister, D. C. Woodard, C. B. Gatlin, J. N. Daniel, E. H. Vaughn, John Cobb.
B. F. Lancaster, D. C. Daniel, L. H. Harrell and H. A. Brown were among the first of the church and have now gone on to their reward.
The clerks include: L. H. Harrell, D. H. Holt, J. B. Stewart, B. F. Lancaster, J. N. Daniel, C. B. Gatlin, O. L. Lancaster. (These served from 1888 to 1935.)
The W. M. U. of New Midway has been organized many years, Mrs. A. F. Jones and Miss Rosa Lee Lancaster being among the first presidents. The earlier efforts were not very successful, and it was not until the year 1931 that it became an efficient part of the church. Mrs. J. C. Wilcox is the faithful president at this time.
Midway also has a Sunbeam Band and G. A., active at this time. The B. Y. P. U. is wide awake and is a great factor in training our young people.
Rev. T. J. Mills was the first pastor to preach at New Midway Church after a building was erected. Since then the following have served as pastors
W. R. Steely, 1888-1890; T. J. Mills, 1890-1893; J. A. Smith, 1893-1894; I. J. Skipper, 1894-1894; J. W. Witherington, 18941897; J. E. Briggs, 1897-1898; E. I. J. Dickens, 1898-1899; R. G. P. McKennon, 1899-1900; F. B. Asbell, 1900-1902; S. A. Sheffield, 1.902-1905; B. H. Summers, 1905-1906; W. M. Sentell, 1906-1907; T. E. Tool, 1907-1908; J. R. Kelley, 1908-1909; B. F. Mansfield, 1909-1911; N. R. Hurst, 1913-1916; Thomas Morgan, 1917-1918; L. T. Thompson, 1918-1921; E. A. Price, 1921-1924; A. A. Wainwrite, 1924-1925; G. L. Brooks, 1925-1928; A. B. West, 1929-1930; D. C. Bussell, 1930 (serving as pastor now).
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