Reconstruction (1865-1877)

 

Reverend Snelson was not able to absorb the Medway Presbyterian Church into his Congregational church. As soon as the court case was decided against him, he started making plans for another church organization.

 

He asked members of other churches in the area to meet with him and his followers in Liberty County to establish the "Congregational Church of Midway." which they called a direct successor to Midway Church. Representatives of churches in Savannah, Belmont, Ogeechee, and Woodville, Georgia. arrived by train on the morning of July 27, 1874.

 

Reverend Snelson and some of his followers met the visitors at Station No. 3 (McIntosh), and escorted them to the Hutchinson Baptist Church a short distance away. They were there met by the main body of Reverend Snelson's followers.

 

Reverend Snelson outlines for the visitors. plans he and his followers had made for the church organization. A coun­cil was then appointed by the group with Reverend Aaron Rowe, pastor of the Congregational Church of Savannah. as moderator. and Reverend James Porter. assistant pastor of the same church, as scribe.

 

After due consultation, the council voted to recognize the church. It then proceeded with a religious ceremony, during which members of other religious denominations present performed certain functions. There was an invocation by Reverend Paul Laury, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Savannah, an opening prayer by Reverend George Francis of the same church, and the reading of a hymn by Reverend Frank Keaton, pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Savannah.

 

After a sermon by Reverend Rowe and a welcome address by Reverend Porter, officers and congregation of the new church formed a line outside the church building, and the council extended to them the right hand of Christian Fellow­ship. The outside activity was necessary, because the church building would not hold all of the people present that day.

 

Members of the church worshipped in a brush arbor for years until they could raise funds with which to construct a church building. The house of worship has been known as the Congregational Church of Midway, the Grove Congre­gational Church, and today is the Midway Congregational Church (United Church of Christ). It was an integral part of Dorchester Academy from the time it was established until Dorchester Academy ceased to exist near the beginning of World War II.  

 


From "Sweet Land of Liberty, A History of Liberty County, Georgia" by Robert Long Groover; Page(s); Used by the permission of the Liberty County Commissioners Office 

LIBERTY COUNTY GEORGIA

liberty1830map

 

Mailing Address

Liberty County Historical Society
PO Box 982
Hinesville, GA  31310

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