Midway United Methodist Church
Friday, July 21, 2017
Where Friends Become Family

History

A Landmark Of Christ’s Love Since 1820
 

 
The Midway United Methodist Church had its origins in Muscogee County, Georgia in 1820. These first services were held in individuals' homes before being built in a settlement. It is the oldest Methodist Church in the Columbus District. It was then located in a small settlement on Buena Vista Road, some eight and a half miles east of Columbus, Georgia. The city of Columbus, at that time, had not been chartered. Travel was limited in those early days, due to a lack of good roads, and it often would take a full day to go into the settlement and get supplies. This was done only two or three times a year.

 
The church then was the center of community life. The activities of every family centered around the church. When services were held people would come from miles in wagons and on horseback. Since travel was limited, the people remained at church all day. The order of worship was followed by worship, fellowship, singing, and dinner on the grounds. The children would enjoy "Preaching Sunday", as it was called in those days, because it would give them an opportunity to be away from their daily chores, and they could be with their friends. Mothers would gather and share the different recipes, plan quilting parties, and exchange ideas on homemaking. The men would gather to hear the latest news, compare crops, and tell yarns they had heard via the "grape vine".

 
The first church structure sat on the North side of Buena Vista Road adjacent to the old cemetery that still remains. This church was destroyed by a storm and was rebuilt again and destroyed by fire. It was next rebuilt on the south side of Buena Vista Road. All that remains of the original church is an old cemetery enclosed by rustic iron fences and shaded by tall majestic pine trees. In looking about, one can find evidence of a once proud church serving the needs of the settlement. Bits of broken glass reflect the brilliant sun rays; and rusted, broken, eroded nails protrude from the ground. A rusted window hinge covered with red clay and decayed brick tell of strength and endurance. Pieces of terra cotta pipe, which once carried the swirling smoke of warm winter fires, that smelled of burned oak and pine, into the heavens, can be found. The old road that ran behind the church to the nearby settlement and school still remains today. The spring that once supplied the water for the church, and those living near by, had long since gone dry.

 
When the new church was constructed on the south side of Buena Vista Road, it was somewhat different from the early church in that it stood beneath a tall oak tree. If you visualize: a picturesque white frame church with windows all around and steps running across the front, a chimney situated in the center of the church to which was attached an "Old Potbellied Stove" for warmth in winter months, kerosene oil lamps hanging around the walls, wooden benches hewn from lumber cut from the trees near by, and the altar at which one could kneel and pray, a pulpit that stood above the congregation, and in the corner an old pedal-pump type organ that furnished music for the worship services, you have captured the vision of the Midway Methodist Episcopal Church South. The church virtually remained the same across the years until it was moved to its present location.

 
Before Midway grew into a full-time pastorate, it was a part of several different charges that were composed of as many as six churches. The Midway Church has been on the Wynnton Charge, the Cusseta Charge, the Midland Charge, the Rose Hill Charge, and the St. Mark Charge. It remained a part of the Cusseta Charge longer than any other, but across the years was switched back and forth from one charge to another.

 
The records of all these churches are now nonexistent, due to a fire that destroyed the Cusseta Church many years ago.

 
In 1947 the church moved to its present location at 4442 Buena Vista Road. The Church was forced to relocate due to an expansion of the Fort Benning Military Reservation. During the transition and the building of the new sanctuary, the congregation met in the homes of members. It was made a freestanding church in 1950.

 
Midway UMC at the present time