MIDWAY COMMUNITY

 

The Church

Midway Methodist Protestant Church was begun in the reconstruction days almost before the smoke had cleared away after the struggle between the North and South. The most important churches in this area in the earlier days were Flat Rock and Fair Grove.  It was wisely decided to establish a new church halfway between these two.  The new church was given the name "Midway.” The ground for the location was deeded by J. T. Whitsett to the original trustees:  Robert Coe, L. W. Shaw, J. T. Whitsett, A. M. Whitsett, and Jack Roach.  The title is dated October 19, 1866.  Probably the congregation was organized earlier. The church had a small beginning.  It was organized in a log schoolhouse. Which was located across the street from where the church stands now, not far from the spring and dam that served as it’s water supply..(remnants of this can still be seen today.  Among the charter members were R. A. Carroll, R. G. Coe, Mrs. Jennie (R. G.) Coe, Mrs. Lizzie (N. G.) Dabbs, William McCollum, and Mrs MaryAnn (William) McCollum.  The first church, also a log structure, was built in the early part of 1867 with Rev. A. W. Lineberry serving as the pastor.  He served a circuit consisting of eleven churches: Mizpah, Friendship, Fair Grove, Sandy Cross, Sharon, Bethel, Midway, Flat Rock, Palestine, Oak Level, and Union.  He came to each church about once a month.  Often a layman would serve in his place.  In 1882 this charge was split into two circuits with Midway being placed in the eastern half. The log building served for twenty-one years.  In 1888 when Rev. W. F. Kenneth was pastor, the people felt the need of a better building.  The old log building was replaced by a wooden frame structure.  The second building furnished the congregation with a place of worship for forty years. The present building was built in 1928 and was first occupied on May 27,1928.
In 1939 the name of the church was changed to Midway Methodist Church. This was due to the merger of the Methodist Protestant Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South into the Methodist Church.  Another name change was to come in 1968 when the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church.  In 1944 Tom Butler, Wade Apple and John Bartee who owned the old school property  gave this land  to the church.  On this land the community hut was constructed, giving the Midway community the first such building in the county. The church was remodeled in the years 1951 to 1952.  The ceiling was lowered six and one half feet and the balcony was closed off which improved both the appearance and the acoustics.  Since then a new furnace and air conditioning have been installed.  Later new pews were added..  Families as memorials gave most of the pews.  Stained glass windows were installed in 1965. In 1960 a perpetual care Cemetery Trust Fund was established for the upkeep of the cemetery. The original trustee of this fund was Tom Butler who took care of it until he passed the responsiblilty on to his son in law Warren Bailey . Warren took care of it until shortly before his death in 2010.  Under his tenure it grew and prospered.

For many years Midway was a part of the Haw River Circuit which also included Friendship, Fair Grove, Mizpah, and Brown Summit Churches.  In 1962 the Midway Circuit was formed and included Midway, Bethany, and Glencoe Churches.   At that time Midway built and furnished a parsonage.

The church celebrated its 100th anniversary on June 26, 1965.  Dr. J. Garland Winkler, superintendent of the Greensboro District, was the preacher for the morning worship service. In 1968 an addition to the building was erected. It contained a fellowship hall and ten rooms.  The cost was approximately $60,000 of which $10,000 came as a grant from The Duke Endowment.  Rev. W. A. Knight was the pastor at the time.  By 1970 the building was debt free.  Bishop Earl G. Hunt, Jr. on January 31, l971, dedicated it.
Four people from Midway have entered the Ministry: They include A. G. Dixon, A.D. Shelton, James Dixon Turner and Patricia Wright. Rev. Dixon served as a district superintendent from 1922-1927.

In 1994 we took a big step, said Good-bye to our sister Churches of Glencoe and Bethany and became a "Station Church" This has proved to be a very positive step both in the physical and spiritual growth of the Church.

 In recent years we have remodeled the kitchen; added a sound system and new fixtures including a new Grand Piano to the Sanctuary; purchased a church van; extended the parking area and paved a new entrance and driveway.  In addition we have recently finished building a new picnic shelter/stew hut and a new community playground. We replaced our ageing organ with a state of the art Allen Organ. Come and listen to our inspiring music played by our very own Betty Moore.  Midway is a dynamic and growing church. 


The School

In many rural North Carolina communities churches became subscription schools in the second half of the nineteenth century.  Classes for 1-8 grades were sometimes offered in the church building itself or in a log building adjacent to the church. Sometimes the pastors of the churches also served as teachers in the schools. Midway School was one such school as early as 1889. Twenty years later the school enrollment had increased to about fifty students with three teachers was housed in a multi-roomed frame building adjacent to the church.  This second school was a wood frame structure with 4 entrances on two sides.  The younger children and small auditorium were on one side and the older children used the two entrances on the other side.  This school served grades 1-7 and then the children would go on to either Monroeton or Bethany. Rockingham County consolidated elementary schools in 1935 and Midway Community School was closed.

 

The Community

      Midway Community has long been considered a proud and caring community evidenced by the erection of the Community Hut in 1944, also on the grounds of Midway Methodist Church near where the present day stew-hut stands.  The hut served as a Fellowship Hall, a Sunday School class, a community meeting place for Home Demonstration Club, 4-H Club, a polling place and some arts and crafts activities.  After the church expanded its facility in 1968, the hut was disassembled.


Click Here For the History of the Western NC Conference of the UMC