THE SESQUICENTENNIAL HISTORY
MIDWAY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The Presbyterians were among the first settlers of South Carolina. Midway Presbyterian Church is a church old in history and rich in tradition of those who have served as ministers and members. It has been built on the reformed tradition with a strong pulpit ministry in proclaiming the Word of God. The people are solid in that word, quoting it and teaching it; and they have always had a tender desire to live it out.
According to our records, the Reverend William Carlisle preached at and near Midway community many times before he and the Reverend David Humphrey organized a church in July 1833. Mr. Carlisle served the church from 1833 to 1855 as Stated Supply Pastor. In the early years of its history, there was no building; but the people gathered for preaching services under a rudely constructed brush arbor. It was here where camp meetings were also held from time to time, until the year of 1848 when a building was erected, across the road in the present cemetery. This building included a slave gallery and a separate Session House, located southeasterly alongside the Issaqueena Trail (road banks are still visible today).
Doctor W.H. Mills, Historian, ventures the opinion that the community, named “Midway”, is older than the church. He expresses the belief that the community was so-called, because it was halfway between Dewetts’ Corner, just below the Cherokee Boundary line, which is the present town of Due West, and Fort Prince George on the Keowee, the chief trading post of the lower Cherokees. These two points were almost exactly twenty-five miles away, southeast and northwest from Midway. That would be a convenient day’s march for a packhorse train from either point. Old maps indicate a road passing very nearby; in fact, the Old Pendleton Road, currently Crestview Road, passed along the edge of the grounds.
Throughout one hundred fifty years, Midway Presbyterian Church has provided an “amiable dwelling” for the faithful. Situated in a peaceful grove of trees, with its tall steeple pointing toward heaven, Midway has offered peace and serenity through wars, depression, and upheavals.
The church, organized in July 1833, was received under the care of the Presbytery of South Carolina on October 3, 1833. The organizing group included Reverend William Carlisle, J. Wilson Drennon, William C. Bailey, James Harrison, James Erskine, Rebecca Love, Nancy Dalrymple, and six unnamed women. Elected Elders were Robert Alexander, Walter Poole, and R.W. Todd, with Mr. Todd serving as the first Clerk of Session. The church property was part of a grant by the State of South Carolina in 1971 to James Milwee. Martha Wallace sold one tract to the Trustees of the church on April 2, 1833, and Henry Steele sold the second tract to the church in 1848. Copies of these deeds now hang in the Fellowship Hall.