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Letter to the Editor

A brief history of Second Christian Church in Midway Editor, The Sun: More people are beginning to learn about the history of the Second Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Midway. It is the oldest known African-American Second Church Christian (DOC) Church in our nation, with a founding date of 1832, when masters and enslaved people worshipped together. Second Christian Church was mentioned in the Sun in consecutive weeks. The front page Aug. 6 article, “Midway march looks back, forward” reported a racially motivated burning of this historic church on July 31, 1868. However, the target of the destruction was not the log church, but a Freedmen’s Bureau school that the church housed. That school started in April 1867, two years after the Civil War ended, and it was the first Black school in Midway to help educate former enslaved people. The log church did not burn down; the school had many more monthly federal government reports afterward. The August 1868 report described the Midway school as “closed,” but the September 1868 report has the school up and running, with 23 students instead of 53. I have not found any reporting of a burning of Midway’s Second Christian Church; only the wrecking of it. This 30- by 50-foot log church, in an 1869 federal semi-annual report, listed these dimensions, and no known photo has been found. The location of the church school can be seen on an 1861 map of Midway. The December 1868 report even named the teacher, Thomas (T.C.) Burbridge, a former Civil War soldier from Woodford County. I have become a friend of a relative of his who lives in New York. Amazingly enough, my great-great grandparents, Charles and Ellen Darnell, got married in Second Christian Church on Aug. 30, 1868, according to a marriage bond at the Woodford County Courthouse. There are more marriages in this church after July 31, 1868. The two articles that mention historic Second Christian Church are “standing on the right side of history,” and it is good to learn and acknowledge the July 31, 1868 incident after 152 years. Brenda Jackson Versailles

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