Location of the Meeting House

Reverend Osgood preached his first sermon in the log building of the Meeting House on June 7, 1754. It was on August 28, 1754, that members of the church met and com­posed a document titled “Articles and Rules of Incorporation Agreed Upon By a Society Settled Upon Medway and New­port in Georgia.” The location of a permanent church building and an elective franchise were considered after the document was signed.


The congregation decided that the church building would be “forty-four by thirty-six feet with eighteen feet in the story pitched, hipped at one end, and a small steeple at the other.” Members of the congregation at that time also decided to construct the permanent building on the same site as the log church they were then using.


Another meeting of the church congregation was held on January 12, 1756. It was decided then that the new church building would be located on “a hill at the cross-path on the north side of the north branch of Newport Swamp.” This was about three-quarters of a mile west of the log church. The decision was also made to build a vestry house before construction of the church building. The vestry house, when it was completed, was 16 by 20 feet in size and stood on the west side of the main road and south of the cemetery. It was used primarily to store the communion table and a black bier used for funerals.


A contract for sawing cypress lumber with which to build the church was awarded to James Maxwell in 1755. There were no sawmills in the Midway District at that time. All of the work was done by what was called a “whip-saw.” A log was placed upon a pen and the saw drawn through it by one man above and one man below.


The church building was constructed in 1756-1757 on land donated for the purpose by John Stevens. Its frame was raised on September 8, 1756, nearly two years after the con­tract for sawing the lumber was let. The building was still not complete when Reverend Osgood preached his first sermon in it on January 2, 1757. Church building and vestry house were painted red.


While members of the Meeting House were entitled to a double vote in the choice of a pastor some of the members were still residing in South Carolina and had not in early 1757 relocated in the Midway District. The church congrega­tion voted that the privilege of a double vote would depend on their apparent probability of settling in the Midway Dis­trict. But all agreed that each case would be decided on its own merit.