It was in 1854 that the congregation of the North Newport Baptist Church, most of whom now resided in or near Walthourville, moved their church organization to that community. It then became the Walthourville Baptist Church.
It was also in 1854 that the Dorchester Church, a branch house of worship of Midway Church. was established on land donated for the purpose by E.A. Busbee. That gentleman, two years earlier. had donated the land on which Dorchester Village Academy was built.
The most important religious development in Liberty County history came in 1855 when the first of the three branch houses of worship of Midway Church changed from the Congregational to the Presbyterian denomination.
I t was on March 12, 1855, that Eugene Bacon, William Quarterman Baker, David Anderson Miller, Thomas W. Quarterman, and Robert Y. Quarterman composed, signed. and delivered to the Midway Congregational Society on behalf of their congregation, a letter asking for dismissal from Midway Church for the “organization of a church and the settlement of a pastor in our midst.” At no point in the letter was it mentioned that the new house of worship would be of the Presbyterian denomination. But it may be assumed that this fact was well known to officials of the Midway Congregational Society.
A little more than a year later, a committee of the Midway Congregational Society wrote a letter, signed by R.E.W. Quarterman. Ezra Stacy, and James R. Bacon, granting the congregation its wish and closed by saying, “Well done, good and faithful servants. enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.”
A church organization committee was appointed by the Walthourville house of worship. and it was composed of Reverend Charles C. Jones. Reverend John Jones, and Reverend D.L. Buttolph. It was under their aegis that an application for connection with the Presbytery of Georgia was completed.
Some of the members of the congregation who signed the application are Thomas Quarterman, Sarah N. Quarterman, Claudia C. Quarterman, James W. Jones, Harriet Handley, Jane A. Fleming, Matilda Baker, Susannah S. Quarterman, E.R. Miller. Sarah J. Way. Sarah H. Walthour, Lydia Laing, Sarah M. Quarterman, Sarah M. Walthour, Sarah S. Way, Charles Kallender, Charles A. Fleming, Henry A. Newell, William Quarterman Baker, Eugene Bacon, Joseph A. Miller, Robert Y. Quarterman, Alexander S. Quarterman. Thomas S. Mallard, Thomas W. Quarterman, and three of David Anderson Miller’s servants, Dublin, Judy, and Lilly.
The Presbytery of Georgia promptly accepted the church. First pastor of the Walthourville Presbyterian Church was Reverend John Jones, its first elders were W.Q. Baker and Thomas S. Mallard, and its first deacons were David Anderson Miller. Thomas W. Quarterman, and Robert Y. Quarterman.