Colored Christian Church (Midway, KY)
What is thought to be the first African American Christian Church in the United States was founded as a congregation in 1834. It was later named the Midway Colored Christian Church, then renamed the 2nd Christian Church of Midway. According to historian, Mrs. Katherine Johnson, the initial congregation was made up of colored members of the white churches at New Union, Grassy Spring, and Georgetown, KY. Meetings were held at the Kentucky Female Orphan School in Midway, where one of the members would volunteer to lead the weekly services. Alexander Campbell, a slave, was purchased by the white Christian Church for $1000 in order to become the preacher and manager of the congregation's affairs. A log cabin church was later built for the members on the banks of Lee's Branch in Midway. Under Campbell's leadership, the church soon had 300 new members and the congregation outgrew the log cabin. In 1872, the congregation purchased the Presbyterian Church building on Stephens Street in Midway, and that church was replaced by a new building in 1906. For more see Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis), by C. Walker; History of the Midway Colored Christian Church, by K. Johnson (1955); and "Old slave church remembered," Lexington Leader, 12/27/1976, p.A9. See also the entry for the Stone-Campbell Movement in Kentucky.