While some slaves had been able to attend services in the gallery of the Midway Church, additional services were held outside the building and at nearby plantations, led by both white and black preachers. The Midway Church advocated for the role of the black preachers – even going so far as to purchase their freedom in exchange for the promise that they would “give themselves wholly to their work.”
It was rare that Southern plantation owners would encourage their slaves to be taught religious ideals, much less instructed by a freed man. One of these freed men was named Mingo, who lived on Peter Winn’s plantation. On Sundays, between the morning and afternoon services at the church, Mingo would preach at the ‘stands.’
“They would meet in the piney woods a short way from the Midway Church. The place was fitted up with booths of bushes with wide seats and a raised platform in the center, on which Mingo stood, called ‘the stand.’” (Erskine Clarke)
Mingo was hired to visit the Lambert Plantation weekly and preach to the enslaved. The plantation has been described as “an unusual place” in that John Lambert was one of the first planters in the area to advocate for the religious instruction of his slaves. Mingo preached there until his death. His position was then replaced by Jack, a well-liked Lambert slave who was purchased by the Midway Church to continue the tradition.
Posts are a combination of my own research, visits, and conversations, plus various information found around the web. I try to provide sources, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask!