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Former chief justice to speak at Midway church
Leah Ward Sears
Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears.

Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears will be keynote speaker at Midway First Presbyterian Church during the church’s 150th anniversary April 1, according to church officials.

All are welcome to attend, church officials said.

Sears was appointed by Gov. Zell Miller in 2005, making her the first woman and the youngest person to sit on the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Sears’ father, the Rev. Thomas E. Sears, was a former pastor of Midway First Presbyterian Church 1988-89.

The Rev. Sears was a man of great insight and vision for church improvements, church members say. He was responsible for restoration of the historic church bell that rung throughout the Midway community indicating the beginning of worship service.
The Rev. Sears is still fondly remembered and honored each Sunday by the church’s Thomas E. Sears Gospel Choir.
The current pastor, the Rev. El-Shair, is the first doctor of ministry graduate from South University, Savannah. He received his doctor of ministry degree in 2016.

Active in the Midway Parish, El-Shair was recently recognized by the Georgia Historic Preservation Division African American Programs for his involvement in the preservation of the 150-year-old Reconstruction-era church cemetery on U.S. Highway 17.
Also, as president of the Sankofa African American Heritage Trail of East Liberty County, he has joined with community stakeholders including genealogist Rose Mullice, a member of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church, Elder Willie Washington, property manager of the church, and public historian and preservationist Hermina Glass-Hill to document and tell the stories of the rich history of the Midway area as well as encouraging community stewardship of historic African American resources (churches, cemeteries, historic houses and schools) that are in dire need of restoration.

On March 31 at 7 p.m., pre-anniversary activities will include performances by several guest choirs, a mime worship ministry, and praise dancers. On Sunday morning, April 1, anniversary services will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

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