CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS FREEDMEN IN VIRGINIA
We note, with pleasure every token of improvement and of religious advancement among the people of colour in the South. The circulation of the Bible among them depends upon their demand for it and their ability to use it. Churches and schools add greatly to their calls for the word God. The statements made below by Lieut. Goodyear, of the Freedmen's Bureau, indicate progress, and illustrate the value of our Bible work. Acknowledging the reception and presentation three pulpit Bibles, for three coloured churches King William and New Kent Counties the writer says:
A brief history of church and school operations in this field may be wished by the Society.
In August, 1867, when sent here by Gen. Howard as bureau officer there was no house, either in King William or New Kent Counties where the coloured people could meet for religious worship. Partly by the efforts of the freedmen, and partly by bureau help, three schools (both day and Sunday) and three churches have been established. Over 300 scholars attend the day schools, and over 400 the Sunday schools. Each church has a coloured minister, and has a meeting every Sunday, generally well attended. The interest in the good work is constantly increasing. The field is a large one. This work is but the nucleus for more extended effort in the same direction. I am now preparing a fourth building near West Point, Va., in New Kent County, for church and school purposes and a fifth will be built mainly by the freedmen, at West Point Church, Va. The progress of the children in both Sunday and day schools is wonderful, and is full of encouragement to those who are anxiously watching the course of these poor and despised people, so lately slaves.
-The Bible Society Record, Vol. XIV no. 3- March 1869