The Religious Feud and the “Negro’s Corner”

This is an excerpt from an editorial published by the Daily Colonist on October 21,1859.

“We have received a circular addressed to all Impartial Men and Lovers of Right. It is issued by the Rev. W.F. Clarke. It appears a serious difference of opinion exists between him and his religious colleague the Rev. M. MacFie, respecting the propriety of mixing, promiscuously, colored with white Christians in church during Divine service.

Both gentlemen were sent here as missionaries by the English Congregational Missionary Society. Mr. Clark holds that Christianity knows no difference between the white and colored man; and therefore he will not suit the prejudices of anyone by creating a “negro’s corner” in his church. As a matter of ‘taste’ Mr. MacFie prefers separating them.”

  • The issue was finally settled about 10 months later at a meeting on August 14,1860 when The Colonial Missionary Society, based in England passed a resolution “That this committee never have sanctioned and never will sanction in Churches wholly or in part sustained by the funds of the Colonial Missionary Society, the compulsory separation, in places of worship, of the colored races from the white population.