A brief history (gleaned from records, oral history and having seen and been part of some of these events) by Henry N. Ward having attended Liberty since November of 1948. Liberty Baptist Church was founded in 1830 with 25 members. There is no record of the first building used by Liberty, but a meeting house was built and dedicated in 1852 on the site of the current white building. This building had two front doors, which seemed to be the custom in those days. During the Civil War Confederate troops burned the bridge at Diascund Creek (the creek beside the church) to slow the advance of the Union Army. The Union soldiers removed the flooring and sills from the church building to rebuild the bridge. This created some hardship but it’s told that the members still met sitting on bales of hay on the ground. During the war a Mrs. John Hicks took the pulpit bible home for safekeeping. This bible is still in the church today.
In 1930 the white church building standing along route 60 was dedicated. To make room the old building was moved to the back of the property. There is no record of the disposal of this old building, but oral history tells of it being moved across the creek and route 60 and used as a dance hall and saloon. This new building had a full basement with classrooms for Sunday School, a balcony and a baptismal pool. Prior to this baptism took place in the creek. In 1950 Rev. Henry Reynolds, pastor moved into the two story brick parsonage the church still owns. This home was fully paid for when he moved in. Several times in the 1950’s the morning worship services were broadcast over WRVA radio in Richmond. In the late 50’s the Sunday School was averaging over 200 per week in attendance. To accommodate this growth an educational wing was added to the back of the building. This three story addition gave the church much needed classroom space, plus an office for the pastor and secretary. In the basement of the addition was a fellowship hall and completely equipped kitchen.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century Liberty experienced a growth spurt that led us to purchase property from the Stewart family next door and construct the larger brick building in which we now worship. The Stewart’s had been good neighbors and supporters of Liberty for many years. H.E. Stewart and Son country store a local landmark had stood where the front parking lot is located. The two story brick building was dedicated in 2004.
Liberty Baptist Church has for many years stood on the hill overlooking Diascund Creek, carrying forth a vision set by those 25 dedicated souls who saw a need for a place of worship in 1830.