Looking back through the years, we have seen God's hand in the life of Liberty Baptist Church. But our vision is to not just honor that past. Liberty Baptist Church is here to impact lives today with the love of Christ as we follow God's lead into the future.
Our ministries are just as diverse as our people and we can't wait to tell you more about who we are and why we're here.
Terry Murray became pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in 1978. The Murray's came from Michigan. Terry and Beth Murray had 4 children.
In February of 1978 the church bought a house on Main Street in Sweetser for $22,600. The house was used for church services. These services were held in the living room.
The church purchased the current property (517 Church Street, Sweetser) in May of 1979 from the Brethren church and was paid off December 13, 1979. Pastor Murray bought the house on Main Street from the church and used it as his residence.
The church grew and a modular classroom was purchased in June of 1981. This classroom was used for another ten years for Sunday School, children's church, Awana Clubs and fellowships.
A baptistery was installed in the church building. The first baptisms were on November 27, 1983. Walter Renbarger and Perry Frank followed the Lord in baptism.
Pastor Murray resigned on Sunday morning October 20, 1985. He didn't leave the church until May of 1986. He took a church in Marion, Ohio. Currently the Murray's are in PA.
The church called on Pastor Rickner of Union Chapel Baptist Church, Marion, Indiana, for counsel on hiring a new pastor. Bill Dumpert came as pastor on November 9, 1986 and stayed two months. Randy Rickner came as pastor January of 1987 and stayed until May of the same year.
Union Chapel Baptist took Liberty Baptist Church as a satelite church in June of 1987. Terry Bishir, assistant pastor at Union Chapel, came temporarily to fill in the pulpit until the church found a pastor. God told Terry that it was His will for him to become pastor of the church. He was hired as pastor that same year.
The church grew rapidly under Terry Bishir's leadership. The church began building a Life Center with kitchen and much needed classrooms in March of 1991.
The church began building a new auditorium and foyer in August of 1993. The new auditorium was dedicated on May 1, 1994.
A house was purchased adjacent to the church property from the Newcomer family in October of 1998 for $98,000. This house was remodeled into church offices, providing more classrooms in the church building.
A second house adjacent to the church property was purchased from Bucky Weaver in the summer of 2000 for $120,000. This house was remodeled into a Counseling Center and classrooms.
A third house on the corner of Church Street and Highway 18 was purchased in 2002 for $130,000. This property is being used to house a the church's property manager.
In 2004 the church built the Next Generation Center to accomodate the growing youth and children's ministries.
In September of 2006 the church began work on a new 23,000 square foot Children's Ministry Center. This building was completed and dedicated in September of 2007. The $1.2 million dollar project was completed without debt.
The people of Liberty Baptist Church rejoice that all facilities are debt free. God has proved His faithfulness each step of the way!
More important than numbers, programs and structures is that a foundation for the spiritual life of Liberty Baptist Church has been built. This foundation includes sound doctrine, spiritual leadership, and active service. We are convinced that God's legacy of faithfulness to us will continue in the future if we remain faithful to Him and His Word.
Pictures from Liberty's Past
Liberty Baptist Church relocated from a Sweetser home to the Church Street facility in 1979.
The metal chairs used for seating were replaced with these used pews. There were 14 pews in the auditorium (Picture date:1987)
The modular classroom, seen here, served the church well for ten years. Many fellowships were held outside in Liberty's early days. (Picture date: 1989)
Liberty's first choir with 16 members. (Picture date: 1989)
The walls of the Sunday School classrooms in the back of the old auditorium were removed to provide more seating space. (Picture date: 1992)