LIBERTY - The First Baptist Church of Liberty, initially named Liberty Baptist Church, celebrated its 125th anniversary this past Sunday, celebrating its history, members, and future.
FBC was born in the old Liberty County Courthouse on Feb. 20, 1898, by Rev. T.H. Feagin and eight charter members: Dr. and Mrs. Thomas G. Lawson, Miss Becky Lawson, Mr. W. S. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Chester McClave, and Mr. and Mrs. Roy Ranson.
FBC was a member of the Southeast Texas (Missionary) Baptist Association from 1898 until the 1940s, when it became a member of the Trinity River Baptist Association.
For several months, church members met at the courthouse until the Methodist Church decided to share it with the Baptist on alternating Sundays.
By the end of 1898, there were thirteen church members.
In 1900, the Liberty Vindicator announced that FBC had begun constructing their church.
The South Liberty Oilfield boom in 1925 allowed for a new church to be built for FBC due to the population growth the oilfield brought.
Throughout its history, FBC has led several missions in all parts of the world, including Japan.
In the 1970’s, the church sponsored a ministry for Spanish-speaking people. Brother Manuel Lazo became pastor of “El Principe de Paz Iglesia Bautista,” a mission started in 1988 and is now carried on by Freddie Villareal.
Mission teams began conducting backyard Bible Clubs and Vacation Bible Schools as early as 1985, with a team going to Tempe, Arizona. In 1987, another group went to Urichsville, Ohio.
In 1990, a work crew finished the sanctuary for Peniel Iglesia Bautista in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Beginning in 2016, FBC partnered with Bethany Ministries in Zambia.
The church had several past leaders participate in the Worship and emotional musical performances.
FBC also held lunch for attendees in their activity building, and everyone had a chance to mingle.
During the Worship, Pastor Glenn Leatherman said, “We must now invest in our future, as we will work towards our 150th, 175th, and our 200th year anniversary.”