- est. 1974 -
In the summer of 1961 negotiations began by the Old Time Gospel Mission of 191 S. Arlington St., Akron, Ohio to purchase the building of the Friends Church in Barberton, Ohio. In November of 1961 the purchase was completed and the congregation moved to Barberton. The church name was then changed to Barberton Community Church. In November 1964, the members again decided to change the name of the church to establish a more perfect way that they and other members coming into the church might be of one mind and one accord. It was then that The Liberty Baptist Church was founded and organized while Rev. Earl Ellis was pastor.
In 1966 Rev. Ellis resigned the church and moved back to Georgia. Rev. Gerald Kelley was then elected pastor. In 1969, the property at 3819 Johnson Road, Norton, Ohio was purchased with plans to build a new church building. In the summer of 1973, after conquering many roadblocks, construction was started on the present building. Under the leadership of Rev. Kelley as Pastor, the first services were held in the large classroom of the new building on Feb 3, 1974. With all construction completed, on Easter Sunday April 21, 1974, the first service was held in the present auditorium.
In July 1981 the members voted to join the Freewill Baptist Organization and the name was changed to the present Liberty Freewill Baptist Church. In August 1982, Rev. Kelley resigned the church to take a pastorship in Bradley, W.Va.
During the time span from Sept 1982 through November 1996 the Pastor's position was held by the following ministers: Rev. Alex Sekulich, Rev. John Castle, Rev. Derl Curry and Rev. Gary Dheel.
In November 1996, Rev. Cecil Farmer II was elected to lead the church. Rev. Farmer had grown up in the church and received his call to preach while attending the church. He and his wife, Melissa, had left the church for a period of time so he could attend the Freewill Baptist Bible College in Nashville, Tenn. After graduating from college, he stayed on in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. to pastor a Freewill Baptist church. When the position of Pastor at Liberty became vacant, under the Lord's guidance, Rev. Farmer resigned his church in Tennessee and returned home to fill the pulpit as Pastor. In 2012, Rev. Chad Booth became assistant pastor.
God has surely blessed the church and many souls have been saved because of the Work of many fine people. The work is still continuing and God is still blessing but there is still much to be done. The prayers of God's people is always needed and appreciated, and the doors of the church are always open to anyone whom God directs our way!
- Written by one of the original charter members of Liberty FWB, Sis. Linda Miller