Liberty Church

Liberty Church
Fort Lamar, Georgia


Liberty Church was built in 1830 in Franklin County, Georgia.  The church was the Methodist Episcopal South, Liberty Church.

The church was then moved and rebuilt in Madison County, Georgia, where is stands at this present time (1995).  The land was donated by John N. Montgomery the first day of February 1859.  The deed was drawn up, signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of M. M. Miller, A. C. Neul and J. M. Skinner, C.S.C., recorded at the Madison County Courthouse on the 30th day of April 1864 by Samuel U. Ware, Clk.

The first trustees were Barton G. Payne, Marcus W. Parr, James M. Stephens, James L. Bird and Adkisson Tabor.  They selected the place to build the new building on the south side of the Hudson River in Madison County, near and opposite of the old Meeting House.

The church was also used by the Presbyterian denomination, for members in the vicinity to meet it.  It was not noted on the deed how long this would last.

In 1939, the church changed from the Methodist Episcopal Church South to Liberty Methodist Church.  In 1968, the church went into the United Methodist Conference and became Liberty United Methodist Church.

1955-1956: The Sunday School rooms were built on the back of the Sanctuary.   Most of the lumber came off the property of Mr. and Mrs. James Lawrence and also Leland McWhirter, and some of it from behind the church.  Those helping with the construction of the Sunday School rooms were John Lawrence, Leland McWhirter, Brawner Hutcherson, James Minish, Dupree Bragg and Kenneth Tyner.

1983:  The bathrooms were installed, as well as a well and pump.  The Ladies U.M.W. had the carpet installed, having raised the money by selling Happy Home Flavoring.  They met once a month.  The Men's Fellowship raised enough money by having a chicken B.B.Q. dinner to have the heat and air installed in the church.

1990:  In November, a meeting was held and at that time it was voted to close the church, to get it out of the U.M. Conference.  There were only about 8-10 active members attending at that time.  The church could not afford to keep itself operating.  While the church was closed, the cemetery was kept up.  The church treasurer had enough money to keep the electricity on.

1992:  In August of 1992, Liberty U. M. Church got out of the Conference. It took a lot of time and effort to do so.  The Homecoming Day was held the 3rd Sunday of August, with a covered dish dinner.  On the first Sunday of October, the church started regular services with Wayne Beatenbo as pastor.

1994:  In April of 1994, the men of Liberty Church started working on a Fellowship Building with extra Sunday School rooms in the basement.  On Saturdays, the men of the church would meet for a workday, while the ladies of the church would prepare lunch. Preacher Wayne Beatenbo and others began working through the week.   The upstairs was completed by the end of October.

October 1994:  Open House in the new building.  It was dedicated to Jesus Christ in memory of J. D. Fitzpatrick.  The building was debt free.

April 8, 1998:  The new addition was started, a Baptism Pool was installed, Choir Loft, bathrooms in front, sound room, front porch with handicap ramp.   It was completed in July.  Our first Baptizing was held July 12, 1998. 

August 16, 1998:  Dedication day for the new additions to the church.   The new additions were dedicated to God in memory of Pastor Wayne Beatenbo, who passed away April 16, 1998.   A covered dish dinner was served after the ceremony.

Faithful Members Gone on to meet God

Jerome D. Cromer
He joined the church in 1900.  He died in 1919 and was buried at Trinity Church.

Frank Parker
Taught Sunday School.

Lee Parker
Frank Parker's brother.

Evie Bruce
She joined the church in 1937.  Was very faithful to the church and its members.

Parks and Alice Higginbotham
Faithful church members for many years along with their children.

Alice Langford
Was a faithful member, and brought her children for many years.

Marvin McWhirter and Family
This family was very faithful to church and community.  Callie, one of the daughters, taught Sunday School for many years.  She always went around in the community and picked up ones that didn't have a way to church.  She was well loved by everyone.

W. G. Mealor
This family served in church in the early 1900s.

Ed and Nettie McCay
Mr. McCay served in church for many years.  He was a Sunday School teacher.   Mrs. McCay was pianist and she lived to be over 100 years old.

Ed and Lillie Pittman
They were both faithful members.

Dewitte Payne
He was a faithful church member and also a doctor in the community.  He was a brother of Lula McWhirter.

Clerance Higginbotham
He was a Sunday School Teacher, and was related to Parks Higginbotham.

Hattie Hutcherson
Attended the church and was a faithful member.  She had five sons she brought with her.

Paul and Dessie Whitlock
They were both faithful members of the church.  They had four children who became members; three are still members, and Harvey has gone on to be with God.

Johnny and Hester Duncan
Were faithful members of the church.  They brought their eight children, two of whom are still members.

Evelyn Stevenson
Miss Evelyn came to Liberty in 1953.  She was a member for 37 years and was very active.  She was the pianist, Sunday School Teacher, Church Secretary and Treasurer for many years.

John Lawrence
Membership at Liberty from 1942-1978, when he moved his membership to Evangelical Methodist Church.  During his time at Liberty he served as Lay Leader and Steward.   He worked very hard in the church.


Pastors 1915-1960

1915              Marvin A. Franklin
1916-1925    M. C. Allen
1926-1930    A. M. Sprayberry
1931-1932    W. M. Greenway
1933-1934    H. O. Green
1935              J. T. Pendley
1936              B. W. Hancock
1937-1940    R. C. Owens
1941             M. C. Allen
1942-1943    T. H. Wheelis
1944-1945    H. G. O'Bryant
1946              J. B. Ward
1947-1951    J. S. Strickland
1952-1953    P. H. Stokes
1954-1955    R. Rudd
1956-1958    D. Milford
1959             W. G. Edwards
1960-1961    Miller

  Submitted by Charlotte Collins Bond

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