LHMBC History

 Our Beginning:

The Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1916 by seven Christians, who answered the voice of God while they were members of St. John Baptist Church, located at 26th & Main Street, in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The seven Christians met under a brush harbor at 28th and Center Streets directly behind the previous location. Through diligence and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they were blessed to purchase property at 2801 Spring Street, on which the first building of worship was built. The seven great visionary organizers were Mr. and Mrs. General Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Charley Israel, Mrs. Prudie Ellis, and Mr. and Mrs. Matt Jones.

During this period of our history, labor wages for black men was cheap, approximately 25 to 75 cents per day, not by the hour. Teachers were paid $30 to $50 per month. There were no indoor plumbing facilities at the church. Wood was the primary source of heat, there was no electricity, gas, telephones, nor factory made windows or doors in the brush harbor. The walls were made of boxed-in walls of tar paper and tree branches. The floor was sawdust and the door was handmade. In spite of these  inconveniences, the people had a mind to work together, united in faith. Even though they experienced difficulties during these early years, the church began to grow.

The first elected pastor was Reverend Deerworth, followed by Reverend Cole, Reverend Patterson, Reverend DeLyle, Reverend W.J. Davis, Dr. C.D. Pettaway, and Reverend William Upshaw. The members of the first Deacon Board were Brothers General Baldwin, Matt Jones, Beckley and Green.

Rev. Martin VanBuren Hudson

99th Church Anniversary (99)

In 1929, the members entrusted their care and leadership to Reverend Martin VanBuren Hudson. He was a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas and the pastor of the Second Baptist Church of England, Arkansas. He also served as the Baptist Chaplain at Fort Roots during his years of service to Liberty Hill.Reverend Hudson’s belief was,“THE MORE WE GET TOGETHER, TOGETHER, TOGETHER…. THE HAPPIER WE’LL BE” with that in mind several auxiliaries including a Youth Department, Young Adult Choir and four fellowship clubs were organized: The Forget Me Not Club, the White Lily Club, Rose of Sharon Club and the Evergreen Club. The Missionary Society included the Young Matrons, Junior Girls, Red Circle Girls and The Cradle Roll. Everyone, young and old, men and women, as well as boys and girls participated in this auxiliary, working and learning together to assume their own responsibilities to the church – including the finances. The TrailBlazers was the name of the boys and young men’s club. They held bible activities, special events, health and other nourishing training that included field trips and other social activities. Their leaders included Brothers Robert L. Brown, Sr., Elihue Stewart, Sr., and Mr. C.L. Tippen. All of the clubs promoted spreading the gospel to every believer. To ensure everyone got to know and love one another as sisters and brothers, the members worked in small groups meeting in one another’s home. The first Youth Director was Mrs. Sadie Hudson followed by Sisters: Loretta Henderson, Osceola Jones, Margaret Craig, Betty Jo Lea, Ruthie Johnson and Sandra McFadden. All involved our youth in numerous cultural activities and taught them to apply their Christian teachings to everyday living. The Missionary Society leaders were Sisters Marie Johnson and May Ella Braggs.It was under Reverend Hudson’s leadership that the first “Annual Christmas Vesper Service” was presented under the direction of the late Sister Maggie Prather Daniels. A program for which Liberty Hill was well known and continues this tradition today.In January of 1941, after the 11:00 a.m. Worship services ended, the newly constructed edifice endured a tragic fire and was burned to the ground. It was a horrific loss, and a very trying time for the membership. However, God had already provided a way for the church. Through the dedication, love, and loyalty of faithful members, the membership was able to continue worship services. The late Brother W.T. Giles and his wife opened their home to the congregation, and Sister Dora Pettus donated a house that was located at 2700 Spring Street. The church continued to worship and to prosper in the neighborhood awaiting the construction of the new sanctuary, which was completed in September of 1941.At this time, the Japanese Imperial Army bombed the United States at Pearl Harbor, and the country was at war. Many of the young men and some of the senior men were drafted into the Armed Forces, leaving young wives with children to care for and rear alone. Liberty Hill continued to grow and make known to the community the mighty things that God had done. It as during this period that Pastor Hudson formed what was then called the Pen Pal Club. The club was formed to give our youth the opportunity to write letters to our Black men in the VA Hospitals, without regard to the identity or location of the fallen men.Those who served in the church under the leadership Reverend Hudson were Deacons General Baldwin, Matt Jones, Richard Battles, Sr., Jesse Jackson, Sr., Tom Robinson, Walter Purvis, A.J. Wilborn, Sidney Owens and York Wilborn, Sr. The Sunday School Superintendents were Matt Jones, Walter Purvis, and York Wilborn Sr.; Usher Board Presidents serving were Yancey Millsap, Ruth Russ and Rufus Haynes. The Baptist Training Union Directors were Sadie Hudson, Ruth Russ and Minnie Lee
Patterson.During the next decade, some of those who served in the church under Reverend Hudson were Deacon Baldwin, M. Jones, R. Battles Sr., Jessie Jackson Sr., Tom Robinson, Sidney Owens, Major Kimbrough, Calvin Shackleford, L.T. Thomas, P.H. Bland, W.T. Giles, Berry Lewis, Walter Purvis, Al Hutchinson, Jim Vaughan and A.J. Wilborn.

Rev. William H. Marley

99th Church Anniversary (97)


Reverend Hudson resigned as pastor of Liberty Hill in 1953. After his resignation, the members of Liberty Hill entrusted their leadership to Reverend William H. Marley. During his leadership, the structure at 2801 Spring Street was renovated inside and outside. Brother and Sister Baldwin willed their home to the church. After 17 years of faithful and excellent service, Reverend William H. Marley resigned. Although Reverend Marley did not ordain any Deacons, his Associate Ministers were Reverend Will McElroy and Reverend Kent. Mildred Dixon was church secretary.Reverend L.T. Thomas and Reverend P. L. Lowe served as Spiritual advisor for seven months, July through January 1971. Both of these ministers were called to pastor churches.

Reverend John Modest Miles

99th Church Anniversary (95)Reverend John Modest Miles became the Pastor of Liberty Hill on January 30, 1971. He was a young minister with great vision of many ministries. He believed that in order for you to be a successful leader, you must first learn to be a  good follower. Reverend Miles’ belief was: “GO OUT INTO THE HEDGES, BYWAYS  AND COMPEL MEN, WOMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS TO COME AND GIVE THEIR LIVES TO CHRIST.” It was with this belief and his leadership that Liberty Hill became the first Black Church with a bus ministry. New pews were purchased and a radio ministry began. As a result of the bus ministry, a feeding ministry and a clothing ministry began. The feeding ministry fed those who had not eaten before leaving home. The ministry also served dinner to those who attended mid-week bible class. The mid-week bible class ministry helped to increase Sunday School attendance as well as attendance at Sunday morning services. The building that served as Liberty Hill Baptist Church was soon unable to accommodate the rapidly growing congregation. Thus, the search began for more space to accommodate our needs. A building fund was established, and the membership voted to build, or purchase a larger facilitity to accommodate the ever-growing congregation. The lot located at 2916 Spring Street was purchased for parking and a parsonage.  Deacons ordained by Pastor Miles were Elihue Stewart, Charles McFadden, Earl Scott, Roy Duhart, Raymond Thomas and Louis Carlock. Sister Shirley Jackson and Sister Katheryn Giles Brown were the church secretaries. After eight years of faithful service, Reverend Miles resigned in August of 1979.After Reverend Miles resignation, Reverend L. Lowe, Reverend L.T. Thomas and Reverend Louis Wilborn were very instrumental in holding the fibers of the church together. Together they provided spiritual guidance and leadership to Liberty Hill.

In 1979 Liberty Hill Baptist Church separated again. The members who left organized Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.

Reverend Benjamin Craft, Jr.

99th Church Anniversary (92)

On January 16, 1980, Reverend Benjamin Craft, Jr. became the Pastor of Liberty
Hill Missionary Baptist Church.Pastor Craft, who was from Mt. Pisgah, in Jacksonville, Arkansas, promoted spiritual growth through the study of the word. Thus his slogan: TEACH, TEACH, TEACH AND THEN TEACH. We learned that through study, a burning desire to share knowledge and experiences as well as fellowship with other believers was created.  In 1984, Reverend Craft and the Board of Directors were authorized by the members of Liberty Hill to purchase the edifice in which we now worship. In November of 1984, we acquired the old Asbury United Methodist church located at 1215 South Schiller Street. Some members chose to remain at 2801 Spring Street and organized First Liberty Hill Baptist Church.Reverend Craft ordained the following deacons: Rector Turner, David Patterson, Rufus Whitmore, Maurice Johnson, Raymond Lea and Milton Halliburton.
Associate Ministers of Reverend Craft were Reverend Louis Wilborn, Reverend Samson Harris, Reverend Eddie Smith and Reverend Robert Brown, Jr.  Reverend Craft resigned in November 1997.

Reverend Frederick L. Haynes, Sr.

Pastor Haynes

In March 1998  Reverend Frederick L. Haynes became the Pastor of Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church. Also in 1998, Liberty Hill was blessed with the first child born to a sitting Pastor with the birth of Phillip Haynes.  Associate Ministers under Pastor Haynes include Reverend Louis Wilborn, Reverend Larry Wright, Reverend H.D. Clay, Reverend Mark Williams, Reverend John Holland, and Reverend Luther Evans. Pastor Haynes ordained Randy Edwards as a deacon and Leonard Ray Tippen as Trustee. Sis. Brenda Jackson-Washington was the church secretary.

Pastor Haynes has brought to our congregation a vision of “community”. One of his first accomplishments was to develop the church’s motto: “Winning Souls Holistically for Christ.” This motto is incorporated in all activities we engage in. Pastor Haynes has reached out to neighboring churches and community organizations to encourage partnerships. One of the fruits of his labor is exhibited in our Outreach Ministry. The Path to Liberty, Inc., 501(c)3 non-profit organization is the umbrella for our outreach ministry.  The non-profit has birth the following ministries:

  • Food Pantry – provides food to community residents on a per request basis.
  • Health Ministry – a partnership with St. Vincent’s Hospital. This ministry emphasizes the wholeness of body, mind, and spirit in congregations. Health healing and wellness are provided among the members and people in the wider community age levels.
  • Prison Ministry –  provides worship service at the Juvenile Justice Center and the State Correctional Facility.
  • Say Yes Center- a partnership with the Inner City Youth Ministry  with Immanuel Baptist Church and LT Care Ministries.
  • Our Father’s Children – a daycare center with an interactive holistic program for children from infancy to adolescents. The daycare center has been temporarily closed.
  • Girl Scout-registered as a member of Quachita Council with troops for girls of all ages.

God is still blessing us with many new talents and spiritual gifts. He has blessed us by adding several new members to our church family. We have come a long way by the grace of God, but we know there is still a lot of work to be done. God blessed us when Betty Jo Lea was appointed Dean, Union District Baptist Congress of Christian Education (CCE) in February 2001, and later appointed Dean of Arkansas Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Congress of Christian Education in November 2007. History was made when she was appointed State Dean, being the first female in the State of Arkansas to hold that position in our State Convention. God has also blessed us to be able to acquire a church van, a house, two lots, new signs, a roof, a sound system and a steeple. We also have two lots donated to us and have begun our first building project. On Sunday, November 3, 2002, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to begin construction of new bathroom facilities. We give God the glory for what He has already done, and pray that He will continue to bless us, and direct our path as we continue to be a Church Sitting on a Hill, Letting its Light Shine.

In 2004 Pastor Haynes appointed Sis. Carrie Ware, and Sis. Tyraine Williams as trustees. During 2004 we organized a Boy Scouts Troop, and equipped our computer lab with updated software programs and the internet. Our major initiative is the faith sacrifice that members have committed above their tithes and offering to pay off the mortgage of the church building facility. A mortgage burning celebration is scheduled for November 2008. For all of these blessings we give God the glory. We are a church who believes in “Not My Will, But Thy Will Be Done”.

In 2005 Pastor Haynes ordained David Wyatt as a deacon, and appointed Samuel Phillips and Clarence Jones as trustees. Reverend John Holland accepted the call to pastor in 2005. The Fellowship Hall was dedicated and named after the late Deacon Earl Scott, Sr. The front doors of the sanctuary were restored to its natural wood. Glass doors were installed in the foyer of the sanctuary and entrance to the breezeway of the Fellowship Hall.

2006 has been a year of growth for Liberty Hill. We have witnessed many people accepting Christ and joining the Liberty Hill  Church family. In 2006 Reverend Jonathan Payne and Braulio Sandria accepted their call into the ministry while serving under the pastoral leadership of Pastor Haynes. Pastor Haynes appointed Carl Daugherty as a deacon. God has blessed us in acquiring new appliances for our kitchen so that we can expand our food ministry outreach. Our faith sacrifice giving has continued with the goal of celebrating our mortgage burning in 2008.

In 2007 God continued to bless us in witnessing and several people accepted Christ and joined our church family. We began Saturday worship on April 14, 2007 that is targeted for those who are unable to attend services on Sunday. God also blessed us in acquiring property at 1310 Summit Street that was donated by the owner. Our goal again this year is to continue our faith sacrifice offering with plans to celebrate a mortgage burning in 2008. We continue to give God the Glory.

In 2008 we have continued to grow spiritually. We were blessed with several people who came and gave their life to Christ and joined our church family. Our physical plant has been upgraded by the installation of a new heating and air system in the Scott Fellowship Hall. Unfortunately, our target date for our mortgage burning was not reached, but we  continued to work toward it, and gave God all the praise for blessing us in this sacrificial offering and allowing us to make tremendous progress in decreasing our mortgage balance. We thank God for this blessing, and will continue to move toward the goal of burning our mortgage debt.

2009 was a year of growth for Liberty Hill. We have continued to add members to our fellowship. Pastor Haynes appointed  Vicki Spann as a trustee. Our musical ministry expanded with the addition of a male chorus and a youth male ensemble. Liberty Hill went into partnership with the Little Rock Preparatory Academy Charter School by leasing its educational facility to them. We continue to thank God for his many blessings.

In 2010 we focused on outreach in our neighboring community and God blessed us by adding many souls to the congregation. Pastor Haynes appointed Josephine Marshall as a trustee. Jesse Diamond and Scottie White accepted their call into the Ministry while serving under the pastoral leadership of Reverend Haynes. Pastor Haynes ordained Clarence Jones and Alphonse Washington as deacons. Our musical/drama ministry continued to grow and this year we added a youth Mime and Praise Dance team. We  are thankful to God for His continued blessings and look forward to increasing our outreach efforts in the community He has placed us in. To God Be the Glory!

2011 was a year of refocusing. Pastor Haynes “State of the Church Address” was entitled “Get Plugged In”. This year is the beginning of intensifying efforts to maximize our ministry impact in every area. The goal was that all members be involved in a ministry so they can be Available, Accountable, and with an Assignment. God blessed us this year by adding many souls to our congregation. Tracy Livingston accepted the call into the Ministry and we have continued to add to our Deacon Ministry to assist with the outreach efforts of the congregation.  Grant Sanders and James Scott were ordained as Deacons. We are thankful and grateful for God’s continued blessings as He directs our path. To God, be the Glory.

2012 has been a GROWING year for Liberty Hill. We are thankful to the Lord for the continuous addition of members to our Church family. To God we give all the“Glory”. Our continued focus was that all members actively be involved in a Ministry of the church. We added a new Ministry, “the Family Ministry”, whose focus is to stay abreast of all members and actively engage them in the activities of the church. We are continuing to incorporate our three prong approach of being Available, Accountable, and will accept the Assignment that God has directed us to. Freddie Scott Sr. and Gary Austin accepted the call into the Ministry. We are thankful to God for the blessings He has given us in providing the resources to make improvements on our campus.  We purchased two vans, enlarged and repaved our parking lots, and repaired the roof on our Education Building. We are thankful to God for His continued blessings. To Him we give all the  praises.

2013  continued to be a “GROWTH” year for Liberty Hill. We added 71 new members to our membership. We have a goal of adding 300 men to our congregation by 2014 and  140 were added in 2013.  To God we give the Glory.  We extended our outreach efforts through the use of media (Church’s website and email correspondence). The Family Ministry continued to increase our ability to outreach to those unable to attend church on a regular basis, because of illness and other obligations. Our three prong approach of members being Available, Accountable, and Willing to accept God’s Assignment continued to be an outreach strategy that worked for us.  Upgrading our church facility was still a priority and we were able to remodel our kitchen by upgrading the appliances and the flooring. We continued to thank God for His blessings. To Him we give all the “GLORY and Praises”.

 2014 was been a bountiful year of growth for Liberty Hill. In February, Pastor Haynes ordained Reverend Gary Austin, Reverend Tracy Livingston and Reverend Freddie Scott, Sr. We added 64 new members to our church family. One of our continued goals was to add a minimum of 300 additional men to our congregation. To date, 162 was added toward this goal. We were approved to become one of Baptist Health Community Outreach Wellness Centers and Screening Sites. Our Wellness Center provides various screenings and health services. The Clinic is open the 2nd Monday each month from 3- 6 p.m. We instituted a “Liberty Hill” Scholarship for our graduating high school seniors. Enrichment Classes were developed by our Christian Education Ministry and held on Wednesday night and covered a variety of topics for all ages of our congregation and community. Property was acquired at 1312 South Schiller Street. To God “We give the GLORY”

2015 –was a continuous year of growth for Liberty Hill.  We added 68 members to our church family, including two ministers, Rev. Wilborn Trimble and Rev. Nathan Alexander.  Rev. Alexander delivered his first sermon on Sunday, May 31, 2015.  We continued our goals of adding a minimum of 300 men to our congregation.  By 2015, we added 171 toward this goal.  Community Outreach and Engagement was a vital focus of our ministry.  We provided outreach services in the following Community Initiatives:  Senior Nutrition Activity Program (SNAP), Baptist Health Community Clinic, Food Bank and the Clothes Closet.  Our Administrative Area was renovated to include separate offices for the Finance Clerk and Membership Clerk.   The Library was converted into an office for the Church Secretary.

2016 – was a year of growth and celebration.  77 new members were added to our church family.  After worshiping in the Fellowship Hall for three months, we returned in October to a newly renovated sanctuary, which included a new pulpit, pews, carpet and a state of the art medial system.

We celebrated our 100th Church Anniversary on November 13th.  Our Theme was “An Exceptional Past With An Extraordinary Future”.  Rev. John Modest Miles, former Pastor of Liberty Hill, was our special guest.  Our Outreach Efforts were expanded to include “The Angel Tree Program”,  which allows us to assist in providing Christmas gifts to children of incarcerated parents.

2017 – was a year of abundant growth.  We’re thankful for the addition of 47 members to our church family during that year, which included 16 candidates for baptism.  We expanded our  Mission Ministry to include missionary efforts in Uganda.  We also partnered with Rev. Paul Shackleford and CRU Here’s Life Inner City Ministry.  We thank God for providing the resources needed to make improvements to our Education Building, purchasing new drapes for our Fellowship Hall, and railing for both the Pulpit and Fellowship Hall.  Liberty Hill served as host for the Union District Congress of Christian Education Annual Session, July 17-20, 2017.

On Sunday, August 27, 2017, the Liberty Hill Church Family suffered a devastating loss.  Our Pastor for 19 years, Reverend Frederick L. Haynes transitioned from his earthly home to his heavenly reward.

Through faith and the dedicated leadership of Deacon David Patterson, the church began to heal and move forward.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.  Revelation 3:5.

2018 has been a year of prayer as we moved forward with the selection of a Senior Pastor.  On Saturday, January 20, 2018 a search committee was selected to guide us in the search and selection of a leader.  The committee included Deacon David Patterson, Deacon Randy Edwards, Sister Betty Jo Lea, Sister Peggy Grisby, Sister Rebecca Stewart, Brother Willie Craig, Brother Charles Beavers, Brother Terry Hendricks, and Brother Earl Scott, Jr.  On Saturday, November 3, 2018, from efforts of the committee and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church elected Reverend Roy Elliott as Senior Pastor.  Associate Ministers,  Reverend Kevin Gupton,  Reverend Wilbon Trimble, and Reverend Larry Wright were instrumental in providing spiritual guidance and leadership.

But they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength;  they shall mount up with wings as eagles;  they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31.

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