New Liberty 175th anniversary is Sunday

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New Liberty Baptist Church near East Enterprise will soon celebrate its 175th anniversary.

This Sunday, October 16th, New Liberty Baptist Church members will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of their church, and all former pastors, as well as friends, families, and former members are invited to attend any or all of the activities scheduled as follows:

– 9:30 a.m.: Sunday School with classes for all ages.

– 10:30 a.m.: Worship Service with special music.

– 12:30 p.m.: Dinner for everyone in the church Fellowship Hall.

– 2:30 p.m. Celebration Program with the Reverend Darrell R. James as guest speaker.

After the close of this program, an anniversary cake will be served during a fellowship time in the hall.

The church was organized in 1841 at the home of Joseph McHenry on Grants Creek and named The Free Will Baptist Church in Switzerland County, Cotton Township, State of Indiana. Later, it was called Liberty Church.

In 1853, a new building was being erected but burned during a protracted meeting. After the fire, it was known as the New Liberty Church.

In 1870-71, the sanctuary still in use today was built with Levi Adkinson doing most of the carpentry work. In 1902, New Liberty joined the Long Run Baptist Association and today is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA Denomination.

The Reverend Jay E. Baker has been pastor at New Liberty for the past eight years.

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Here’s some history of New Liberty Baptist Church, as reported in the book: “Harriman’s History of Switzerland County, Indiana, 1885”:

New Liberty Baptist Church: This society dates from the thirties, but the exact date of its organization cannot be determined. Alexander Sebastian was the minister who organized the church. Meetings were held first in the neighbors’ houses for a time, when the frame church was built, which was used up to 1853, and at that time destroyed by fire during a protracted meeting. Meetings were then held in various places in the neighborhood and in schoolhouses, till the present building was erected in 1870-1871. The early records are lost.

At the reorganization in 1853 the following were members: Michael Sedam, Cornelius Sedam, Sarah Moore, Elizabeth Byram, Nancy Andrews, Sarah Heath, Mary J. Sedam, Martha Bovard, Louis Bocock, Sarah Oak and a few others.

The pastors since 1853 have been: John Keeling, Martin S. Douglas, William McKee, T.S. Grimes, J.J. Flemings and the present pastor, E. G. Seymor, who has had charge of the society since 1874, and under whose supervision the membership has increased form about twenty to 112. The society is in good working order.