The construction of the church was completed in 1910. The church was originally dedicated as Liberty Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
In the spring of 1916 the Buckeye Valley News reported on the April 2nd Rally Day, a big day!
“The Rally Day at the M.E. Church South of Liberty last Sunday was a grand success. The expected crowd from Phoenix did not arrive on account of the Agua Fria River being up. The main object of the rally was to raise funds with which to pay off the church indebtedness. This was done very easily and the church is now out of debt.”
Excerpt from “Celebrating a Century, 1914-2014”, by Jane Fricke
The times they are ‘changing’…
Following the 1939 unification move of the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC), Methodist Protestant Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MEC So), the church was known as Liberty Methodist Church. A later 1968 merger with the Evangelical United Brethren Church, would change the name once again, becoming Liberty United Methodist Church as it is known today.
“We shall celebrate the Lord’s Supper next Sunday in our church in the manner which the pastor presented it in the Navy. It is important that our people should know and appreciate as much as possible the religious services that were conducted for our service personnel. The pastor will use the communion set baptized by fire at Roi-Namur [Battle of Kwajalein] and the story of the outfit that has deep religious meaning will be told. The service will be held in our newly decorated and improved house of worship.” Submitted by the pastor, Buckeye Valley News, May 2, 1946.
The congregation would lay the cornerstone of the Memorial Hall on May 2, 1948. The building was dedicated on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the church, November 20, 1949. (Reference Buckeye Valley News, November 24, 1949)
A plaque inside the Memorial Hall lists the names of the young men from the church who served and died during WWII:
Wyman Richard Van Liere, died July 3, 1941, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class, Lost at sea during an aircraft accident ~ Arthur Godwyn King, Jr., died Nov. 14, 1945, Burial Manila American Cemetary ~ Harrison Heiffel (details pending) ~ J. W. Hatfield, died Nov. 24, 1944, Burial Henri-Chapelle Cemetery, Belgium ~ Kenneth L. Lewis, died July 10, 1943, Burial Golden Gate National Cemetary.
Closing the gap – Connecting the Sanctuary and Memorial Hall (well, sort of…)
The two primary buildings, the 1909-10 Sanctuary and the 1948-49 Memorial Hall remained separated by a small lawn area until the 1960’s.
In 1964 construction of a classroom wing was undertaken in Honor of Clarence O. Romine, who with his wife, was a member of Liberty Church for two decades. The simple brick and mortar construction was completed in 1965 and is now a small Conference Room, Sunday School Classroom, Nursery and Church Office.
While the construction of the classroom wing appears ‘attached’ to the Sanctuary, there is no actual passageway between the two structures. To enter the ‘education wing’ children exit the Sanctuary and walk past the Jesus Welcomes east-facing stained glass window and under the Children Coming to Bible Class and Children with Bible Teacher stained glass windows on the north wall of the Sanctuary.
Being part of history…
The process of digitizing the original church Membership Register is underway. The original binding had completely disintegrated and the pages were in no particular order. It was somewhat discouraging but with additional research a copy of another church register, also published 1890, was located through the Portal of Texas History website. Their digital record, which can be viewed here (LINK), let us reorder our pages in the correct sequence and begin to create a digital database of the membership from the period of 1910 through approximately 1930! Check back from time to time and see our progress.