February 2020  
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This was an "in-between-World War,"  the first on past and the second around the corner.  As mentioned earlier, the times were hard for most everyone around. The church members of that day wanted earnestly to give as much as they could to support the Lord's work, but unfortunately, money was hard to come by.  They literally  had to pinch pennies.  Yes, it was hard,but the Lord blessed them, and they simply made do with what they had.  The men would work hard every day, and the women would always have plenty of food on the table at supper-time. The times were hard, but the spirit at New Liberty was as high as ever. (2)

Henry Funk served as a deacon and preached from the pulpit on several occasions.  He died on June 24, 1953, and a tribute was paid him in the church bulletin the following Sunday.  Here's an excerpt of that tribute:  "Tribute to a Soldier of the Cross"  As you sit in church this morning, you will notice an empty section of a pew down near the front. In the pastor, that section was filed unless providential hindrance would not allow it.  Today it is empty because the one who occupied it has been called home to be with his Master." (2)


Pastor:  Rev. Ben D. Davenport, that great personality,  served as pastor from 1927-1934.  Many of the present membership speak of him because he led them to Christ and baptized them. It was during his ministry, in 1931, the BYU was organized.(1)

Mrs. Lille Gilreath, a former member, told me he was a heavy man with a little bit of age when the church called him, but he was a really good preacher.  She said she walked six miles every Sunday to church to her him preach, and the church was full, too.  People all through the community would faithfully go to church. (2)


Deacon Ordination of Eugene Boswell and Joe Johnson- "December 16, 1928.  NLBC met for Deacons' Ordination Service, ordaining Bro's Joe Johnson and E.F. Boswell.  Rev G.B. Lee preaching the ordination sermon.  Then announcement that we were pounding our pastor after dismissal with prayer.  Went out in the yard and carried the groceries and things to the car." (2)

That was the ordination of two great leaders in this church.  Joe Johnson was a deacon and Sunday School Superintendent for many years and also donated a tract of land to the church.  That land is located on the north east side directly behind the church.  Many today fondly remember Mr. Johnson.  Oscar Daniel said, 'Joe Johnson was a good man and my Sunday School teacher when I came to New Liberty in 1952."  Ethel McKinney said, "Joe Johnson did a lot in those days for the church."  (2)

Eugene Boswell was also a great leader for New Liberty.  He served in different capacities such as deacon and music director.  Mr. Boswell was committed to his church in so many ways.  For several years, Eugene led the singing at NLBC while Joe's sister, Mary Johnson, played the organ.  Eugene and Mary were a great team in leading New Liberty's music and were sweethearts for many years, although they never married. (2)


Fall Revival with Evangelist E.B Crain- In August 1930, New Liberty had a great fall revival with Evangelist E.B. Crain, the brother of former pastor, Dean Crain.  15 people were saved....Carl Nicoll wrote in the minutes.....He preached from the subject of "Heaven and Who's There." (2)

Homecoming- New Liberty also had its homecoming on Aug 31, 1930. They didn't have a fellowship building.......so the men would rig up tables, and they'd all eat outside under the trees after the service.  The ladies would bring huge baskets of food filled with everything from fried chicken to Banana pudding.  John Crabtree, nephew of Floyd McAuley was a young boy when he attended in the early 30's, but he well remembered the old homecomings.  He said, 'There was always plenty to eat." (2)


Outdoor Baptism- Rudford Poole.....was baptized in the old pool when he was a young boy.  He fondly remembers that experience.  His wife Tommie told me a little about those outdoor baptisms.  She said, "The church had only one revival and one baptisms per year.  People would join throughout the year, but the baptisms would always take place following the August revival.  It was always pleasant and pretty.  Some of the older members couldn't go all the way down to the pool, so they would look down from the top of the hill. Everyone being baptized would wear white, and sometimes we would have 20-35 baptized at one time." (2)

Revival- The church had another good revival in August 1931 and a few days later baptized the converts.  "September 6, 1931.  The baptismal services were build that morning down at the pool, with eleven being baptized.....Afterwards returning to the house for preaching, and fellowship the new members into the church" (2)

Elizabeth Funk also remembers the old outdoor baptisms.  She said, "We'd sing some songs before the preacher would baptize them, and we'd always sing 'Shall We Gather at the River".  They would build fires around two large drums filled with water to heat it, and then pour the heated water into the pool. But even so, the water was usually still too cold for comfort.  The remains of the old concrete pool are sill in those woods today.  It's quite a feeling to go down there and imagine or remember the old outdoor baptisms. (2)


Mr. Henry Funk- On September 3, 1932, one of New Liberty's great leaders came on the scene.  It was the day when Henry Funk joined the church...... of the minutes reads like this:  "bro. Henry Funk was received into the church as a deacon and a licensed preacher upon recommendation of his letter...."  Then one month later Henry's daughters Elizabeth, Grace and Parylee joined.  the Funk family came to New Liberty from Georgia.  Henry worked on the railroad, and his work brought him to this area.  His wife Ella Mae was in very  bad health and couldn't come to the services, but Henry and the girls were always faithfully in the house of God.  (2)

Elizabeth Funk is still a member.  she said she fondly remembers her father and his role of leadership at NLBC.  He led music at one time, and Bill Holcombe said, "One of my special memories was hearing Henry Funk's strong voice as he led the singing." (2)

The McKinney Brothers- Other great leaders of that time were the McKinney Brothers-- Wilson, Lawrence and Northern.  Those three men did a lot of hard, dedicated work for the church.  Many remember then today as being instrumental in a lot of the good things that look place at NLBC.  Northern was a deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and served many years in different capacities. (2)


The Connie Maxwell Children's Orphanage-  An unusual request was made by Rev. Davenport on April 2, 1933.  "Our pastor mentioned about the corn club.  There being a committee previously appointed to se how many would plant as much as 30 hills of corn to give to the church."  NLBC was then and always had been a giving church.  And every year around Thanksgiving, the church would load a big truck with food to take to the Connie Maxwell Children's Orphanage.  The men would bring home grown vegetables, and the ladies would bring homemade conned good and baked good.  Sometimes they would even donate live chickens.  "November 5, 1933, NLBC met for a regular morning service.  After the sermon by pastor, had short conference. A committee was appointed to get up produce to send to the orphanage on November 14. The ones named on the committee were S.F. McAuley, H.L. Groome, and J Carl Nicoll.  Then the church licensed Bro. S.F. McAuley to preach the Gospel." (2)


Pastor:  Rev W.J. Jordan served the church. It was said of him that wherever he served he would be a success.  He was sweet-spirited, and his congregation loved him. His was the ambition to reach as many  souls for the Lord as he could.  It was also said of him that he could 'really teach a study course."  (1)

Pledges from the Congregation-  On July 7, 1935, the church voted for Joe Johnson to see about getting a new piano.  The old one needed to be replaced, so Joe began looking.  Then two months, later, the members raised the money they needed to purchase the muck needed piano.  When they needed money in those days, members would stand up in front of everyone to pledge the amounts they were willing to give.  Maxine Hill said; "Even though in early years people did not have much money, if the church was raising money for something, we usually got it. I remembrance when we needled money.  They wee asking people to stand and say how much they could give.  One man stood up and said 'I don't have money by I'll give a calf'"  The calf sold for $ 50, which was a big amount back then."  An excerpt of the pleading for the amount was recorded in the minutes: "September 15, 1935....Just before pastor took charge, Bro. Joe raised the balance that was due on the piano.  Also brought before the church a report about the building plan of a new church." (2)


Pastor:  Brother S.F. McAuley was ordained to the Gospel Ministry in 1937 and called to serve his own church until 1940.  It is often hard for a man to serve a church in a community where he had lived.  Floyd McAuley did it, however, and still has man friend as well as relatives in the community.  He proved well his calling in the years he served the church. (1)

Building:  On April 14, 1939, the church voted to repair the church building and to build Sunday School rooms.  In September, the old benches in the church were finally paid for. 91)

General Information:  In November 1939, a move was made to adopt the rotation plan of deacons. (1)


Pastor:  Rev Homer Couch was pastor from 1940-1944. During his ministry the old frame building was raised, basement constructed underneath and the whole building brick-veneered.   These were tying days, as the war was in progress.  Many of the young men and women had gone either into military service or had left home to work.at defense jobs.  Mr. Couch's was a great minister. (1)

A Big Debate-   A big debate had begun in the church on whether to remodel the church (second on the present site and the current building) or to build a new one  This debate went on for years and wasn't decided until 1941 when they voted for the remodeling of the church.  The money was scarce, so building a new building would be a difficult task.  This remodeling didn't take place until 1944. (2)

The Ministry of Rev. S.F. McAuley-  He became pastor during the quarter-time preaching days, so he also pastored Highland, Lima, and Mush Creek at the same time.  He was born and raised in NLBC.....His mother Harriett brought him to church when he was a little baby.  Before Floyd was born, Hariett prayed, "Lord, give me a son and I will dedicate him to you to become a minister."  His faith, John D. was a deacon and leader of the church in the Rev Davenport-Jordan years.   Floyd was baptized as a young boy by Rev. Dean Crain in the old concrete pool.  He, sometime later in his early twenties, felt a call to preach, but at first rejected eh call.  His daughter, Harriet Bryson, said, "For eight years, Floyd resisted the call of God to preach the Gospel,  Being an understanding and patient wife, Floree prayed earnestly for her husband Floyd during this time.  Floree's prayers and Floyd's mother's prayer 36 years earlier were answered in September 1932 when, through the preaching of Rev Ben Davenport, he surrendered his life to the ministry.

On August 6, 1933, the following recommendation was made concerning Floyd in a deacon's meeting....."This certified that Brother S.F. McAuley is a member of NLBC in good and regular standing, and is held by us in highest esteem.  We believe him to have been called of God to the work of the Gospel Ministry.  As pastor and deacons we cordially recommend him to any church or place.  B.D. Davenport, pastor, G.D. McKinney, R.S. Newby, Eugene F. Boswell, Henry Funk, J.D. McAuley, deacons." (2)

Then on November 5, 1933, NLBC proudly licensed Floyd into the ministry.  Harriet said, 'Floyd spike at prayer meeting and eagerly accepted opportunities to preach.  He felt the need to further his education so he enrolled  in Bible courses and conferences at North Greenville and Furman.   Floyd enrolled in Baptist Bible Institute (New Orleans Seminary) in 1934.  After preparing himself there, he was blessed and honored by his home church, NLBC, issuing him a call to become pastor in December 1936.  He began his duties in January 1937.  He was ordained by NLBC on March 21, 1937 and received his charge from his former pastor, Rev. Ben Davenport.  (2)

Elizabeth Funk said she remembered Rev Floyd McAuley as a wonder pastor and good worker. His wife Floree got right in there with him.   He didn't get much money, but he lived in the community, and a lot of people give him things.  According to some of Rev. McAuley's own personal records, the following people among others joined NLBC under his ministry:  Mr. Sidney McJunkin, Mr and Mrs B.F. Edwards, Mr. Odell Raines, Mr. H.G. Bailey, Nr. William Bailey, Mr. Elbert Stamey, Mr. Cluade Barnett, and Mrs.. Ruth Bridwell.   He was paid $6.28 after preaching that sermon; it was his salary for the week.  Rev. Floyd McAuley completed his work at NLBC in October of 1940. (2)