Introduction (Pre-1848)

Two history books of New Liberty Baptist Church was used in this Website.

1.  "A Short History of The New Liberty Baptist Church, Route 3, Travelers Rest, South Carolina."  Complied by  Rev. J. Albert Johnson, 1956.

2.  "The History of New Liberty Baptist Church, Travelers Rest, South Carolina, 1848-1998:", Written and Complied by Rev. Randall L. Smith

     "The history of New Liberty Baptist Church, Travelers Rest, South Carolina, is the history of a people who had faith in God, and who through many trying days, though toil and tears, through heartache and loss of sleep, succeeded in building a work, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, that now stands as a memorial to them.  Their desires was to posses the land for the glory of he Lord, as they covenanted themselves together to serve Him.  For the Lord had said . "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled" (MT 5:6).  These fervent Christians who organized the church were hungry for a gentle knowledge of God and His righteousness. In their march to Zion they felt than the community in which they live, if there was organized church within the neighborhood." (1)

       "With such a vision before them, they began to hold prayer meetings from home to home, "with singleness of heart." (Acts 2:46),  For more than a year, they met in homes as the weather would permit." (1)

       "Finally, it was felt that one central meeting place was necessary for the best interests of those participating; so in May 1848 with no money.......(1)

"In the early history of the church, the monthly service were held at a time convenient to the pastor.  It will be remembered that the pastors served more than one church at a time.  Many of the early years found the services conducted on Saturday afternoon; but form year to year, the church would conduct service whenever it was possible for the pastor to be with them.  Sometime it would be the first Saturday, sometimes the first or second Sunday.  Sometimes in morning the Service were held." (1)

"The social life of the time was made up of spelling bees, weddings, funeral, house-raising, log rolling, quilting parties, corn husking, sewings and fellowship at church.  Often families would gather form farm to farm to help with the plowing, planting, premium, and families worked together and these ties brought the church into such a fellowship, that practically every service was a gear spiritual blessings.  Sinners would go to the mourners bench and repent, and accept the Lord Jesus s savior. People loved each other with a God-like love." (1)

"Doctors were scarce in years gone by.  Often a pastor wold sit all night with a family, praying  for a sick loved-one." (1)

"For a church to own a home for a pastor was a rare thing indeed. When the pastor came to the community for s Saturday meeting, he would probably spend the night in the home of one of the church members.  After the evening meal had been served and the family settled around he great fireplace in the winter, or on the piazza (porch) in the summer, they should listen to the preacher as he told them Bible stories or interpreted ore them some choice passage.  The children would stare with open-mouthed admiration for such a man who cold stir their hearts with his stories." (1)

"Finally, after reading passage from the family Bible, the singing of a hymn, and prayer, the family would retire.  At such gatherings the neighbors would come into share in the experiences.  God's people were always strengthened after these great times together." (1)   

 Quarter Time Preachers- In the early days of New Liberty, pastors were scarce.  It was not uncommon for one man to serve three or four churches at the some time.  This was called quarter time preaching. The pastor would rotate week by week, so usually the church would have a pastor to lead them only once a month.  He would preach on Saturday afternoon an Sunday morning and would stay in the home of one of the members unless he lived locally.  On other Sundays, when their pastor would be off serving other churches, they would not have worship. Or on some occasions they would, but the service would be led by lay leaders.  All business meetings would be held when the pastor would be present, so he could guide them spiritually in their decisions. when a pastor was present or not, when they did comet together, the atmosphere would be exciting, the sprit level high, and building packed full (2)                  

 Pounding for the Pastor-  The church had very little money, if any, and therefore could not pay their pastors for their services.  Instead, they would often give him and his family a pounding. At a selected time, all the members would bring food and clothing to share with their pastor.  This way of compensation continued for years, even into the fist half of the twentieth century.  A pastor would study, preach,visit, and counsel his members, and in return receive such things as fruit, home grown vegetables, homemade canned and baked goods.  He would also get clothing for himself and his family, and on some occasions, even livestock such as chickens and pigs.  That was the members' tithes. (2)

 Farming, Slavery, and Sharecropping- Some of the folks who farmed would load their wagons, and in later years trucks, to sell their goods.  Peddling their crops was often the only way many of them would ever actually have money.  Cotton was a big seller, so the framers always made sure that they'd have a good crop. They would work hard in their efforts, but sometimes a lack of rain would reduce the success of their anticipated corps. When they farmed, it was truly the hard way. They plowed with mules.......It was an all day job, from sunup to sundown and sometimes even after dark.  Cold or hot, these men and women faithfully and earnestly worked their fields.  they had to, for it was their only way of provision.  (2)

From the inception of the church through the Civil War, some of the members owned slaves. These slaves would help them work their fields. It has been said by some old members of the past that the is a section of land in the woods behind the educational building where slaves were buried when they died.  In this generation, we look at slavery as being wrong, and we should. However, we must not be too critical toward our forefathers of the 1800's because they honestly didn't think it was wrong to own slaves. These folks were good, honest, hard working,and dedicated Christians. (2)

When slavery ended in 1863, sharecropping became popular in the northern Greenville community. Mann Batson said, "After the war Between the States, many property owners lost their labor force with the freeing of slaves.  On the other Hand, the ex-slaves and many poor people did not own land. Out of the grew the share cropping system.  Under this system, the Landowner furnished pasture, wood, house, and land; the share cropper furnished the labor.  (2)

The members of New Liberty labored hard in those days, but they never worked on the Lords' Day.  Monday through Saturday they earnestly worked the fields, but when Sunday  came, they were in church.  And often they would bring there sharecroppers to church with them.  Several black folks would come to New Liberty in those days. They'd sit on the black pews and be identified as colored,but they we warmly welcomed in the services. (2)                     

 Church Discipline:  The church, from its inception, instituted rules and reason for disciplining its members.  If a man or woman did something that was contrary to the church covenant, he or she would have to repent. Then, if the person repented, he or she would be put on probation for a year to see if to prove himself or herself.  If a member refused to repent, he would be excluded from the fellowship.  The following were reasons for exclusion. "Swearing, drinking of sprits and strong drink, gambling, immorality, fighting without cause, failure to support the family, non-payment of hones debts, and failure to attend the church services regularly without providential reasons." (2)              

Social Life:  Johnson said, "The social life of the time was made up of spelling bees, weddings, funerals, house raising, log rolling, quilting parties, corn husking, serving and fellowship at the church.   Often families would gather from farm to farm to help with the plowing, planting, or harvesting, or to do general work." (2)

The Church Bell- New Liberty also has a church bell.  It was always rung one hour before Sunday School every Sunday, one hour before worship time, and at the time those services began.  The bell served another important purpose, too.  It would be rung any time someone in the community died.  This would let everyone know there was a death, and it would ring at the time of the funeral.  Maxine Hill, a former member, said' "We had a big church bell; the ropes to ring it were at the entrance of the church.  The bell was rung every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and for funerals.  As a little girl, I always wanted to ring the bell one day.  Mr. Carl Nicoll let me.  My feet came up off the floor as I rang it."  We still have the old church bell today and ring it every Sunday morning before the service begins. (2)

The Spirit of the Church:  The spirit in the church was great in the 1800's, and a spiritual revival was being swept across the land.  D.L. Moody of Chicago was preaching to millions all across the country, and as a result, lost people everywhere were turning to the Lord.  And New Liberty was no exception.  Lost people would come to the services, kneel on the mourners' bench, repent, and receive Jesus into their lives.  It was a great era, line none other.  The people of those days, at New Liberty and everywhere, were concerned about the "End Times" just like we are now. (2)

Fox Hunting- Ethal McKinney told me her husband Lawrence used to got fox hunting a lot with Eugene Boswell.  They wuold hunt into the night on Saturday and come to church on Sunday morning.  All these men who led NLBC were good friends adn had good fellowship.  Elizabeth Funk remembered a humorious story about Eugene Boswell that makes me wonder if he ahd ben up fox huntingall night.  She said, "The preacher had just finished preaching, and it was time for the inviation.  he looked at Eugene, expecting hinm to leadthe son, but Eugene was sound asleep.  So the precher asked my sister Grace to lead, and when we strated the song, Eugene woke up and was embarrassed!"