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Liberty Grove holds 150th anniversary celebrationcomment (0)

December 6, 2007

Tressie Nell Dotson can recall the nearly four-mile walk to Liberty Grove Baptist Church, Nauvoo, that her family would trek on Sunday mornings. That is until then-pastor J.P. Drummond bought a car.

“I had broken my hip in fifth grade and was kind of crippled,” Dotson said. “[Drummond] would come pick me up. By the time we got to church, he’d have that car loaded down. Some stood on the running boards and held to the window. Some sat on the headlights.”

Around 200 people found their way to the Walker Baptist Association church on a recent Sunday to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

The association and a representative from the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission presented certificates recognizing the church’s century and a half of service, keeping the promise of its 11 original members to “watch over one another for good and not for evil.”

As the fourth oldest church in Walker Association, Liberty Grove Baptist has seen generations of families pass through its doors.

Dotson, a member of Liberty Grove, said her family has five generations, on both sides, buried in the church cemetery.

In 1947, a new church building was completed, a necessity that she can attest to following the baptism of her husband, James.

The Sunday that he was meant to walk the aisle, the temperature was 19 degrees and then-pastor W.D. McConnell planned to cancel the service. But at the behest of Dotson, the service continued.

Following McConnell’s sermon, however, he decided not to have an altar call, but again, at her behest, relented.

Finally McConnell said it was much too cold to do a baptism, but once again, she was persistent. So the congregation went to Mill Creek, where the ice was broken in order to baptize James Dotson.

Evangelism efforts have always been important at Liberty Grove, said Lucky Teague, director of missions for Walker Association. The church is missions-minded and believes in giving to efforts at home and abroad, he said.

The church is led by interim pastor Johnny Huey. (TAB)

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