One of the important founding families of Liberty Hill were Amos and Lucy Winslette, who moved from Alabama to Wilcox County in the late 1800’s. The first church was constituted in a log cabin but was soon replaced by a simple frame building. In 1918 the present church was built and the old frame building was converted to a school. The church history tells us that “The new church building was a great source of pride to its members. It was a magnificent structure, rather large for the time, and it was well known as one of the most beautiful country churches in the area……Mothers would bring their babies and leave them napping on pallets during the services”. A severe tornado damaged the church in 1936 but it was immediately restored.
Liberty Hill is located in a very rural setting amid the fields and pine trees of Wilcox County. Though remote, Liberty Hill is very active with a vibrant congregation that has been serving this farm community for over 130 years. We are grateful for their stewardship of both the church and the history that goes with it. In the adjoining cemetery, there are many turn of the century graves of some of Wilcox County’s early settlers. Be sure to click and scroll on the photos below to learn more about Liberty Hill and some of these early inhabitants of Wilcox County.
Here we have entered the church and have a comprehensive view of most of the sanctuary of Liberty Hill. As we earlier stated, the original church was in a log cabin. By 1890 a one-room building was erected. The present building was completed in 1918. Though the church has undergone much modification during its 103 years since then, the present interior is fairly authentic. Simple wooden pews march down the center aisle to the chancel as always. The congregation has been a loving steward in successfully maintaining this relic of their past.
This is a close-up of the chancel and its lovely semi-circular balustrade behind which we see a floral display, the pulpit and apse. All as well lighted by the two large windows flanking the pulpit.
Above the entry doors, we see stained glass windows that sit within the point of the large Gothic entry way window.
This is a view of the south wall of the Liberty Hill Sanctuary. To the right are the entry way doors. In the center we see four of the large, sashed windows that allow light to flow freely into the sanctuary. To the left we see the closed door of one the two interior rooms. This is a clever way to provide needed spaces for use by the congregation.
This view from the pulpit to the entry doors gives us a look at almost the entire sanctuary. We see that the interior has been modified over the years. Two interior rooms for Sunday school, etc have been added along each wall. The doors to each can be opened or closed depending 0n the needs within. We also see the ceiling fans that were installed in the early 2000’s to improve comfort in the building during the hot months.
Here we see a rare, color photo that we believe is of six of the leading members of the Liberty Hill Congregation. We have no exact date but we would guess it dates from the early 1900's, when the church was new. This would also be consistent with the horse in the right background and the way these gentlemen are dressed.
Fannie Irene Futch was born Dec. 15, 1892 and died June 1, 1906. She was the daughter of William Isaac Futch (1864-1939) and Johnnie Daniels McDuffie Futch (1867-1907). In the 1900 census she is shown as seven years old living with her parents and siblings in Ryles Mill, Wilcox County, Georgia. She was just 13 years old when she died.
Nancy Viola Gordon Christmas was born July 31, 1888 and died October 14, 1905. She was the daughter of Abigail Aspronnie McDuffie (1859 – 1946) and Duff Gordon, Sr. 1846- 1917). Nancy Viola Gordon was married to James Adrian “Eddie” Christmas on May 17, 1900 in Wilcox County. The 1900 census shows he was a day laborer at the saw mill. Before Nancy died in 1905 she gave birth to three sons, one born in 1901, one born in 1902 and one born in 1904.
M. A. wife of G. W. Handley was born April 4, 1850 and died October 10, 1911. On August 10, 1876 Minerva A. McAlister married George W. Hendley in Pulaski County. They had four children. Her husband George W. Handley is also buried at Liberty Hill United Methodist Church.
Elias James John Wilson “Jehue” Helms was born February 7, 1847 in North Carolina and died August 10, 1909 in Wilcox County. His Civil War marker reads “Kolbs Co ALA L. A. CSA”. He married Nancy Blakely in Barbour County, AL on October 24, 1866. By 1880 they were living in Wilcox County, GA with 4 children.
J. G. Graham was born November 22, 1869 and died Nov. 8, 1920. He married Beulah Watson in Wilcox County on October 23, 1898. The 1920, Davis Mill, Wilcox County census shows J. G., age 50 and Beulah, age 37. The 1900 Wilcox County census shows Green Graham, teamster, age 30 and Beulah, age 17, married 2 years. The 1910 Davis Mill, Wilcox County census shows Green, age 39 and Beulah, age 26. In 1880, Green was living with his grandparents, George Washington and Mary Graham.
Captain Alfred Kimble Fisher was born November 1. 1840 (some records say 1837) and died January 12, 1917. He married Mary F. Shealy on June 1, 1869 in Macon County, Georgia. The 1870 Houston County, GA census shows A. K. Fisher was born in Canada. He was working at a saw mill in 1870. The 1880 Houston County census shows both of his parents were born in Canada. By 1880 he was running a saw mill and had four children, ages 1 to 9. The 1900 census shows he came to the United States in 1860. By 1900 he lived in Wilcox County and his wife had given birth to 7 children with 5 still living.
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