"LIBERTY BAPTIST CHURCH"
A RICH HISTORY IN THE MAKING
2nd Pastor – Rev. Isaac Tolliver – 13 year tenure
In April 1900 a call was extended to Rev. Isaac Tolliver of Waco, Texas. He accepted and assumed the pastorate almost immediately. Under his pastorate, the membership grew, necessitating the enlargement of the church. In addition to providing more seating capacity, the first baptismal pool was installed at Liberty. Also under Rev. Tolliver’s guidance, Brother Joseph Cole and others organized the first Baptist Young Peoples Union (BYPU); today it is Nurture for Baptist Churches. Brother Cole was the first President of the BYPU and under his direction; BYPU’s were organized in Mt. Airy, Rehoboth, Rock Creek, Trinity, and Friendship Baptist Churches.
In 1903, Rev. Tolliver established recognition for the Women’s Day Movement as the first in the history of our City. Out of this movement grew the City-Wide Missionary Societies, which today are a living memorial to him.
On March 3, 1913, Rev. Tolliver resigned as pastor and in November of the same year died in Birmingham, Alabama. The pulpit was vacant for about 8 months.
During these 8 months the Red Cross purchased the property at 18th & E Streets, NW paying enough to clear all debts and leaving a substantial amount in the bank.
3rd Pastor – Rev. Holland Powell – 11 year tenure
On July 15, 1914, Rev Holland Powell, of Brooklyn, New York, accepted the call. The church undertook the erection of a new edifice, at 817 23rd Street, NW and completed this task without having a mortgage. Over the years under Rev. Powell’s administration, many improvements were made to the structure among them a new Kimball Pipe Organ was installed and the adjoining houses on both sides of the church were purchased. After years of dedicated service, Rev. Powell died in December 1925. The pulpit was vacant for about 5 months.
4th Pastor – Rev. Hampton T. Gaskins – 26 year tenure
On April 14, 1926, a call was extended to Rev. Hampton T. Gaskins, who was at the time, the honored Pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Bladensburg, Maryland. Rev. Gaskins assumed the pastorate of Liberty Baptist Church in July of 1926.
Under Rev. Gaskins’ able guidance, he furthered the organizational operations of the Deaconess Board and organized a Gospel Chorus, Nurses Unit and many other auxiliaries.
One of the many momentous occasions at Liberty was the baptism of 22 members on January 20, 1929. One of those members is still on our roll today, namely Brother John Tatum, Sr.
A $5000.00 drive was launched to raise money for repairs to the church and its property. The drive was so successful that it resulted in general repairs of the church, a new roof, installation of a new heating system, renovation of the baptistery and installation of a new Hammond organ unit. A complete overhaul of the two houses was also done.
Rev. Gaskins’ sudden death on June 2, 1951, was a shock to many since he seemed to be in good health and ready for another years work. The pulpit was vacant for 1 year. Rev. Carter Taylor, one of Liberty’s oldest members worked with the membership to carry on its activities.