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Music, prayer mark church's 175th birthday
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When Liberty Baptist Church was founded in 1833 there were four men and women females who made up the church.

Now, there are about 455 members to celebrate the church's 175th anniversary.

"The church was established in 1833 and we've had 32 pastors since then," said Cecil Bennett, who has been the church secretary for 21 years.

Bennett, who has been a member at Liberty Baptist for 57 years, said his fondest memory of the church was when he was 12 years old and was saved.

The first pastor of the church, which received members from all denominations, was the Rev. J.E. Rives, according to church records provided to The Times. Rives served as pastor for 49 years.

Currently the Rev. Ruel Martin serves as pastor of the Dawsonville church

Since 1833, the church has been housed in five different buildings on the site. The church is a member of the Hightower Baptist Association.

Tomorrow the church will celebrate its anniversary with a full day of sermons from former pastors and singing. A lunch will follow the Sunday morning service.

Speakers include Bennett, Martin, the Rev. Robert Martin, the Rev. Monroe Gunter, the Rev. Stephen Davis and the Rev. Jerry Frasier.

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