The Founder and History of Liberty Baptist Church

Dr. Gary R. Jackson is the current Pastor of the Liberty Baptist Church of Sarasota, FL, and is the founding pastor of the church (founded August 6, 1978).

Dr. Jackson was born in Flint, Michigan, February 28, 1952. He was born again at the age of four and baptized into Bethany Baptist Church, Grand Blanc, Michigan, at the age of ten. As a teen, he felt the call of the Lord to be a pastor while attending the summer church camp in Michigan. After graduating from Fenton High School in Fenton Michigan, in 1970, he enrolled at Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Watertown, Wisconsin. Dr. Jackson moved with his parents to Sarasota, Florida, in 1972, he then transferred to Clearwater Christian College in Clearwater, Florida. As a student at Clearwater Christian College he helped start Trinity Baptist Church of Bradenton. On December 22, 1972, he was married to Martha Ann Silver, a grade school teacher and a graduate of Maranatha Baptist Bible College. After graduating college in May of 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, he enrolled in Temple Baptist Theological Seminary in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Trinity Baptist Church of Bradenton called him back as an Assistant Pastor in the summer of 1976, his duties were numerous. He was Principal of the Christian School, Youth Pastor, Music Director, and Director of the Seniors’ Ministry.

After working for Trinity Baptist Church for six years Dr. Jackson started the Liberty Baptist Church of Sarasota. He was ordained October 30, 1978, by Trinity Baptist Church of Bradenton, Florida.

During his ministry Dr. Jackson continued his education by taking courses from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Liberty Baptist Church of Sarasota met for the first time Sunday, August 6, 1978, with twenty people in the Y.M.C.A building on Euclid Avenue off Bahia Vista Street. The church was founded as a mission of Trinity Baptist Church of Bradenton.

From the Y.M.C.A. building the small group of believers moved to the Disabled American Veterans Hall on Fruitville Road in Sarasota.

The “organization meeting” for the church was held February 4, 1979. Trinity Baptist Church of Bradenton recognized Liberty Baptist Church as an independent, self-governing, autonomous body of believers and the church’s constitution was adopted.

The church bought 5.9 acres of property at 4249 Bahia Vista Street in 1980. The church constructed a 5,200 square foot building. Within one year from commencement of construction the congregation moved into the new building.

The first building and property was paid off and the mortgage burned in 1987. Then plans for a multipurpose building were drawn. The multipurpose building construction began in 1988, and completed in 1989. The multipurpose building was paid off and the mortgage burned in 1998.

A third building program was started in 2000. The church built a gymnasium and put a second floor in the multipurpose building, it was completed in 2001.

The church is planning its fourth building program. The plan is to construct a fellowship hall with offices, commercial kitchen, bathrooms, dining area, prophet’s chamber and storage room.

Liberty Baptist Church has had a grand ministry from its founding but now is looking forward to an even greater future in the years to come!

Doctrinal Statement

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God; the final authority for faith, inspiration, and practice; inerrant, infallible, God-breathed, and preserved in the King James Bible.

I Corinthians 2:9-13; John 16:12-13; II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:20,21; Matthew 5:18

THE GODHEAD

We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three beings-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory and having the same attributes and perfections.

Deuteronomy 6:4; II Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:6; John 5:7; Mark 12:29-32; John 10:30; Isaiah 48:16, 63:10

THE PERSON AND WORD OF CHRIST

We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man.

Romans 3:24-25; John 1:1-2, 14; Luke 1:35; Philippians 2:6-9

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as the vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead.

Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 2:2-4

THE PERSON AND WORD OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the agent Who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption.

John 16:8-11; I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 3:6; Romans 8:9

We believe that He is the divine teacher Who guides believers into all truth; and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be yielded to the Spirit.

John 16:13; Ephesians 5:18; I John 2:20, 27

THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature and became alienated from God, and that man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.

Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12

THE FREENESS OF SALVATION

Salvation is the free gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins.

I Peter 1:18-19; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10

THE ETERNAL SECURITY AND ASSURANCE OF THE BELIEVERS

All the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. We have the privilege, as believers, to rejoice in the assurance of our salvation, the testimony of God’s Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh.

John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39, 13:13-14; I Corinthians 1:4-8; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15; I Peter 1:5

THE TWO NATURES OF THE BELIEVER

We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural.

Romans 6:13; Galatians 5:16-25; Colossians 3:13; I John 3:5-9; Romans 8:12-13; Ephesians 4:22-24; I Peter 1:14-16

SEPARATION

All the saved should live in such a manner so as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God.

Romans 12:12, 14:13; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; II Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11

THE MISSION OF THE SAVED

We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of the Gospel to all mankind.

Mark 16:15; II Corinthians 5:19-20; Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20

THE MINISTRY AND THE SCRIPTURAL GIFTS

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all his gifts, and that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today, and that speaking in tongues and working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and Their authority became established.

I Corinthians 12:4-11; II Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:7-12

We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith in accord with His own will for the sick and afflicted.

John 15:7; I John 5:14-15

THE CHURCH

We believe that the church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of the present age.

Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27; I Corinthians 11:2, 12:12-14

We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the new Testament Scriptures.

Acts 14:27; I Timothy 3:1-3; Acts 20:17, 28-32; Titus 1:5-11

DISPENSATIONALISM

We believe in the dispensational view of Bible interpretation, but reject the extreme teaching known as “hyper-dispensationalism” such as that teaching which opposes either the Lord’s Table or water baptism as a Scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age.

Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 18:8; I Corinthians 11:23-26

THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN

We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall; and that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire.

Job 1:6-7; Matthew 4:2-11; Revelation 20:20; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 25:41

THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST

We believe in that “blessed hope,” the personal, imminent, pre-tribulational, and pre-millenial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth, with His saints, to establish His millenial kingdom.

I Thessalonians 1:1-10, 4:13-18, 5:9; Revelation 3:10, 19:11-18; Zechariah 14:4-11

THE ETERNAL STATE

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men: the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.

Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29, 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13

We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord.

Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:2; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6; Philippians 1:23

THE LORD’S SUPPER

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death and coming again and should be so observed. Observance should be preceded by self-examination.

I Corinthians 11:23-28

BAPTISM

We believe in water baptism by immersion for the believer, that the Scriptural procedure is that of hearing the Gospel, and the baptism as an outward evidence of having received Jesus Christ as Savior. Water baptism in no way adds to salvation by faith.

Matthew 28:29; Acts 10:44-48; I Peter 3:21