Around 1936, Bro. Josh Hickey began church services one
Sunday each month at the Ensor School House. A few years later
the people in and around the community decided to organize a
Free Will Baptist Church.
Bro. Sherman Lilly, who had held a series of revival services in
the community, was instrumental in the construction of the church
building. Bro. Stanley Maynard recalled Bro. Lilly asking the
church group, “Who’s got backbone to build a building?” Bro.
Maynard did not stand up and Bro. Lilly remarked, “Bro. Maynard,
stand up! You’ve got backbone.”
Mr. Jimmy Lyles, Mr. Stanley Maynard and Mr. Jerd Maxwell went
into the community seeking donations for the church.
Mr. Harry Vestal Maxwell gave the trees needed for lumber to
make the seats. Mr. Alf “Big Alf” Maxwell hauled the logs to
Ward’s Mill to get them sawed. Mr. Lillard M. Maxwell collected
and hauled the rocks needed for the foundation.
The Building was constructed by Mr. Andrew Burgess and Mr. Jim
Sewell along with a lot of volunteers from the community. It was
built on land that was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Jerd Maxwell.
With a lot of hard work and willing minds, the people erected the
church that was later named Lilly’s Chapel Free Will Baptist
Church. The building was completed in June 1942.
Bro. Claude Hickey and Bro. Stanley Maynard were the first
ordained deacons of the church.
David H. “Pete” Maxwell
-1944 Josh Hickey
1944 Thomas Moore One Sunday/Month
1945 Malcolm Rogers and Carson Whitaker One
1946 E. J. Hickey and Carson Whitaker One Sunday/Month
1947 Harvery Garrison One Sunday/Month
1948 Harvery Garrison 2nd and 4th Sundays
1949-1950 John L. Barnes 2nd and 4th Sundays
1951 J. A. McCaleb 2nd and 4th Sundays
1952 Willie B. Rodgers 2nd and 4th Sundays
1953 Arvil Lee One Sunday/Month
1954 J. A. McCaleb 2nd and 4th Sundays
1955-1956 Herman Hooten 2nd and 4th Sundays
1957-1958 Herman Hooten All
1959-1961 Earl Langley All
1962-1964 Horace Teague All
1965-1967 Leroy Langley All
1968 Stacy Tollison All
1969-1975 Burdette Randolph All
1976-1982 Frank Russell Full-Time Pastor
1983-1986 Joe Roysden Full-Time Pastor
1987-1999 Gary Norton Full-Time Pastor
1999-2002 Joe Roysden Full-Time Pastor
2003-2004 Johnny Marshall Full-Time Pastor
2004 – present Tommy Benson
Several changes have been made to the original building. A large
side room was added around 1950 for classroom space. In the
mid-50s, the building was bricked. A group of classrooms was
added to the back of the church in the early 1960s. The addition
to the auditorium, built in 1985, provides approximately 50% more
seating space. In 1992, beautiful stained-glass windows were
installed through the Willie Whittaker Memorial Fund and the
Whittaker Family. Other improvements have been made that are
too numerous to list.
In an humble but bold step of faith, the church began the support
of its first full-time pastor in March 1979. In December 1979, a
parsonage was purchased. The church note was paid in full in
1987, and a note burning was held during Old Timers’ Day in
Some information is unavailable or unknown. It is not intentional,
however, if this summary contains errors or omissions.