History of Lillys Chapel

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.

Charter members:

Claude Hickey
Alfred Maxwell
David H. “Pete” Maxwell
Dolly Maynard
Stanley Maynard
Odell Moss
Ira Nabors
Leatha Nabors
Wesley Nabors
Allie Saylors
Bethel Saylors
Willie Whittaker
Winnie Whittaker


-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
October 1988.

Some information is unavailable or unknown.  It is not intentional,
however, if this summary contains errors or omissions.