“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Our Story
For any questions regarding our church, reach out to us here!

Liberty Baptist Church was founded on June 4, 1982 by Rev. Kieth Stoller as a home mission of Trinity Baptist Church of Findlay, OH, and supported by Bible Baptist Church of Ft. Wayne, IN. Financial support was provided through churches within the Ohio Baptist Bible Fellowship for 2 ½ years.

While the first church service was held in a tent at the Horace Mann School in Van Wert, OH, the first charter service was held in the Horace Mann School gym. 50 people were in attendance and signed the church’s charter.

In April of 1983, a local medical doctor, Dr. Scheid, donated a storefront to the church located at 135 E. Central Ave. in Van Wert. While the donation was a welcome one, the storefront location had many ups and downs. The cramped space and financial troubles caused issues for the church, and Pastor Stoller announced his resignation in December of 1984. Approximately 40 people attended the church at this time.

Liberty Baptist Church called their second pastor, Gordon Parsley, in February of 1985. While Pastor Parsley worked hard to fix some of the looming financial problems of the church, ultimately he announced his resignation in September 1985. The church considered disbanding at this time, but fortunately, church trustees, deacons, and pastors of supporting churches helped to reorganize the church and keep it afloat.

Liberty Baptist called their third pastor, Mike Donald, in January of 1985. The church was still meeting at the storefront location, and while they were struggling financially, they were thankfully debt free. Pastor Donald worked a full time construction job with no salary from the church for over a year, and managed to grow attendance from 16 to 70 people between 1986 and 1989.

In May of 1989, a vacant church building came up for sale at Harrison and East Main Street in Van Wert. Liberty Baptist Church voted to purchase the building, and held their dedication on June 1, 1989 with 200 people in attendance. After being called to accept a pastoral position elsewhere, Pastor Donald announced his resignation on May 14, 1995. Through Pastor Donald’s capable leadership, the church averaged 165 in attendance.

Liberty Baptist Church called their fourth pastor, Jim C. Burns, in October of 1995. During Pastor Burns’ tenure, he has added a multitude of new ministries to the church including: a Basic Biblical Discipleship program, a Faith Promise Missions Giving program, a daily local radio outreach ministry, Faith Bible Institute, an addiction outreach, and many others.

In June of 2003, the church trustees voted to purchase 8.5 acres on John Brown Road in Van Wert for a future church building project and began a building fund campaign.

Later that year, plans to build a 23,000 square foot metal church building on the newly purchased property were formulated. At the time, the church had $30,000 in their building fund, and bids for the building were between 2 and 3 million dollars. Liberty Baptist chose to wait on the God’s timing, and prayed for what to do next.

LBC 2023

Thankfully, God answered Liberty Baptist’s prayers, and in May 2007, the Horace Mann Elementary School closed its doors, allowing for a huge opportunity for the church. Citizen’s National Bank of Van Wert was the only bank in town that was willing to take a risk to loan the church the needed funds to purchase and remodel the school building. By November of that year, the congregation voted unanimously to bid on the Horace Mann School property. Liberty Baptist managed to win the bid, and began remodeling the building.

While the church began meeting in the new building in 2008, it took nearly 3 years to complete the remodel project due to the recession and mostly volunteer labor. On September 10, 2010, the Van Wert County Chamber of Commerce came to the dedication service to participate in a ribbon cutting. Liberty Baptist hosted Dr. Bob Jones III, the President of Bob Jones University at the time, to speak at the service, and approximately 200 people were in attendance.

On September 18, 2022, Liberty Baptist Church made their last payment on the property and became debt free! God has blessed Liberty Baptist with so much, and we look forward to what He has for us in the future.

Our Pastor
Pastor & Pastor's Wife
Jim and Coletta Burns have been serving in pastoral ministries for 47 years in Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Kansas, and Ohio. The Burns have served at Liberty Baptist Church for 28 years. Jim is from Burrton, Kansas, and Coletta is from Marion, Ohio. Jim received a Bachelor’s degree from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, and earned a Master of Ministry degree at Bob Jones University Seminary. Jim and Coletta have two adult sons; Aaron, who lives in Asia, and Matthew, who lives with his wife, Jenny and 4 children near Hutchinson, Kansas.
What We Believe
For any questions regarding our beliefs, reach out to us here!
The Bible
The Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible, and God-breathed.
The Trinity is one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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 the working of signs and miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures was completed and its authority became established.
Jesus Christ
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
There is a personal, imminent, pre-tribulational and premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones (the rapture); and Christ’s subsequent return to the earth at the end of the seven-year tribulation period with His saints will establish His Millennial Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a Person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgment, and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, immersing all believers into the family of God and indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption.
Man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and was alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and unable to save himself.



Satan is a person, the author of sin, and the cause of the fall. He is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire.
Church Ordinances
The Local Church is the institution, which God works through during today’s “Age of Grace”,  to propagate the Gospel and fulfill Jesus’ great commission.
There are two church ordinances – water baptism by immersion for believers, and the Lord’s Supper.
Salvation is the gift of God brought to people 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.
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.
All the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and thus secure in Christ forever.
All the saved should live in such a manner 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.