Burton & Cara with their children Dale, Caelyn & Amelia
Pastor Burton Gates started the Liberty Baptist Church June of 2009. Before he was saved he was a bartender and drug addict in El Dorado, Arkansas when two teenage boys knocked on his door and invited him to Bible Baptist Church.
After a few return visits, Burton finally visited the church and was gloriously saved on November 17, 2002. Under the preaching and discipleship of his pastor, J.D. Weido, Burton began to make many life-changing decisions including answering the call to preach.
Following his pastor’s advice, he attended Bible college where he met and married Cara Cordle. During his second year of college, Burton surrendered to go the Northeast part of America. After much prayer and through the preaching and reading of the Word of God, the Lord laid the city of Philadelphia on his heart.
One month after graduating from Bible college in 2008, Burton and his family began travelling around the country to raise support to start a church in Philly. In September of 2008, a pastor friend in Philadelphia told Burton about a church building for sale in a very dangerous part of the inner city. After initially resisting the idea, Burton surrendered to the Lord’s will and accepted that the “Badlands of Philly” was where the Lord wanted him to start Liberty Baptist Church.
Liberty held their first service on June 28, 2009. Right away, the church began seeing souls saved and lives dramatically changed. The Badlands, more formerly known as Kensington, has proven to be a field ripe unto harvest, and is as Matthew 9:37 says, truly plenteous.
This forgotten part of the inner city is filled with people longing for something to change their lives. Pastor Burton Gates and the people of Liberty Baptist Church are diligently working to spread the life-changing gospel. In June, Liberty will celebrate their seventh anniversary.
Pastor Gates has a desire to start many more ministries at Liberty and start many more churches throughout the city.