Following New Testament teaching, Liberty Baptist is an elder-led church. The elders' mission is to oversee the work and ministry of the church and to protect the doctrinal purity and spiritual vitality of the church. Currently, Liberty has five elders. All of the elders are equal in authority and make decisions by unanimous consent.


Rusty Small



Rusty serves as Lead Pastor for Liberty Baptist Church after ministering as pastor of Youth and Education from January 2004 to April 2008. Rusty received a B.A. in Religion (specialization biblical studies) and M.A. in Professional Counseling from Liberty University, a Masters of Divinity in Advanced Biblical Studies and a Ph.D. in Biblical Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Jim Smith

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Jim was elected an Elder in 2014.  He was born in North Carolina and moved to Virginia with his family a year later due to World War II.  He married his wife, Jeannine in 1962.   They have two daughters and three grandsons. "I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart and as my savior in Vacation Bible School at an early age.  As a Virginia State Trooper our family has been transferred around the state and were members of several churches. I have served in these churches on all positions of the church including being ordained as a deacon at age twenty-four.  
Our daughters and sons -in-law are all Christians and continue to serve God as they rear their own families in in their Christian Homes. God has given me my wife, Jeannine, for a lifetime mate, Fifty-four years and still counting!  
God has kept me safe during my career.
 God performed a  life-saving miracle when our daughter was injured in a car accident.
Recently, God has healed me from a health problem.
 God loves me.  I love God and try to serve Him as He leads me. I thank God for all He has done for me and especially for allowing me to serve Him."

Jerry Kendrick

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Jerry is one of Liberty's five Elders, elected in 2016. He is one of three teachers in an adult Sunday School Class using an open discussion format. He is actively involved in prison ministry teaching and leading small group discussions.  Jerry first made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ at age 6 at a tent revival in Wayside, WV. He rededicated his life to God at age 27 and became very active serving as a teacher for various age groups including; children, single young adults and adult classes.  In addition to teaching, Jerry has served as moderator, deacon and trustee over the last 40 some years. Jerry and his wife, Hazel, have been married for 50 years, and have raised 3 children. Their daughter Jodie Hudson, sons Kevin and Jeffrey all live in Appomattox, Va. Hazel and Jerry have 6 grandchildren and one great grandchild. 

Gary Youngblood


Gary Youngblood was elected elder in 2016. He was saved in a revival at age 13. At Liberty, Gary has served as a deacon, choir member and Sunday school teacher. He has also been involved in The Gideon International Ministry.

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:31

Gary and his wife, Linda, have been married for 46 years. The Lord has blessed them with two daughters, Julie and Jody, seven grand-children and three great-grandchildren.

Kent Hancock


Kent serves as an Elder here at Liberty Baptist Church after being elected in 2016. He was ordained as a Deacon in 1999. Several years after making a profession of faith, Kent felt led to teach and has been teaching for over 22 years. He currently teaches the Adult 1 ( Pairs & Spares ) Sunday School Class. He is also involved in the prison and outreach ministries. Kent has been a member here at Liberty since 1967. Kent is married to Teresa McGuire Hancock, they have two children James Hancock and Nichole Yeatts and four grandchildren.