Liberal is a city in Barton County, Missouri, United States. The population was 759 at the 2010 census. George Walser founded the city as an atheist utopia in 1880. He named the city after the Liberal League in Lamar, Missouri, to which he belonged. It was to be a city without churches or saloons. Instead it offered experimental programs, such as liberal Sunday morning instruction for children and intellectual lectures for adults on Sunday evenings. Christians arrived as missionaries, first holding religious services in town and later moving to property just outside the city limits.