The History of Friendship the Baptist
Friendship the Baptist Church was organized in 1849. It was built on the hill where the Campaign Masonic now sits. We shared the building with the lodge. On the fourth Sunday, in the month of June, the Mason’s would join the congregation for an all day meeting and meal. The day, however, could be quite long because there usually would be more than one preacher show up, and they all wanted to preach.
There was no electricity. They used kerosene lamps that hung from the ceiling, no running water, no indoor plumbing, and wooden benches. No padded pews like we have today. No heat except a pot-bellied stove and no air conditioning except handheld fans and the occasional breeze. People usually came to church normally in horse and buggy or horseback, and almost always the whole family would go together.
Sister Mary Rowland, who has now gone to be with the Lord, remembered when they would travel to church in the wagon, and her pa would put down hay for the family to sit on. The mothers would make pallets for the children because the services were long and the children would go to sleep.
Worship services were quite lengthy, but they only had church once a month and during inclement weather, not at all. The dresses were, of course, below the knees, and most men wore overalls. The largest crowd usually showed up on communion day the fourth Sunday in June, as well as, Easter and Christmas-much like today.
Through the years there have been many changes and strides Friendship has taken. In 1962, the congregation moved to 461 Friendship Drive. The average membership in the early years was 40-50 people, but the Lord blessed us with over 250 blessed members in the year of 1999.
Friendship decided in March 2002 that it needed a larger church to take care of all the people that were attending services. The church bought 28 acres of land and started to build the new church. We moved into our new house, which contained 1,000 seats, on January 4, 2004. Since the year 2000, our membership has grown to over 500 members. This is just a glimpse into the rich heritage and legacy of our church and wishes to bring honor to those who have gone before us, hope to those who come after us, and glory and praise the father.
Jason Brown is the current Pastor; Bethel Lewis, Geoff Lewis, Ray Melton, Lee Partain, Joey Portilla, and Jeff Smith-deacons; Praise and Worship is lead by Darla Tollison, Michelle Lewis, and Jeff Smith; Our Youth Leader is Liz Hoch.
The church has an annual Vacation Bible School in the month of June. Other ministries include food ministry, women, and men’s ministries.