Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
"A Going Church For A Coming Lord"

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

 
 

 

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the House of the Lord.  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.”  We can imagine that these passages of scripture were very inspirational to a small flock of Christian believers in 1878 under the leadership of the late Reverend R. F. Wallace.  They decided to organize a church.  They gathered together several years in temporary shelter for the purpose of worship.

The land to build the church was given by Mrs. Elsie Barnes. 

 
In the beginning, the structure was made from available types of materials to form a “Brush Harbor.”  This structure was provisional and as the seasons changed, showers fell, the temperature begun to rise, they realized the need for a permanent place to worship.

As the chilly winds of winter began to blow, they were concerned with the need for a more substantial structure.  Having been blessed with a member among them who owned personal property, the late Sister Elza Barnes, a mother of the late Deacon Acie Barnes, deeded titles on December 15, 1880, for the property on which the church now stands.

With the old familiar hymn in mind, “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah,” that group of Christian believers said, “In order to be a friend, you must first show yourself friendly,” they called this holy place “Friendship”.    Five years later they celebrated ten (10) years of worshipping at the “Ole Bethel Spot.”

Some of the divinely inspired persons who served in the position of pastoral leadership were:

Reverend J. C. Clark

Reverend J. H. Evans

Reverend T. M. Barkins

Reverend J. M. Franklin

Reverend S. D. Mitchell

Reverend J. H. Coleman

Reverend T. F. Holmes

Reverend Adams

God blessed them with the late Reverend E. A. Moss, who labored in the vineyard, unwavering, for a period of more than 32 years.  Under his leadership, the building was brick veneered, bathroom facilities were added, and other modifications were manifested.  With this “gospel preaching” warrior as leader, the membership grew in leaps and bounds.

Then came the late Reverend Moses C. Thomas.  Under his leadership, the church continued to progress with memberships.  Reverend Thomas saw the need for structural improvements.  With the assistance of the deacons, trustees, and laymen, the sanctuary was sub-floored.

Then came a fruitful leader of the flock, Reverend Levi C. Chavous, Sr., a divinely inspired messenger of God.  Concerned about the future of the church, he led the membership into the addition of the Educational Building.  Hoping this facility would be an incentive in the continuous training of the child in its youth.  This building contained three (3) classrooms, a chapel, kitchen facilities, and an office.

 
Again, the Almighty crowned our efforts with success and blessed the followers with a rich heritage.  In February 1969, came the Reverend James Austin Williams, a pastor, minister, teacher, leader, educator, philosopher, father, and friend, loved and respected by all men and women in all walks of life.    He served God through his service to humanity.  Surely the Lord has done great things for us whereas we are glad!  The church was rebuilt and showed immense growth and development under Reverend Williams with his untiring leadership.  The first major endeavor was the purchase of property on the corner of Highway #245 and Hall Street for parking.

We chose the words, “We Believe” as our slogan and in 1973 we accepted the challenge to construct a New Building.  An outstanding example of enthusiasm was shown when this Building was dedicated in April 1974, with a mortgage of $60,000.00.  At the same time, renovations were made to the Educational Building and nursery space was acquired.

The leaders of the various church auxiliaries were thinking big and the members responded to their request for additional funds.  In March 1983, the mortgage was retired.  A new roof for the Educational Building was structured.

Additional burial space was purchased adjacent to the B-L Memorial Park off Highway #245 behind Calvary AME Church.  Other needed items were purchased to make our Church a more comfortable place to worship.

In October 1986, we dedicated new Pulpit Furniture purchased through memorials given by various church family members.  Along with the new furniture came the installation of new floor covering in the sanctuary.

In an effort to meet all the needs of the “whole man” we found it necessary to enlarge the present Educational Facility.  Therefore, construction of a 3,400 sq. ft. structure was begun in April 1988.  This structure now includes kitchen space, a nursery, dining area and office space.  The final work was completed in 1993.

Since January 1995, we have covered our pews, purchased a copier for our office staff, installed a cabinet in the fellowship hall for plaques, started a tape ministry and installed a P.A. System.

It is noteworthy to mention that the first piano was purchased and given to the church by Sister Aquilla Reeves.

During the year of November 1995 to November 1996, we experience much:

  • Purchased a church van
  • Hosted the State Baptist Educational Missionary Convention (one day)
  • Received donation of Bibles and Hymn Books
  • Purchased a freezer and computer
  • Purchased a 3-dimensional Diorama from Israel
  • Held first Annual Friend and Fun Day
  • One member was re-installed
  • One candidate for Baptism
  • Four Deaths
  • Annual lighting of Christmas Tree

Progress during 1996-1999

  • Upgraded the P.A. System to better serve the growth of the church
  • Held Annual Fun Day for members and friends
  • Our minister of 28 years resigned – Reverend James A. Williams
  • A Pulpit Search Committee was formed:
  •                    Deacon Charlie F. Coleman, Chairperson
  •                    Deacon Reuben O. Levy, Co-Chairperson
  •                    Deacon Johnnie Milhouse
  •                    Deacon Jesse Barr
  •                    Deacon Frank Wise
  •                    Sister Myrtis B. Gantt
  •                    Sister Dorothy H. Caldwell
  •                    Sister Shirley Jackson
  •                    Brother Floyd Davis
  •                    Brother Kenneth Humphrey
  • ·        Master Kevin Levels had his initial sermon on November 24, 1996
  • Presented the skit “The Story of Cain” during Black History Celebration
  • Reverend Edward T. Jordan served as Interim Pastor from February 1997 until February 1999.

On March 28, 1999, Reverend James A. Duncan was installed as Pastor.  We have grown spiritually and the Lord is continuing to bless us as we are growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   Under the leadership of Pastor Duncan, the following has occurred:

Progress during 1999 – 2012

  • Changed the form of voting for our Church officers
  • Established a Radio Ministry; 2001-2002
  • Purchased a Bus
  • Added Women Trustees to the Trustee Board
  • Changed the Order of Service to be better time managed
  • Formulated Guidelines for ministry annual services
  • Re-established the Brotherhood Ministry
  • New Van purchased by Brotherhood
  • Mission Statement formulated by Pastor Duncan
  • Operation Fast START implemented
  • Minister Dorothy Caldwell’s initial sermon and ordination
  • Purchased an additional copier
  • Upgraded kitchen cookware with the installation of a deep fryer
  • Formulated new burial and membership identification policies effective January 1, 2003
  • Upgraded the sound system
  • Reorganized a nursery staff
  • Youth Explosion Ministry established
  • Organized a Media Committee
  • Renovated vestibule and bathrooms
  • Replaced carpet in sanctuary
  • Painted interior and exterior of church, July 2005
  • Refurbished the pews
  • Sponsored GED training in conjunction with Lexington District 3
  • Purchased two laser printers (one color, one black/white); a Hammond Organ; a professional set of drums, a storage building, new tables for fellowship hall, a professional chef’s table for kitchen
  • Completed recess lighting project in sanctuary
  • Re-tiled flooring in the fellowship hall
  • Upgraded all heating/cooling systems to censor control
  • The PA system upgraded to include video and cassette recording
  • The Gospel-Musical, Senior Choirs and Heavenly singers were combined into the Sanctuary Choir
  • h  March 2006 the office area was destroyed by fire and was totally refurbished
  • Minister Iola Meadow’s initial sermon and ordination
  • Minister Eartha Summers’ initial sermon
  • Constitution and By-Laws were adopted and approved
  • New refrigerator and food warmers were donated
  • October 2009, four new Trustees. They are: Brother Lowman Edwards, Brother Charlie Perry, Brother Walter  Sugick and Brother Benny Cook
  • Began a Summer Feeding Program
  • Dancers of Judah Ministry began
  • Men in Action Ministry began
  • Feeding the Homeless began
Progress from November 2012 – November 2013
  • Phase one of the parking lot has been completed and phase two will begin soon
  • Upgraded office copier to a multi-function Biz Hub
  • Created the church’s first quarterly newsletter, “The Ship”
  • Organized a Funeral/Wedding Committee
  • Youth Explosion purchased Laptop and printer
  • 16  Candidates for Baptism (20 New Members)
    •   0 by Letter
    •   4 by Christian Experience
    •   1 From Watch Care to Full Membership
    •   2 Child Dedications
    •   5  deaths

Our present membership is approximately 485.

Progress from November 2013 – 2014

  • Replaced floors in Green Room and Sunday School Classrooms
  • Installed 3 new Trustees, August 2014: Brother Tyrone D. Sanders, Brother Michael Newell and Brother David Coleman
  • 2  Candidates for Baptism (2 New Members)
  • 3 by Restoration
  • 2 by Watch Care
  • 3 Child Dedications
  • 3 Deaths

Our present membership is approximately 486.

Progress from November 2014 – 2015

  • The vision of “Friendship Village” was voted on by members and is currently in the process of making it a reality. The village consists of property near the church with 3 houses and a vacant lot.

  • The Brotherhood purchased 2 HDTVs for Pastor’s office and Green Room.

  • Repainted the van and is in the process of purchasing a carport for shelter.

  • As part of our beautification project the hedges that have surrounded the church for years were removed and a spotlight placed in front of the church to emphasize the beacon in the community.

  • 5  Candidates for Baptism

  • 1 by Restoration

  • 3 by Watch Care

  • 2 From Watch Care to Full Membership

  • 6 by Christian Experience

  • 1 Child Dedication

  • 4  deaths

Our church family has grown spiritually and continue to grow spiritually though grace and in the knowledge of Jesus. Our  Church  Must  Grow  &  Glow  &  Go  & I  Must Help  To  Make  It  So!

Our present membership is approximately 495.

Friendship has truly been blessed since last year. Progress from November 2015 – 2016:


  • The vision of “Friendship Village” is a reality. The property was purchased and payed off. We are currently in the progress of restoring the houses.

  • Purchased a carport to shelter the Van.

  • Sassy and Saved Ministry was implemented in April. This ministry focused on the young girls in the church and community. They are under the umbrella of the Deaconess Ministry.

  • We are officially incorporated as faith based non-profit organization.

  • Pastor implemented a quarterly joint ministry meeting to improve on communication and to get the ministries to work together towards a Congregational Transformation.

  • Minister James R. McDaniel, II preached his initial sermon on September 18, 2016.

  • 11  Candidates for Baptism

  • 1 by Watch Care

  • 1 by Christian Experience

  • 2  deaths


Our present membership is approximately 505.

 
The branches of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church reach out in many directions, touching and blessing the lives of those who would inhabit her domain.  Her one foundation is CHRIST THE LORD. We pause now to list the names of deceased Deacons, Deaconesses, and Trustees who played major roles in our rich history.

Deceased Deacons and Deaconesses

Deacon Izell & Lizzie Porter

Deacon Elliot & Lillie Brice

Deacon Elvin & Mary Rowe

Deacon Lewis & Mamie Adams

Deacon Lawrence & Lula Bryant Jr.

Deacon Acie & Nora Barnes

Deacon Richard & Fannie Humphrey

Deacon James & Cindy Brown

Deacon Daniel & Mattie Hallman Sr.

Deacon Albert & Mary Ann Gary

Deacon John W. & Laura Thompson

Deacon Etegah & Amanda Smith

Deacon McKannie & Mabel Barr

Deacon Tamus & Ella Bryant

Deacon Joe & Eunice Gibson

Deacon Elliott & Julie Humphrey

Deacon John & Marie Hair

Deacon Nelson & Emma Jones

Deacon Nelson & Learlie Robinson

Deaconess Mary L. Smith

Deacon Union & Mallie Rowe (Served as a Chairperson)

Deaconess Emma Lou Bryant

Deacon Willie L. Watson (Minister & Musician)

Deacon James & Mary E. Marshall

Deacon James Dozier

Deacon Claude & Emma Lindsay

Deacon J.B. & Maggie Robinson (Served as Chairperson)

Deacon Clarence & Gladys Padgett  (Served as Vice Chairperson)

Deacon Talmadge & Evelyn Marshall

Deacon Robert  & Daisy Bryant (Served as Mother of The Church

Deacon William T. Smith (Served as Chairperson) & Deaconess Louise Summers Smith

Deaconess Bertha Wise

Deacon Ezell & Rosa M. Barr (Served as Chairperson)

Deacon Robert & Sallie Glasper

Deceased Trustees



Mr. & Mrs. Odell (Queenester) Perry

Mr. & Mrs. L.C. (Alegra) Harris

Mr. & Mrs. Preston (Thelma) Bryant

Mr. Willie Barnes

Mr. & Mrs. Bruce (Mamie) Bryant

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas (Evelyn) Paine

Mr. & Mrs. Mack (Lue) Mannings

Mr. Mack Morris

Mr. & Mrs. Johnnie (Sophie) Lee

Mr. L.B. Bryant

Mr. Luke Jones

Mr. Willie Watson

Mr. James Gantt Sr.

Mr. John Bryant

Mr. Joseph Quattlebaum

Mr. Robert B. Cancer

Mr. Larry Matthews

Mr. Daniel Hallman

Mr. & Mrs. Milas (Kathleen) Barr

Mr. Henry Jackson

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PHONE/FAX 803.532.3654 • 302 Brodie Road, Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29070  Webmaster: Loretta D. Sanders
Copyright 2016 Friendship Missionary Baptist Church