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History of Friendship Baptist Church

History of Friendship Baptist Church [1/3] History of Friendship Baptist Church [2/3] History of Friendship Baptist Church [3/3]

This three-page document dates from approximately 1972. No author is indicated. It was provided to the Archive by Cynthia (Jackson) Perry.


In 1869, several brethren and sisters of the 16th district requested that they meet to organize a new church.

A presbytery consisting of Elders Robert Reynolds, Asa Cox and J. F. Lee; Licentiate E. H. Reynolds; and Deacons J. G. Morris and J. H. Puckett met at Sulfur Well Academy on Saturday, September 23, 1869 for the purpose of constituting said brethren and sisters into a separate body or church of United Baptist and preceeded to organize 1st. By calling Elder Robert Reynolds to act as Moderator and E. H. Reynolds as clerk; 2nd. Elder Asa Cox preached from Matthew 28:19-20 and Revelations 3:7-12; 3rd. They called for those that wanted to go into the constitution. The following brethren and sisters came forward and presented their letter and certificates of Baptism: 1st. F. C. Gray; 2nd. Mary E. Gray; 3rd. Minerva C. Gray; 4th. Martha Manley; 5th. Enoch P. Ross; 6th. A. Gibson; 7th. Sarah K. Edwards; 8th. Judith Edwards; 9th. J. W. Gray; 10th. F. M. Upchurch; 11th. Anna L. Everette; 12th. Molly Gray; 13th. Martha Caldwell; 14th. Elizabeth Cunningham; all of whom were accepted by the presbytery; 4th. They read and adopted the church covenant; 5th. They read the articles of faith; 6th; Elder Asa Cox presented the Bible and charge; 7th. They adopted the name of Friendship Church; 8th. Prayer was given by Elder J. F. Lee; 9th. Friendship was pronounced a church by the
moderator; 10th. Extended the right hand of fellowship; 11th. Gave an invitation to others present; 12th. They selected F. C. Gray, A. Gibson, E. P. Ross and F. M. Upchurch to bear a petitionary letter to the Association; 13th. They agreed to send $1.50 to the Associational Fund; 14th. They selected the Saturday before the second Sunday in each month and the Sunday following as the regular monthly meeting.

This was the beginning of the United Baptist Church of Christ at Friendship Church. They built a church building right away. At that time the church building was on the main road between Paris and the Tennessee River. It was a gravel road. The church was located ten miles northeast of Paris. They continued to meet here until 1907. In 1907, a new church building was built. This is the main part of the present church building. There were no major changes in the church for several years after this.

The stained glass windows in the front of the church were presented in memory of Annie E. F. Upchurch and F. M. Upchurch. The windows were hauled the 10 miles from Paris to Friendship Church on dirt (possibly mud) roads with a team and wagon by Ed Thomas, unbroken.

In the early 1930’s, when the new concrete highway was built from Paris to the Kentucky Lake, Friendship Church was no longer on the main road.

Until 1951, a wood stove was used for heating the Church. At this time a gas heating system was installed.

In 1953, a new shingle roof was put on to replace the old tin roof. The Church also had the building underpined.

The Sunday school rooms on the back of the building were built in 1955. In 1968, the Church redecorated the auditorium and installed central heating.

In 1969, the Church put in central air conditioning and bought new Church furniture and song books. Different families made full payment for one pew. A plaque in their honor or in memory of someone of their request was placed on the pew. This year Friendship Church held its centennial celebration.

A new well was dug for the Church in 1971.

In 1972, additions to the front of the Church was made consisting of a new entrance way, rest rooms and a nursery.

Many of the pastors of Friendship Baptist Church have gotten their start here. There are several of these who have gone on to be great leaders on larger churches and positions.

For many years services at Friendship were held the second and fourth Sunday of each month. Services were held in the afternoon at 2:30. Later services were changed to 11:00 in the morning and 8:00 at night. Now we have a full time pastor on the field. Services are held from 10:00 to 12:00 each Sunday morning and 6:00 to 8:00 each Sunday night.

Some of the Ministers that have pastored Friendship Church are:

   T. B. Holcomb          1906-07
   D. T. Spaulding        1908-10; 1915-16
   J. W. Joiner           1911-14
   W. M. Gamlin           1917-20
   Horace Lee James       1921-22
   J. C. Cole             1923
   H. D. Hager            1924
   S. W. Johnson
   R. M. Hastings
   Don Outland
   J. C. Colvin
   J. G. Cooper
   Richard N. Owens       1938-39
   H. H. Stembridge       1940-44
   T. W. Carl             1945-49
   Carlos Owens           1950-52
   Billy Hurt             1953-54
   Ted Janes              1955-57
   Van Mathis             1958
   Lynn Egan              1959-60
   Welton Gaddy           1961-62
   Jimmy Farmer           1963-66
   Carl Mashburn          1967
   Perry Hardin           1968-70
   Hal Sykes              1971
   George Fourneir        1972

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