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Our History

We are proud of our ancestors who paved the road and laid the foundation for the blessings that we are receiving today. Our history is rich. It dates back to the days of slavery around 1845 when the former slaves would meet in the bush harbor which is located southeast of the present church site. They would meet there to give praises to God for all of the blessings God had bestowed upon them. Uncle Nelson Ligon was a man filled with the Holy Spirit. He was so spirit-filled that people would stop and watch him plow the fields. They would watch in amazement of how God could have filled him with such energy and Holy Ghost power. White locals so admired the religious demeanor of blacks that allowed them to come and observe the church service from the balcony of the local white fellowship.

The story is told that Uncle Nelson was so overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit that he leaped from the slave gallery in worship. This startled the white members of the congregation so much so that they ended the worship service immediately and then the local land owners had a meeting to discuss what to do. This incident gave rise to the founding of our Friendship Chapel Baptist Church. 

In 1865, some of the white locals’ met to decide what to do with the nigras and their disruption of the Service. Agitated, they discussed their decision as to why they let them into worship in the first place. Another person said, “they have to worship God somewhere, just like you and me.” Then, they concluded, “we don’t have a choice. We have to build the

nigras a church.” One land owner said, “I have some land down by the bush harbor across the rail road tracks that I’ll provide for their church.”


“That’s great,” another landowner said, “but let’s keep one thing in mind. We have to do this out of Friendship.” By coincidence? Perhaps by divine inspiration. The site that was chosen was the same bush harbor where the secret meetings had been held for several years prior to the emancipation of the slaves. The first church building built some time around 1866 was a simple log cabin featuring an open fireplace and one window.

The second structure was utilized from 1873-1890. The structure was a simple oblong building with ten small windows, heated by an open stove in the center of the floor. The chimney was of the flue type suspended in the ceiling. Later a bell was place on a pole in the yard beside the front door. In 1890, the land just behind the current sanctuary was purchased in

part and a portion was donated to the negroes for a church site and another structure was built that same year. The building was 60 feet by 50 feet with a belfry and a tall steeple. This building was considered the most beautiful of its kind by Negroes in its day. It served the congregation from 1890-1929.

By 1929, the church reached its enrollment height of about 800 members. This large membership was maintained under the pastorate of the late Rev. W.A. Jones (Bill) and the late Rev. J. W. Jones. Despite the onset of the great depression, with faith and courage, members of Friendship Chapel built our former sanctuary. It was dedicated in May 1929. It was built under the leadership of the late Rev. J.W. Jones


In 1999, construction of our current edifice began. The building was completed in November of 2000. On December 10, 2000 it was dedicated to God for the purpose of strengthening the body of Christ and winning souls for the Kingdom. The new facility has better equipped us for Kingdom Building with the expansion of existing ministries; the addition

of new ministries and missions that meet the needs of God’s people. Under the leadership and vision of Dr. Enoch E. Holloway, Friendship Chapel has been filled with fervor and excitement for kingdom building and evangelism. This has been displayed by the fruits born of the ministries of the church.

We indeed honor our history and great faith of our forefathers. From their example and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are looking forward to the future We are a church doing God sized things; a church doing Kingdom Building; a church providing holistic ministry for the new millennial. Time is filled with swift transitions, from the Bush harbor to a multi room edifice; from an open hearth to central heating and air; from bare splintered floors and hard benches to carpeted floors and padded pews. From 1866-present, we are a church determined to stay alive and fully functioning for the Kingdom of God.

"Uncle" Nelson Ligon

Founding Member

 Senior Pastor

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