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History

 

HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF GREATER FRIENDSHIP M.B. CHURCH
1889–2019

 
 

The Friendship Missionary Baptist Church was organized at 3900 East–End Avenue on October 2, 1889, at the home of Mrs. Jude Chambers in Chattanooga, TN, with Rev. Joe Johnson and J. E. Jackson, Deacon Elias Frazier, Mrs. Louise Frazier, Maria Burke, and Sally McCoy. The members met at different homes until a house was rented on Slayton Street.

The church purchased a lot in 1903, and had more than 100 members in the new location. After a fire destroyed that location, services were again held at Slayton Street address, with Rev. S.P. Houston, Pastor. The church relocated from Slayton Street to Redd Street, in an area near downtown Chattanooga, also referred to as “Onion Bottom”. A church was built, and several ministers served during that time, including Rev. S. P. Houston, Rev. William Lockhart, Rev. W.T. Crutcher, Rev. Coleman, Rev. Tucker, and Rev. C.L. Sanders. During Pastor Sanders tenure, the church began remodeling. Rev. C.L Sanders passed away before the remodeling projects were completed. Several ministers rendered their service until September 12, 1940, Rev. Washington Flenoy, often referred to as “John the Baptist”, was called as pastor.

As membership increased under the leadership of Pastor Flenoy, in 1947 the church planned for a new site for worship. In 1949, the church purchased property on Park Avenue, with the intent of a new and Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. August 12, 1951, the members marched from Redd Street (Onion Bottom), to the new location 914 Park Avenue. They worshipped, together for morning and afternoon services, with the late, Rev. J.B. Turner of New Zion Baptist Church, officiating. Under Rev. Flenoy’s leadership, several auxiliaries were implemented, new Deacons were added, as well as mothers to the mother’s board.   

In July 1978, after 38 years of faithful service, Rev. Flenoy retired as Pastor, due to his failing health. On December 13, 1978, Pastor Jimmy Ingram was called to pastor. Pastor Ingram was installed on Sunday, February 4, 1979.

During the leadership of Pastor Ingram, numerous organizations and auxiliaries were added. Greater Friendship M.B. Church increased numerically, spiritually, and financially. Attendance in bible study, and Sunday School increased, more deacons and trustees were added to the body. In February 1996, the church began an expansion program, which included an education department, a new fellowship hall, a new baptismal pool, office space, expanded choir stand, updated pulpit, repairs to the sanctuary, and renovation of the basement area, a paved Parking lot in the rear of the building, and a church library, “The Book Nook”, was opened. In July 1998, other ministries were added, including the singles ministry, married couple ministry, financial counseling, men and women fellowship, and the college ministry.   

The church mortgage was paid off in August 1999.

March 31, 2001, Pastor Jimmy Ingram retired as Pastor, and Assistant Pastor Reginald Poindexter continued to serve for bible study, evening service, prayer service, as well as noon day bible study. Ministers Stan Swafford, Quentin Lawrence, and Samuel Shaw also rendered assistance during this time.


In April 2001, committee of 7 members was formed to prayerfully complete a pastoral package to be presented to the next pastor. They implemented a ballot to vote, and interviewed several pastors. After months of interviews, three names were chosen.
 On February 10, 2002, Associate Pastor, Reginald Poindexter was elected by the members to serve as pastor. March 10, 2002, Rev. Reginald Poindexter was installed as pastor, by Dr. Jay P. Trimble of Prospect Baptist Church, also in attendance, Dr. R.V. Reynolds, Pastor Maurice Laster of Marble Top Church, Kensington, Ga, Ministers Ronald Bearden, Arthur Smith, Gary Hedges, Stan Swafford, and Samuel Shaw.

Under the leadership of Pastor Reginald Poindexter, the Sunday School department began offering several classes to better meet the needs of the church and the community. In addition to new ministries being formed, a clothing and food pantry ministry were added, as well as an outreach ministry, and mission team.

August 25, 2013, Dr. Reginald Poindexter resigned as pastor of Greater Friendship M.B. Church. Elders Allen Lee Sr, Larry King Jr, and Quentin Lawrence, alternated overseeing services. December 15, 2013, the deacon body appointed Elder Alvin Bonner to serve as interim Pastor, as a search committee was called to seek a new pastor.


In November 2014, three names were submitted on the ballot. On November 29, 2014, Elder Anthony Williams was selected by the members to be the next pastor of Greater Friendship M.B. Church. On January 18, 2015, Elder Anthony Williams was installed as Pastor, by Elder G.M. Spotts, of New Home Baptist Church. Pastor Williams continuously encourages the body to attend Sunday school, bible study and committed service within the body of Christ. Pastor Williams, believes by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, this is being accomplished. 

Greater Friendship Baptist Church has added an emblem with our mission being "United in Christ, Word, Love, and Service." Thursday, July 13, 2017, the church steeple was erected on our existing property. A church steeple represents the location of a place where the gospel is preached.

In September of 2017, the media ministry was upgraded to launch a website, and add visual media in the sanctuary, to communicate and connect to the world, the doctrine of the gospel.

Pastor Williams continues to express and encourage priorities at Greater Friendship to include Bible study, Sunday school and Sunday morning worship as we are "United in Christ, Word, Love, and Service."

 


 

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