Church History

Friendship Baptist Church, organized in 1842, is one of the oldest Missionary Baptist churches in Southwest Virginia. The story has been related how, one Sabbath day at the Rush Creek Primitive Baptist Church, the Rev. Noah Baldwin stood and declared his intention of separating from that church and asking that all who wanted to go with him let it be known by standing. A number of members arose, and led by Rev. Baldwin, marched out and away from Rush Creek Church and came to Friendship to form a Missionary Baptist church there.

The original log church stood at the foot of the hill on site of the now vacant Widener's Store. The present church building was built on land donated by Mr. T. J. Tilson and was dedicated November 8, 1889.

The most illustrious person in the early history of the church was its founder, Rev. Noah Baldwin. With the assitance of members of Friendship church, Rev. Baldwin founded new churches in Glade Spring and Greenfield. In 1845, Rev. Baldwin led in the formation of the Lebanon Baptist Association. It is reported that in 1846, Rev. Baldwin rode horseback from Marion, Virginia to Richmond, Virginia to attend the 2nd annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. He lived his latter years in his home in "Whang Doodle Hollow" in the Friendship community. His funeral was held in the Friendship church in 1903. The pulpit bench now in use in the church was a gift from Rev. Baldwin. 

In 1957, a new Sunday School wing was added to Friendship Church. As the church grew, other improvements were made: an organ, new lights, restrooms, paved parking lot, and picnic shelter. January 1987 marked the first use of a 1440 sq. ft. fellowship hall with kitchen and room for 7 new classrooms. 1992 marked the 150th anniversary of Friendship Baptist Church. We continue to give thanks for our rich heritage. 

We are very blessed to now have Rev. David Gary and his wife, Lieu Via to pastor Friendship.