Friendship Church History
On November 29. 1880, the land where our church now stands was purchased for $25.00. The cornerstone for the original Friendship Church was laid June 26, 1882.
Prior to 1895 we were one of the eight churches on the Berlin Charge. In that year we were transferred to the Bishopville Charge, where we remained until 1941 when we were assigned to the St. Martins Charge. From 1951 until 1955, we were a part of the United Parish of Pittsville and returned to St. Martins Charge in 1955. In 1969 we became a part of the Berlin-Stevenson Charge. By act of the Annual Conference, in June of 1990, at the request of Stevenson UMC we became a Station Church by action of the Annual conference.
In 1939 our Community Hall was built through donations of material and sacrifices of time.
In 1958 we made additions to our kitchen, built Sunday School Rooms, and rest rooms. As our membership grew Sunday School Rooms were added in 1960 and 1962. In 1966 we renovated our sanctuary from floor to ceiling. In the years that followed we grew both spiritually and financially.
On December 31, 1969 at 7:15 A.M. disaster struck. Our church was burned beyond repair. Through the efforts of seven fire companies, our community hall, organ, and pulpit were saved. On January 2 1970, a congregational meeting was held and plans were made to rebuild. A contract was awarded on April 1, 1970 to the Adkins Company of Berlin, and construction started April 6th and completed September 3rd of the same year at a cost of $52,000. Because of changes of zoning regulations it was necessary to purchase 1/5 acre of land for $2500 in order to rebuild the church. The first service in the new church was held September 6, 1970 and the Cornerstone laying was on September 13th of that same year. Our debt was paid in full and a dedication service was held November 5, 1972. In keeping with his normal form, Satan's torment is never ending. Lightning struck our church steeple on July 3, 1980. But God, being the loving Father He is, provided means to have it repaired at a cost of $1615.20.
It seems as though we have only listed material items, but the church has many active outreach and mission programs. To list a few:
Since 1974, Alcoholics Anonymous meets weekly in the community hall.
The Friendship Men and The Friendship Circle (ladies) sponsor dinners, luncheons, and provide several outreaches to our church family and the community such as the Friendship Circle sponsoring an annual dinner and program for people in our community who are over 70 years young, “Our Friendship Treasures.” 3.
An annual community Easter Egg Hunt for the area children held yearly, with approx. 50 attending.
Annual Easter Sunrise Service.
Monthly Sunday Evening services with guest speakers and music.
Annual Christmas Programs presented by the Choir and Youth.
Baskets presented to shut-ins at Easter and Christmas Times.
Annual Vacation Bible School in partnership with the Zion Church in Bishopville.
Spring Revival Meetings.
Annual Church Picnic held at Fort Whaley Campground with lots of food, fun in the sun and gospel music.
Establishment of a Mission Fund donating monthly to local needs.
Our HeReigns Youth Group meets weekly through the year and attends the United Methodist Conference’s youth conference at the convention hall in Ocean City where 1000’s of youth from all over Delmarva attend.
On September 26, 1982 we celebrated "Our Hundred Years with Christ".
June 30, 1991"Rita H. Taylor Appreciation Day" was held to express our thanks to Rita for her 32 years of music ministry at out church.
In recent years, after much prayer and through generous donations we have acquired :
A handicap ramp,
Front glass doors on the sanctuary
Purchasing a parcel of land for our parking lot,
New vinyl siding on the exterior
Paneling for the interior of our community hall,
new stained glass windows for the sanctuary,
A new organ
New sound system.
.A new addition to provide a new choir room, new handicap bathrooms, new larger adult Sunday School classroom, new vinyl siding and completely up graded electrical system in the entire church.
The community hall built in 1939 has also been completely remodeled from top to bottom including a foundation and new floor system,
Totally upgraded kitchen with new cabinets and counter tops.
New concrete patio has been installed on the back side of the church in order to provide better access to the back door of the church and access to the storage buildings. It also prevents water from running under the church from the rain gutters.
We have progressed in many ways, but through the years, many have passed away. We trust we have served both God and our fellow-men well and continue to do so. Here, may all who are weary and seek rest and peace feel free to commune with God in our little church by the side of the road.
Our main goal is to promote God's Kingdom and give Him all the Glory. "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me." Philippians 4:13.