Friendship Baptist Church celebrates 100-year journey

Friendship Baptist Church will celebrate 100 years of ministering to Faulkner County residents with a special homecoming weekend Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10.

The church, located at 767 Rocky Point Road, Conway, had a humble beginning as members of the Tucker School community recognized a spiritual need in the area and developed a shared vision to meet that need. On Sunday, Sept. 9, 1917, they met at the Tucker School for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church. Twelve individuals came forth and named it Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. They met once a month in the school until a church building was constructed.

Throughout its 100-year history, Friendship has constructed five different sanctuary buildings to meet the needs of its congregation, which grew from the original 12 charter members to its current 1,200-plus members. Even with its growth and multiple building projects, Friendship has remained in its original location. The current sanctuary sits within 200 feet of the first sanctuary.

Friendship has had challenges over its 100-year journey, but God continued to bless the small congregation. In 1956, the membership dropped from 80 to just 25 members. Also, in 1963, a tornado ripped through the community and almost destroyed the tiny church.

In spite of all the hardships Friendship faced, the members vowed to continue to serve God the best they could and Friendship has grown into one of the largest churches in Faulkner County.  

Friendship has celebrated its centennial year since January, with special exhibits, meetings and activities. The theme for the year-long celebration is “The Journey.” The theme for the homecoming celebration is “By Faith the Journey Continues.”  

Sept. 9 will be devoted to Friendship giving back to the community. Under the banner of “Share the Love,” Friendship members will implement a series of community service projects. Ministry groups, Sunday school classes, youth groups and individuals within the church will be working throughout the community to share God’s love through service.

At 10:45 a.m. Sept. 10, there will be a combined worship service to celebrate “By Faith, the Journey Continues.” Individual, choir and special singing along with testimonials and spiritual messages will be incorporated into the celebratory service.

Immediately following the worship service, a “Birthday Bash” luncheon will be provided for worship service attendees. During the luncheon, everyone will be provided with an opportunity to share a remembrance of Friendship’s past which will be shared through the remainder of the year.

Past members of Friendship Baptist Church, along with visitors, are encouraged to join with the current members to celebrate this joyous event.