Friendship Baptist Church, established in 1862 and independently organized in 1866, can lay claim to being Atlanta’s first Black Baptist autonomous congregation. Commemorating 151 years on Sunday, April 28, members of the congregation will hold “Anniversary Sunday Celebration” at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary located at 437 Mitchell Street, SW (30313). Guest speaker for the memorial service, themed “Moving Forward in the Spirit of Christian Unity,” will be the Reverend Dr. Charles G. Adams, Sr., pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, MI. The combined choirs at Friendship, under the direction of Dr. Sharon J. Willis and Dr. James Abbington, will provide music for the day.
Known throughout Atlanta and beyond, Friendship Baptist Church is often revered to as the mother church among Baptists in Atlanta because of its role in harmoniously forming several other congregations throughout the city. For many reasons, this church and its foresighted membership has always been a part of Atlanta’s religious, educational, and political leadership. In 1862, the congregation, being unable to buy property, worshipped in a boxcar which was also the first class room of Atlanta University. As the congregation grew and moved to a larger location, it was the site chosen for Morehouse College when it relocated from Augusta in 1879 and began classes in the basement of Friendship. Spelman College was also born in the basement of Friendship in 1881.
The Friendship Baptist Church Anniversary Celebration 2013 is co-chaired by Ms. Billye Aaron and Ms. Henrietta Antoinin. Currently, Friendship is under the leadership of Reverend Dr. Emanuel McCall, Interim Pastor. For further information about the program activities, please contact the church at 404-688-0206.