Rev. Charles W. Porter, Executive Pastor


“…Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Matthew 16:18


In March 1948, under the leadership of Rev. Peter R. Dortch, the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church had its beginning with five members, five borrowed members and one deacon.  Church services were held at various homes before a member paid a ten-dollar down payment enabling the church to move into its first building – a 10x20 structure.


In 1950, Rev. E.L. McCann became the second Pastor of Friendship.  During his administration, four deacons were ordained, the membership increased and a larger building was needed. While the new structure was being built, services were held under the oaks trees at the corner of Tenth Street and Lincoln Boulevard.


In 1956, Rev. John W. Wright became the third Pastor of Friendship.  At that time, Friendship had approximately thirty-five (35) members. Under Rev. Wright’s leadership, the membership grew and the church eliminated its mounting debts; property and a church van were purchased, two new choirs were formed, nineteen (19) deacons were ordained, nine ministers were called into the ministry, and the Tenth Street facility was built.  The church building was dedicated on March 27, 1977.


Rev. Wright became ill in March 1991.  Understanding the need for a new shepherd, he resigned in November 1991 as Pastor Emeritus.


On June 1, 1992, Dr. John F. Payne, Sr. became the fourth Pastor of Friendship.  He and his wife, Sister Barbara H. Payne, came to Friendship from Houma, Louisiana. Under Pastor Payne’s leadership the church has grown from 200 members to nearly 1200.  Numerous ministries have been added to included – Evangelism, Transportation, Multimedia, Outreach, Children/Youth Church, Greeter’s, New Members, Marriage/Singles, to name a few. In October 2004, Pastor Payne’s vision of one church in two locations came to fruition as our first service was held in Moss Point, Mississippi and continues each Sunday at 7:00 a.m.


Beginning in 1993, Pastor Payne led the church on a long-term building project that has concluded in the construction of a new sanctuary (1999), a state-of-the art daycare center (2007), and a 30,000 square feet Family Life Center (2013).


From its meager beginnings and with only four shepherds in over 66 years, Friendship has accomplished great things for the Glory of God.  We are excited about what God has done through us, but will continue trusting, believing and standing on His promises as “We’ve Come This Far By Faith.”





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