In 1922, in the Dutch Fork community, a small group of Christians met and decided that it was time to build a church. The meeting was held in the home of the late James and Carrie Friday. Present at the meeting were John Hardy Sr., Fannie Hardy, John Hardy Jr., John Heller, Tom Heller, Lena Heller, and Minnie Heller. Thus, "Little Mission" was born. By 1928, as more people moved into the community, the members of Little Mission found themselves in need of a large church home. On June 28, 1928, Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Jackson sold the church one acre of land in Lexington County on Bush River Road. The selling of the land was witnessed by Reverend I.D. Simmons and John Hardy. In 1929, Friendship A.M.E. was built. The founding fathers of Friendship A.M.E. were J.A. Jackson, James Friday, Thomas Heller, John Heller, and J.C. Cannon. In the early years, Friendship A.M.E. Church and Stover Chapel were sister churches supporting each other in the ministry. Then in the late 1900s, Friendship and Pine Grove A.M.E. became sister churches sharing the same pastor. Weekly prayer services held in the homes of church members. The Trustees of the early church were J.H. Hardy, J.W. Heller, S.H. Heller, P.R. Johnson, J.C. Jackson, Charlie Collins and J.C. Cannon. In 1953, under the leadership of the Right Reverend Frank Reid Sr., the church underwent renovations. The Presiding Elder during that time was Reverend Doctor B.C. Cunningham. The Pastor was Reverend S.J. Johnson and the Bishop was Right Reverend William F. Ball Sr. Trustees were Charlie Collins Sr., Amos Cooper, James W. Friday, Wesley Harmon, Jacob R. Jones, Jimmy Jones, Sammie Nixon Sr., and Horace Whitener. In 1972, under the leadership of the Reverend V.A. Janerette, the church once again was renovated. In 1984, Friendship A.M.E. Church became a station and began having services every Sunday under the leadership of Reverend George A. Ashford. Friendship A.M.E. has been blessed under of the leadership of the following Pastors and their families: Reverend George Brown, Reverend Willie Nelson, Reverend Vincent Johnson, Reverend Antonio Bonner, Reverend Vernon Dixon and our current pastor Reverend Edward L. Hill, Sr
" God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family" is a great summary of what the African Methodist Episcopal Church believes.
Also known as the A.M.E. Church for short, the denomination is Methodist in terms of its basic doctrine and order of worship. It was born, through adversity, of the Methodist church and to this day does not differ in any major way from what all Methodists believe. The split from the main branch of the Methodist Church was not a result of doctrinal differences but rather the result of a time period that was marked by man's intolerance of his fellow man, based on the color of his skin. It was a time of slavery, oppression and the dehumanization of people of African descent and many of these un-Christian practices were brought into the church, forcing Richard Allen and a group of fellow worshippers of color to form a splinter denomination of the Methodist Church. To find the basic foundations of the beliefs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, you need look no further than The Apostlesâ€™ Creed and The Twenty Five Articles of Religion.
The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead; and buried. The third day he arose from the dead he ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Church Universal, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
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