Friendship celebrates 125 years

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 2:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 2:35 p.m.

The choir at Friendship Baptist Church sang "We've Come This Far By Faith" after church deacons led devotion during a service to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the church.



* Pastor: The Rev. R.C. Slater.

* Location: 426 NW 2nd St.

* Services: Sunday School is 9:30 a.m., followed by morning worship at 11 a.m. Prayer meeting and Bible study are 7 p.m. Wednesday.

* Phone: 352-376-4302.

And guest speaker Minister Carl Williams, a member of Mount Moriah Baptist Church, told the Friendship congregation that the church is going to continue to exist only if it follows the word of God as it is written in the Holy Bible.

"For 125 years, there is a possibility that we haven't been doing this thing right," said Williams, as one woman shouted, "All right, now."

The Rev. R.C. Slater is the pastor of the church located at 426 NW 2nd St. The theme of the service was "Standing on a Solid Rock," and the welcome and occasion were provided by Deacon Phillip Blake.

"We want you to feel free in joining us in singing, celebrating and just praising God," Blake said.

Williams said Jesus came on the scene telling the Pharisees "how this thing was supposed to work." He said the Pharisees got angry with Jesus because he was telling them how to properly conduct church business and he said it is very important the congregation at Friendship, and all other churches, follow the biblical teachings of their pastors.

"Wait a minute, you can't tell us how to do that. I've been at Friendship for 125 years, and this is the way we do things at Friendship," said Williams, as he described what some church people say when they don't want to follow the instructions of their pastor. Williams emphasized that Friendship is not the only church that may have that problem.

Parishioners urged Williams on at that point and he began to further make his point.

"Is it right the way we do it at Friendship?" Williams asked rhetorically.

Williams said if church business is not conducted at Friendship or any other Christian church in a way that lines up with the word of God, it is being conducted wrong.

To prove his point, he asked parishioners to go to II Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews 4:12.

Referring to the first scripture, Williams said all scripture is inspired by God. He also told the congregation that Christianity is a way of life, and not a religion.

"Christianity was never, ever supposed to become a religion. It is the way you are supposed to live, conduct yourself, speak to people and the way you treat folks," Williams said.

Referring to the second scripture, Williams said the word of God applies to everyone in the church, including preachers. He also said that the pews in a lot of churches are empty because a lot of church people don't make others feel comfortable when they come to church.

"Let's rejoice when somebody comes to the Lord," Williams said. "I want to be seen as a follower of Jesus Christ."

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