The Beginning: The members of the Friendship Primitive Baptist Church met with the Moderator and Ministers of the East Florida Association on May 18, 1976. The meeting began with all singing "Near The Cross." Elder R. J. Hendley read the Scripture, followed by Prayer by Elder P. L. Jones. We sang "He Didn't have to Do it." Moderator S. P. Kilpatrick called the meeting to order. He began with encouraging words of inspiration. He then opened the meeting for questions and remarks about the need to call a Pastor. The members expressed their desire and decision to call Brother Edward Buckner. A vote was taken and all were in agreement. A letter was to be sent to Brother Buckner that week.
We then met with Brother Buckner. Following this meeting, a letter was sent to East Florida Association before the 5th Sunday meeting. A letter was also to be sent to the Zion Orthodox Primitive Baptist Church, Pastor P. L. Jones.
We received words of encouragement from Mother Marie Kilpatrick. Moderator Kilpatrick discussed the possibility of holding a week of meetings in the future that would benefit the Church. Members were: Sister Annie M. Price, Sister Cassie Osborne, Sister Georgia Johnson, Sister Jessie Thomas, Sister Leola Caldwell, Sister Louise Franklin, Sister Josie Fain, Brother Michael Franklin, Sister Callie Flowers, and Sister Mary Newsome. Church History: Friendship Primitive Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, was organized in November 1962, under the leadership of Elder P. E. Hinson and the officials of the East Florida District Primitive Baptist Association. Services were held at the C. M. E. Methodist Church on Magnolia Street in Cocoa, Florida.
In December 1965, the Church agreed to purchase the property at our present location at a cost of $4,000.00. While the Edifice was being constructed, services were held at Old Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church and in the Labor Temple on State Road 520. The Church was without a pastor from February, 1975 until May 1976.
God smiled upon Friendship and sent Elder Edward Buckner our way. “With God, all things are possible”, and with this God sent man, Friendship has grown spiritually, 1978, carpet, pews and restrooms/lounges were added to the Sanctuary. George Simmons was ordained to the office of Deacon, he was the first to be ordained under the leadership of Elder Buckner; Christine Simmons, Louise Franklin, Leola Caldwell, Annie Mae Price and Cassie Osborne were appointed to the Mothers’ Board.
August of 1979, we broke ground for the construction of the Fellowship Hall, which was also used as our first Educational Center.
November 1982, the dedication ceremonies for the Fellowship Hall/Education Center we held.
May 1983, Air Conditioning was installed and an organ and piano purchased in.
1984, renovation of the Sanctuary was completed. Our Dial-a-Christian Ministry was started and we hosted the first Community Youth Outreach Seminar. The Male Choir and Usher Board was established as well during the same month.
In October, we became the sponsors of Girls Scout troop #250. The year ended with the Church establishing a blood bank with the Blood Bank of Central Florida. 1986, several Educational programs were initiated: Tutoring classes, which consisted of Math, English and Science. Brevard Community College sponsored a basic Adult Education Program.. Friendship also sponsored a special Bible School Class. The Mass Choir and Ushers were organized under the direction of Sister Bernadine Franklin and Sister Dorothy Fisher. Our Annual Family and Fellowship Week was established in September. We also opened a Book Store, purchased additional property and broke ground for the construction of Child Care Development Center. The estimated cost of the building was $110,000.00.
1987, various community service programs were started: “Family Financial Counseling, Food Services during the holidays, and the Friendship Hour Radio Program”. This program is going into its 19th year, and is held each Saturday at 2:00 P.M. on station WWBC/1510 AM.
In 1988—1989, the Friendship Child Care Development Center was completed. By God’s grace, the doors were opened with a Board of Directors, chaired by Sister Atlene Britt. Brother Walter Harris and Elder A. R. Carr became licensed Ministers. During this time, the Friendship Primitive Baptist Church took part in the organizing the North Central Florida District Primitive Baptist Association, and became a member. Elder Buckner was elected Moderator and continues to serve as such. Tutoring Classes were re-organized with Brother Jenterious Anderson serving as the Coordinator.
1990, the Church purchased a new van, and Brother Randy Bland received his Minister’s license. A Sound Control Room was added to the Sanctuary. The Educational Committee for the Friendship Christian Academy (FCA) was formed. This Committee planned the opening of the Academy. Brothers: Izeal Battle, Jerome Davis, Charles World, Sr., and Tommy Wright Sr. were ordained as Deacons. Sisters: Betty Battle, Burnadee Davis, Leona World and Maggie Wright were appointed to the Mother's Board. The Friendship P. B. Church Women Department was organized with Sister Sharon Harris serving as President.
1993, Friendship purchased eighteen (18) acres of land, a van and a sign for the front of the Church.
1994, The Friendship Christian Academy (FCA) was opened in August serving students in Kindergarten through 4th grade. The Women Department established Annual Fundraisers (Annual Tea and Fall Bazaar) to undergird Academy expenses. They also organized a Food Donation Drive in support of the Academy. In October, the Young Adults-InAction Ministry was organized. This Ministry was led by Brother Jessie Guest and Sister Carolyn Hearns. Brother Lawrence Newsome preached his trial sermon the 3rd Sunday in December. He became a licensed minister of the Friendship Church. 1996, Grades 5th and 6th were added to the curriculum for the Academy, and the United Ensemble Choir and Ushers were organized.
1997, Brother Kenneth Simmons preached his trial sermon on the 4th Sunday in September, He became a licensed minister of the Friendship Church.
1999, The Day Care Center which was renamed The Friendship Family Care Center (FCC) opened it doors on February 28. This ministry continued the vision started by the Friendship Child Care and Development Center. The Center provides a comprehensive child care service to parents of children of varying ages, The Family Care Center’s Director is Mrs. Margaret Butterfield; it services infants [six (6) weeks ) to children up to twelve (12) years of age. On June 1st, the Friendship Food Pantry was started. This ministry provides the community with food and information for those in need. It is headed by Mother Barbara Bryant, she is assisted by Sisters: Eva Smith, Mary Bowen and Atlene Britt.
2000, Brothers: Billy Bryant, Joseph Butterfield and Ira Davis were ordained as Deacons. Sisters: Barbara Bryant, Margaret Butterfield and Barbara Davis were appointed to the Mothers Board.
2002, Friendship purchased a Commercial Bus. The Bus ministry is used to service the needs of the Church and surrounding communities.
2005, an additional Bus was added to this ministry, Computers were purchased and network in support of the Academy and Family Care Center Ministries. Also surveying of the land adjacent to the Church was completed for the start of our new “Multipurpose Building”.
2006, The Commitment Committee was established. This committee is made up of several sub-working groups. The Committee’s efforts support the planning and development of the Multipurpose Building.
2007, The Nurses Guild was formed with Sister Linda Jones serving as President. The Youth Department infrastructure was re-organized, now lead by Deacon Ira Davis, Chairman and Brother Victor Patterson, Vice-Chairman and Sister Tabitha Moore, president of the Youth Advisory Board.
2008, The Bathrooms in the Foyer were re-furbished, The Choir and Usher Board infrastructure was re-organized to serve as one committed unit. God has richly blessed the Friendship Primitive Baptist Church. The many blessings, which He has bestowed upon us, came by obedience to His Word, and acknowledging God first for guidance and direction.