Friendly Baptist Church - Tyler, Texas
Sunday, May 19, 2013
October 1949 -- In October 1949, a newly organized group of people worshiped together for the first time. There were 40 in attendance at the home of L.S. Barron. Together these Christians sang their first hymn, Footsteps of Jesus. This marked the beginning of Friendly Baptist Church.
March 1950 -- Brother Ewell J. Humphries was soon called as the first pastor. In March 1950, the first building program was implemented and People's National Bank agreed to finance the building. Early in the Fall of 1950 the first sanctuary was built on the corner of Porter and Ferdell streets. In 1953, Bro. Humphries left the church. From then until 1963, Bro. G.H. Bailey, Bro. C. Goss and again Bro. Humphries pastored the church.
1957 -- By 1957, the church was in need of more room. While planning to expand, a tornado destroyed the original church building. The church met in the Bonner School until a new building could be completed. With the insurance and borrowed money, additional property was bought and a new sanctuary was built on the corner of Porter and Houston streets (This building presently serves as our Fellowship Hall).
1963 -- In 1963, the church called Bro. Milton Gardner as pastor. The church was at a low ebb; attendance was down in both Sunday School and Church. But the Lord has said "All things are possible to him who believes."
1966 -- In 1966, the Lord provided a beautiful new sanctuary and eight houses which were used for Sunday School rooms and parking. Sunday School attendance continued to grow reaching 576 by 1976.
1976-1979 -- The "Together We Build" program was soon implemented to raise funds for a new Children's Education Building. This facility was completed in 1979. The old sanctuary was then converted into a Fellowship Hall and office space was added. A full size gymnasium was also completed that year.
1992 -- In 1992, the church called Bro. Dale Perry as pastor. In the years which followed the church saw remarkable revival in the fellowship and outreach.
1996 -- In 1996, a new Student Ministry Building was completed. In that same year a complete renovation of the auditorium and Children's Education Building was begun and completed in 1997.
1999 -- The budget doubled between 1992-1999 and in mid-1999 the church voted to begin construction of a 1200 seat auditorium and two story education building. In the summer of 1999, the gymnasium was completely remodeled into a worship center for use during the time of building the new auditorium and services began there in August of 1999.
2001 -- The new auditorium was officially dedicated in February 2001 and for the first time in several years, the entire church has been meeting in one joint service, at 10 a.m. As of 2003, the average Sunday School attendance of 833 persons and an average worship attendance of 950. In addition to Bro. Dale, the staff includes Music Minister, Floyd Williford who came to the church in 1981; Associate Pastor, Pat Alvey who came to Friendly in 1984; Student Minister, Steve Lyles who came to the church in 2001; and College Minister, Josh Thompson who has been on staff since January, 2003.
2010 -- The new Children's Building was officially dedicated in November 2010. Shortly thereafter, added to our staff is Children's Ministry Coordinator, Kay Weippert, who came to Friendly January 2011.
2013 -- In 2013, the church called Bro. Chris Robeson as pastor.