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Friendly Grove Baptist Church — 1982

Ashe County, North Carolina

A Brief History

It could be said that Friendly Grove Church began with dreams and prayers. In the early 40’s the people of the community were having to travel some distance to worship. Two ministers, Rev. G. A. Hamby and Rev. Harvey Phillips became concerned for a church for the community. Cottage prayer meetings were begun and in 1945 Rev. Hamby and Rev. Phillips began a Tent Meeting that yielded 42 professions of faith.

The church was organized in 1945 with the following charter members:

Rev. G. A; Hamby
Mrs. G. A. Hamby
Earl Hamby
Allen Hamby
Wiley Harless Cicero Harless
Cicero Harless
Mrs. Cicero Harless
Ballard Harless
Mrs. Ballard Harless
Ethel Harless Burchette
Lizzy Smith Elliott
Kay Hardin
Mrs. Kay Hardin
H. M.Wyatt
Anna Mae Wyatt Taylor
Mrs. Clyde Harless
Zola Richardson Massey
Carrie Taylor
Rayborne Harless
Charles Harless

A building committee was chosen consisting of: Kay Hardin, S. E. Wyatt, Davd Harless, H. M. Wyatt, and Ballard Harless. The first worship service in the building was held on Sunday, September 2, 1945. Seats were made from nail kegs with planks laid on them. In May 1946 Friendly Grove Church joined the Ashe Baptist Association.

The following ministers have served the church as pastor from 1945 to the present time. Rev. G. A. Hamby, 1945-47 (Rev. M. D. Hart, 1947-1952) (Rev. Edgar Cole, 1952-56) (Rev. W. E. Burchette, 1956-60) (Rev. W. T. Brackette, 1960-65) (Rev. W. T. Whittington served as supply pastor form 1965 until 1966) (Rev. Lawrence Goodman, 196~70) (Rev. Herbert McCoy, 1970-75) (Rev. Dupre Gowan, 1975-77) (Rev. Steve Goss, 1978-79) (Rev. Lewis Haines served as supply pastor) (Rev. Richard Baird, 1979 to present)

In March 1980, Charles King, chairman of the finance committee recommended that the pastor present the building plans to the church. The church voted on the plans on April 13 with a 69% vote to build. In August 1981 the church had to resend the vote on the building program to expand the existing sanctuary. The church then voted to built a new sanctuary. The estimated cost of the new sanctuary was $130,000.00. It appears that the actual cost will exceed the estimate by only $2,500.00. Dedication services for the beautiful new sanctuary were held on Sunday afternoon, July 25, 1982.

In September of 1980, following men were installed as permanent deacons of the church: Mr. Ballard Harless, Mr. Turner Watson, and Mr. Hardin Richardson.