Friendship Missionary Baptist Church began in 1938 in northeast Houston, TX. The eight-member congregation met in a small home. It eventually moved into a small frame building. During the time of its fourth pastor, Harry B. Sampson, they built a brick building to hold Sunday services as well as minister to the community.
The History of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
- Early Years – From 1938 to 1947 the church quickly outgrew the buildings they were worshipping in. This led to the building of larger facilities as well as purchases of land to operate the missions they felt called to.
- Building Expansion – In 1963, a larger structure was built to serve as the church’s sanctuary. This facility still functions as the main meeting location for the congregation. They now use the 1947 building for classrooms and offices.
- Missions Expansion – In 1972, they purchased additional land for the purpose of evangelism. Among them were: 5 vacant community lots, an abandoned grocery store, and several lots around the existing facility, one being a home that the church rehabilitated for classroom use. Many ministries have evolved over the years that encompass community involvement, participation, development, and restoration.
- The F D Sampson and Friends for Life Building – This six-year project was dedicated in 2003. It houses many of the ministries outlined later in this article. It was also briefly used as the main sanctuary when Hurricane Ike hit Houston in 2008. The storm inflicted serious damage to the Sanctuary building. After almost a year, the building was restored and once again services could be held.
- Harry B Sampson – While he was not the first pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, he was the one God places the call of expanding the ministry. God called him to service in 1943, and he served until 1971. The quick expansion occurred under his tenure, and as the fourth pastor of FMBC, he witnessed the fruition of the ministry birthed in the founders.
- Franklin D Sampson, Sr, and Jr – Today two generations of the Sampson family serve the church. Franklin D Sampson, Sr functions as senior pastor an took on his role in 1972. His pastoral role saw the continued expansion of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. They invested in the community by repurposing the existing buildings the church owned and used them as ministry opportunities: A food bank, an afterschool program for the local elementary, and local outreach ministry were at the forefront. In 2012, Franklin D Sampson, Jr was voted unanimously to succeed senior as the sixth pastor.
Friendship Missionary Baptist Church loves to serve the community. They say of the church: “We are the church where you have a friend! We also believe that once united, we will be Friends for Life!” They bear witness to this belief through the ministry arms of the church.
- Home Mission Ministry – The foremost tenant of the Home Mission ministry is civic involvement in the community. They believe in helping their neighborhoods fulfill their civic duty of being active through voting and obtaining an education in political matters.
- Food Bank every first Tuesday – Part of the benevolence ministry that assists families that are struggling, by providing food, clothing, utilities, and shelter.
- Street Ministry – Live services for the community on street corners and in parking lots. Ministers spread the Gospel through tracts and personal evangelism.
- Christian Education Ministry – A ministry of educating believers in how to evangelize, teach, and share the Gospel of Christ. They function to serve as a catalyst for Christian growth and development to be effective in witnessing to the lost souls of Houston, and beyond.
The Ministry of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
There are two methods of listening to the pastoral ministry of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
The main focus of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is the growth of the family. Families that live under the same roof as well as the church family. The salvation of the family is where ministry begins. By teaching children and raising them to be men and women of faith will make an impact on the community, and then the world around them. It is a ministry of brotherly love, remembrance in prayer, aiding in infirmity, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance His Kingdom.