In 1881 a small group of families in this area, got together and formed the beginnings of a church. They organized a Sunday School and held it, along with church services in the local Barringer School House. This young church was one of the 13 in the Newton Circuit ministered to by the Reverend Paul Franklin Winfield Stamey. There were a few church buildings in the area at that time, and even fewer preachers. But the faithful came to the local school house each Sunday and by 1882, Rev. Stamey was ready to build a church here. The people were ready too, and the project began.
Offers of donated land came from two local men. While one plot was nearer to the school house, the other was located on a new road they had just built. The latter was picked, likely for its location on that new road. It was agreed that church building would initially be used for two different denominations in the area, the Reformed and the Methodist. Each would hold separate services in one shared church building. With the two groups agreeing to work together in friendship in use of this building for worship, the church leaders, accordingly decided on a name for the new church . Friendship. In1882, the church building was finished and Friendship Church was officially organized as a Methodist Episcopal Church, South with 40 charter members and the Rev. PFW Stamey as the founding pastor.
Fifty years later, in the 1930s with the nation still reeling under the burden of the great Depression, the members of Friendship ME Church took an outstanding leap of faith to expand and rebuild. The old church building was torn down and services were temporarily held in the log hut built for the expansion need for Sunday School space. They erected in its place a large, fine brick sanctuary (which serves the church to this day). That new road of 50 years earlier became a wide 2 lane state highway now known as NC Highway 16. The new church building was dedicated in June of 1940 with a new pastor (The Rev. BA Sisk) and a membership roll reaching 175.
More growth and more expansion came in the following 50 years. By the 1900s Friendship United Methodist Church was ready to break from the Balls Creek Charge and acquired the Station status in June, 1995. Friendships congregations welcomed its 40th pastor and also full time pastor, Rev. Eric Morphis. This was to be his first church of his very own, also. The bond was quick and strong, and Friendship continued to thrive and grow. A Family Life center was constructed behind the church and educational building. New ministries were created, bible studies flourished attendance and membership increased. The bonding between the congregation, the pastor and his family and the community also continued to grow. Friendship continues to experience growth as a church called by Christ to carry out its mission statement of being committed to making disciples for Jesus Christ.
Pastors since 1919
Rev. James H. Green
Rev. John H. Green
Rev. T. W. Hager
Rev. Joe M. Green
Rev. P.H. Brittain
Rev. J. A. Frye
Rev. J. Max Brandon, Sr.
Rev. H. M. Wellman
Rev J. A. Howell
Rev. H. H. Robbins
Rev. B. A. Sisk
Rev. R. L. Forbis
Rev. J. O. Banks
Rev. Van B. Harrison
Rev. George Carver
Rev. William E. Rufty
Rev. W. L. Harkey
Rev. Byron Shankle
Rev. Frank Penniger
Rev. Robert M. Clinard
Rev. Dale Hilton, Sr.
Rev. Eric Morphis
Rev. Brad Thie
LOVE, JAMES, Private, Company D, 13th Regiment, NC Troops. Born in Caswell County where he resided a a farmer prior to enlisting in Caswell County at age 21, May 1, 1861. Present or accounted for until discharged at Camp Ruffin, Virginia, September 23 1861, by reason of disability. [NCT-5:323]
NOAH HENRY McGEE served as a 4th Corporal in Co. D, 5th Reg, South Carolina Infantry. He was present at Appomattox on roster as "N. H. Megee."
This company joined for duty and was enrolled in state service 13 April 1861, and was mustered into Confederate service, at Orangeburgh, by Barnard E. Bee, Lieut. Col., S. C. I., 4 June 1861. At the reorganization in April 1862, it remained in the 5th regiment and retained its letter therein.
JAMES R. MURRAY served in Company G, 1st Regiment, North Carolina Junior Reserves.
1st Regiment Junior Reserves was formed in July, 1864, at Weldon, North Carolina, by consolidating the 1st and 6th Junior Reserves Battalions which had just been organized. It contained men between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, and were drawn from the counties of Warren, Franklin, Nash, Granville, Wake, Randolph, Chatham, Martin, Northampton, and Chowan. Assigned to the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, the unit skirmished in the Roanoke River and Kinston areas. Later it served in L.S. Baker's Brigade, saw action at Bentonville, and surrendered with the Army of Tennessee. The field officers were Colonel Frank S. Armistead, Lieutenant Colonel Charles W. Broadfoot, and Major Walter M. Clark.
I was seventeen years old when I was forced to join, being the last year of the war. Our Captain (Stevenson) ordered us to go to Camp Vance. There we were drilled for three weeks. General Kirk captured us and sent us to winter quarters. Late one evening, Gen.. Kirk ordered us out, burning down the headquarters; also the depot.We were then sent in a north direction, coming to the Catawba river, where 14 of us boys crossed the river in a bateau, all at the same time. It was about 12 o'clock at night when we crossed. Kirk took us up on a high ridge, keeping us there a night, being guarded by Kirk's men. The next morning when we started to move, there were 28 Indians with Kirk, two Indians, to every twelve of us boys, in the line behind to guard us. We were again marched up on a high plane, Kirk riding back, giving orders to the Indians if any of us boys left the road three steps, to shoot us down. (Kirk was looking for the State Guards to attack him.) We had not gone very far when the Militia began on us. Here old Major Kirk was wounded; Here we all fled and ran upon a mountain, and here I go away. I went home, staying about a month and a half. When we went back, we were sent to Salisbury; there I guarded the Yankees during three weeks' garrison. The next time we moved, we went to Fort Fisher; here we fought three days. Here, they told me, 260 shells fell in one minute, the Yankees firing with shot and shell in every direction. We were on the Island, it being one and a half miles wide. ["Catawba Soldier..." pg. 344]
JAMES B. PARLIER, served in Company B, 70th Regiment North Carolina Junior Reserves. (1st Battalion, Company D, North Carolina Junior Reserves.)
NOAH E. PROPST, Corporal, Company A, 12th Regiment, N.C. Troops - Resided in Catawba County and was by occupation a farmer prior to enlisting in Catawba County at age 20, April 27, 1861: Mustered in as Private and promoted to Corporal in February-April, 1864. Present or accounted for until paroled at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9, 1865. [NCT-5:125]
"I enlisted April 30th. 1861, in Capt. T. W Bradburn's Company, which was made Co. K. Second [sic: 12th] N. C. Regiment. Volunteers. Was encamped near Norfolk, Va.. until May 1862, when we left for Hanover Court House; there we had our first experience in a battle. The next was the battle of Mechanicsville, Va.; from there to Cold Harbor; then to Malvern Hill. There we encamped near the old battle field for several weeks; thence we took up our march for Maryland.
I took sick when we reached Lowray, Va., and was sent to the hospital; joined the Company near Winchester after their return from Maryland. I was in the battle of Chancellors-ville, in which Jackson was wounded and afterwards died. I was in the battle of Gettysburg, Pa., and in a skirmish at Hagerstown, Md., on our return to Virginia. I was in the battle near Spottsylvania, C. H., and was wounded May 12th, '64; I then received a furlough for 60 days, after which I rejoined the company at Winchester, Va., in August. Was engaged in several skirmishes in the Shenandoah Valley during the fall of 1864.
We left the Valley a few days before Xmas, passed through Richmond on Christmas day and encamped near Petersburg. On the 5th day of Feb., I was in the battle of Hatcher's Run, where we withstood 17 assaults of the Federals, and held our lines until evening, when we retreated, having fought all day in the rain, the timber bending with ice. We then spent about a month on the Roanoke River, taking up deserters. On the 25th of March, we were in a battle in front of Peters-burg; and on the 2nd of April, we started on our retreat for Appomattox, C. H., where we surrendered, April 9th, 1865. I came home after having spent four years, with ten days exception, in the service of the war." Mr. Propst is one of our best citizens. He is a very young looking man for his age, and numbers his friends by the score. May he live many more years." [Catawba Soldier..., pg. 112]
CALVIN SETZER, Private, Company K, 46th Regiment, N.C. Troops - Born in Catawba County* where he resided as a farmer prior to enlisting in Catawba County at age 21, March 13, 1862. Present or accounted for until wounded at Wilderness, Virginia, May 5, 1864. Returned to duty prior to July 28, 1864, when he was wounded at Newmarket Hill, Virginia. Reported absent wounded through December, 1864. Paroled at Newton on April 19, 1865. [North Carolina pension records indicate that he was wounded in the right leg by a shell near Petersburg, Virginia, in the spring of 1864.] [NCT-11:236]
HENRY THEODORE SETZER, Private - "enlisted in 1862 in Company C, 57 Regiment. He was in five battles and was captured and held a prisoner of war sixteen months. He returned and made good at farming. He is still living." [Catawba Soldier..., pg 376] (not found in NC Troops.)
LOGAN SMYRE, Private - Born in Catawba County* where he resided as a farmer prior to enlisting in Catawba County at age 41, October 25, 1861. Present or accounted for until discharged on August 16, 1862, by reason of being overage. Took the Oath of Allegiance at Salisbury On June 6, 1865.[NCT-9:53]
NCT = North Carolina Troops - 1861-1865-A Roster, N.C. Dept. of Achives & History, Raleigh, NC (1983-2001)
[Marker photographs by Derick S. Hartshorn-all rights reserved]
Derick S. Hartshorn - © 2007