NEW FRIENDSHIP BAPTIST CHURCH
Our History is dedicated to each and every one of you who have worked so very hard in his or her own way, but always together.
The story of the New Friendship Baptist Church dates back to the migration of Brother and Sister Ben Barksdale, Brother Sonny Battle, Sister Rosie Johnson, Sister Lillie Baker, Sister Claudine Johnson, Brother and Sister Frank Davis, Brother and Sister Robert Gaines, Brother and Sister Garrey Edwards, Brother Aaron Denton, Sister Loustells Craig, Sister Rosie Harris, The Coyds, The Mitchell’s and Sister Rose Shaw, who later became one of the most beloved mothers in New Friendship.
The social outlook for these people was quite difficult and this was made clearer to them as they sought worship in their southern custom. This dedicated group wanted to build a church where people might come to worship and listen to the sweetness of the gospel in speech and song, praising the Lord to the utmost.
In May of 1927, they decided to organize a church. After meeting and counseling with Rev. N. T. Thomas from Atlanta, Georgia, they asked if he would accept the call as their Pastor. Because of his age, Rev. Thomas believed it would be unwise for him to leave his establishment in Atlanta and start a new ministry in Cincinnati. Rev. Thomas recommended that they seek the pastorate of Rev. L. S. Williams. Rev. Williams accepted the call and thus was the birth of New Friendship Baptist Church.
These services were first held in the Old Masonic Hall on West 6th Street. The church grew. They found it necessary to move to a larger meeting place. It was a time when a three bedroom home only cost $4,800 compared to $125,000 now, when the average income was $1,500 compared to $38,000 now, a Ford car was $495 (now $15,000), it was hard to maintain the budget. They later moved to 6th Street, West Court Street, church house, to Court Street again, Linn Street and Freeman Avenue. During all this moving and indecision, fate began to move once more. They lost the services of Rev. L. S. Williams and were once again in the wilderness. Rev. Williams served as Pastor of the New Friendship Baptist Church for 14 years.
In December 1941, a light shined on New Friendship. The pleas of the people fell on the ears of Harvey Benford of Shiloh Baptist Church to be called as Pastor; he heard the pleas and accepted the call to be pastor if the two churches would be joined as one. This was agreed upon by both memberships. The name Shiloh was cancelled and the two churches consolidated under the name New Friendship Baptist Church.
Still located on Freeman Avenue, the church enjoyed a wonderful first year. The Lord showered down his blessings through finance and membership to press on for higher ground.
In 1942, they purchased the property at 931 Baymiller Street. Here they worked very hard enjoying many happy hours in the service of the Lord. For five years they tarried there through trials and tribulations. One day the youth cried out saying, "We want a church. A visible church where we might bring our friends." The youth and adults all pulled together to establish a building for future growth.
In 1947, they purchased the property at 813-815 Freeman Avenue, at a cost of $40,000. It was here at this lovable sight that many Christian channels were opened to New Friendship. Through storms, wars of confusion, disappointments and besetments, New Friendship stood the test, knowing that Jesus said to Peter one day, "Upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Here they served for 15 years, but the Lord meant for New Friendship to move again. Because of the city's redevelopment program in 1962, they purchased the church at 911 Nassau Street. They united together and prospered there for eight years.
In December 1970, the church purchased the property at 3212 Reading Road at a cost of
$150,000. The building was built in 1907 at a cost of $50,000. We sold the location at 911 Nassau Street and temporarily worshipped at Windsor School until the Reading Road location was vacant.
On August 15, 1971, we marched from Melish Avenue and Reading Road to dedicate our location at 3212 Reading Road. There were members of the Finance Committee, Deacons, Trustees, Sunday School Department, Deaconess, Senior Missionary, Senior Usher Board, Nurses Guild, Senior Choir, Gospel Chorus, Youth Choir, Junior Choir, Friendship Club, Willing Workers Club, Busy Bee Club, Matrons and Pastor's Aid Club. Shortly after the Ladies Aid Club was formed.
Looking to the future...where do we go from here? The future is fought with new challenges and we are praying for continued growth in membership and friends. We know that some of the old challenges remain with us.
We sponsored our first Annual Salad Hour under the auspices of the Women's Department in
1972. It was one of the few times that our sisters could dress up in their "Sunday Best/After 5" and prepare their best salads and delicacies along with raising money for the Women's Department.
On July 14, 1976, after 35 years of service, the angel of death took Rev. Harvey Benford to rest. Rev. Benford was a dedicated pastor that loved New Friendship. The doors were never open, when he wasn't there. His favorite scripture was; "And he said unto me, it is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Rev. 21:6)
On August 15, 1976, we had an undraping of the chair and began to prayerfully seek another pastor. During this time the Associate Pastor, Rev. I. A. Peterson, was the interim pastor until March 1977, and he did a wonderful job.
In March 1977, the Rev. H. L. Harvey, Jr. accepted the call to pastor the New Friendship Baptist Church. Rev. Harvey was known as the "Country Preacher" and his introductory sermon was "The Huddle Is Not The Game", which was later recorded along with the New Friendship Mass Choir.
In his first year of service, Rev. Harvey brought over 230 souls to Christ. In addition to his ministerial duties and obligations, he implemented recreational organizations, including bowling and baseball, a senior citizens group (they sponsored a senior citizen ball), youth retreat and youth conferences. The finances doubled and tithes tripled. A New Members Orientation Class, the Candy Stripers and the Inspirational Choir (renamed from the Youth Choir), Children's Church and the Prison Ministry were organized.
The recreational hall that was constructed under the Holy Trinity St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was named Friendship Hall by our former pastor. In 1977 under Rev. Harvey's suggestion, the hail was renamed Benford Hall in honor of Rev. Harvey Benford, and a scholarship fund was edified in his name.
In 1978 the Ten-Fifty Club was organized with Rev. Harvey's goal of paying off the mortgage in 18 months. In May 1983, the New Friendship Baptist Church held its mortgage burning ceremony with much joy. Joy because this was a great accomplishment in the life of the church, being the third actual church building that was paid for (Freeman Avenue, Sinton & Nassau and Reading Road).
Sis. Cozie L. Benford, (our former pastor's wife) served as a pastor's wife on the Deaconess Board, musician, Missionary member, and all other capacities of the church when needed. She passed away on December 4, 1980. She was always there beside her husband.
In the winter of 1985, blending our hearts and hands, we had some extensive renovation done, which included new pews, carpeting, the balcony was renovated, the pulpit floor was reinforced, and new sound system installed, lights, air conditioning and storm windows for a total cost of $80,000.
The following ministers have been called to ministry and ordained: Reverends Perry Davis, Freddie T. Piphus, Kenneth Benford, Gregory Ferguson and Arthur Brown. Ministers that served as Associate ministers: Reverends Shaw, S. H. Cash, I. A. Peterson, John Henning, William McCray, Osbey Bryant, Parnell Smith, Garnell Rosemond, John D. White, Angelo Brice, William T. Young, III, William T. Young; IV, Samuel Hudson, Thomas Austin, Billy Cole, Thomas Woodson, J. S. Maupin, R. F. Hairston, Smith Alton Lee, William Harris and Gilbert Driver. Rev. Keith Smith united with New Friendship.
Rev. Robert Davis assists the pastor and Rev. John D. White with the Christian Education classes. Reverends Mary L. Jones and Eddie Lewis assisted with classes.
The following Deacons have been ordained: James Allen, Charlie Byrd, Louis Cottrell, Elbert Cox, Louis Freeman, Rossie Lovett, A. C. Rhodes, James Sneed, Frank Smith, Leroy Stots, James Sweet, Thomas Reed, Will Perry, Godaly Pryor, Eddie Johnson, William Lawrence, Robert Williams, William Guerrant, Albert Crittenton, Isaac Crittenton, Paul Jackson, Troy Malcolm, Edward Black, Samuel Hudson, William Ware, Aaron Pryor, Steven Reece, Robert Combs, Rodney Dailey, Morris Duffey, Bradley Moore, Reggie Mangham, Curtis Brooks, Bruce Fox, Gilbert Driver, Charles Johnson and Thomas Parks. The following deacons served after joining New Friendship with Christian experience: Marvin Binford, William Reed, Arthur Benford, Thomas Tinsley, Willie Fails, Leroy Johnson, Ivory Lawson, Gabriel Williams and William Reed.
In the 80's, New Friendship's building was featured on the Metro Scenes as a historic building.
A Christian Education Department was organized in 1984. A Helping Hand Committee the "Feed the People" every fourth Saturday was also organized. We know that God is worthy all the time. We also realize that we cannot apply 1927 solutions to 2000 problems.
In 1990, Sister Sandra Parks became New Friendship's first woman to join the Trustee Board. The church purchased land for additional parking adjacent to the church on Whittier Street.
In 1993, the church purchased a three-bedroom parsonage at 3580 Washington Avenue, at the cost of $117,000.
We look back from where we've come.
A "Sunday Night Live" program was commenced in 1994 and for the first time at New Friendship, a husband and wife (Rev. H. L. and Mabel Harvey) both delivered the message.
After 73 years we are still in the Christian struggle trying to uplift the name of Jesus. Because Jesus said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32)
We took the dreams of our forefathers and with our energies, we expanded their horizons.
In 1995, a singles Christian Ministry class was organized, a class for church leaders and their wives, and a drug abuse awareness and prevention program was organized.
We are blessed with several members that have been a part of our church family for over 50 years; Sisters Allean King, Nellie Bunkley, Emma Johnson, E. Florence Womack, Leola McLemore, Lola Pryor, Beatrice Cottrell and Ella Brown (left and returned); Brothers Godaly Pryor, Albert Crittenton, and Robert Cottrell. We have many dedicated members and families that came after them.
In August 1997, the Daughters of Faith Ministry began. The Daughters of Faith offer spiritual and uplifting praise services every first and third Sunday of the month.
In May 1998, New Friendship Baptist Church began the renovation of our sanctuary. From May through October we held our church services in Benford Hall. In September 1998, the Praise Dance Ministry began. The Praise Dance Ministry will offer Praises to the Lord in Dance.
In 1999, the Jubilee Committee fell short of their goal to raise money to pay the total cost of the loan for the renovation of our sanctuary in one year, but to God be the Glory $40,000 was raised. Our goal would have and could have been met if we would have had full participation. However, we marched into the newly renovated sanctuary with pride and dignity. Since marching into the sanctuary approximately 125 new members have been baptized.
Thank God for the members' energy and fantastic ideas for fundraising events. They included a Walk-a-Thon (2), Ministers SongFest, Raymond Willis and Friends in Concert, Kings Island Volunteers (2), Taste of New Friendship, Harvest Gala Festival and a King and Queen Contest.
The members are thankful and blessed to still enjoy the privilege of choosing the 8:00 a.m. or the traditional 11:00 a.m. service. Our newest ministry started in May 1999; it is the Poetic Words of Wisdom Ministry. A first for us, two female ministers were licensed this year, they were Janice Moses and Princess Hearne. Sis. Thelma Gordon, our Assistant Dean of Education, is now the Dean of Education for the Cincinnati District Association, the first female to hold this position. She will give her first address in June.
Four deacons and two deaconesses are in training; they are: Arthur Milford, Juan McKenzie, Freddie Moore, James Troy Cowan, Georgianne McKenzie and Virginia Smith Moore.
In 2000, the Insurance Rally Sunday was eliminated which had been ongoing for years. But by faith we pay the church's insurance with tithes and offerings.
New Friendship also eliminated two services on Mother's Day, Father's Day and Easter. We now have one service on these days, which begins at 9:30 a.m.
A men's study group was organized for the first time at New Friendship. It consists of 25-30 men coming together to study the word of God. The instructor for the study group is Rev. William Parker. The men also had a shut-in for the first time.
The women of New Friendship had a shut-in and Women's' conference for the first time.
The following ministers have been called and licensed: Beverly Brooks, Linda S. Kirkland, Tisa Morris, Janice Parks and Nathaniel Head. Luvenia Nash joined as a minister.
The funds from the Jubilee celebration remodeled the kitchen and we were also able to do extensive renovations in the hallway and outside.
The following ministers have been ordained: Reverends Gilbert Driver and William Parker.
2001- A new Jubilee Committee has been established for the continued renovation of our church building.
We are an Avondale host site for The Food Share Program, which has been re-established. Deacon and Mrs. Juan McKenzie, and Jannie Tubbs are the host site co-coordinators.
Our church doors were opened to the youth and groups that needed a meeting place during a recent disturbance in our city. The shooting of a young black man by a white policeman is what caused the unrest, which caused attention from Kweisi Mfume, National President/CEO of the NAACP, and Rev. Al Sharpton and other national dignitaries.
Our 50 years of service as a member of New Friendship continues to grow. We add to that list: Sisters Helen Binford, Grace Dallas, Vannie Jackson, Betty Headen, Shirley Austin, Clara Minder, Clara McDonald, Myrtle Moore, Annie Guerrant, Margaret Johnson, Lillie Ruth Cooper, Imogene Ferguson, Virginia Sweet and Leola White.
Pastor Harvey opened up the church to the Police, Fire and Military Departments just to show our appreciation for all they do, especially after the Terrorist attack 9/1l.
The men of New Friendship held a Men's Conference, May 2002.
Our Youth Ministry has developed a strong presence in the Church, with Youth Explosions and Youth Revivals. The start of "Soldiers of Christ" Praise and Mime Dancers, made up from the young men to the age of 19. Supervised by Brenda Dubose and Angela Wooley.
Pastor Harvey was moderator for The Cincinnati Baptist Association.
This year again, we have continued traditional events such as, the 4th Annual Taste of New Friendship - Chaired by Sister Willie B. Estill, and the 31st Annual Hat Show - chaired by Sister Marian Thomas. The Daughters of Faith Ministry continues to grow and contribute time and money to the community through fund raising events like Fashion
Shows and visits to The Living Bible. With these funds they are able to give Holiday Food Packages, and community needs. They also continue to visit Nursing Homes and Hospitals.
We are still praying that God will continue to bless and keep us, and to bind our hearts in Christian love. Love that touches from heart to heart and breast to breast. We are not asking God to move our mountains, but to give us strength to climb.
As long as we live, we will climb higher heights! Defeat any foe, meet any challenge. With the spirit of togetherness and Christ as our head, we're more than conquerors through him who conquers all things. We are all asked to go out and recruit so that this house may be filled. We look forward to what God will do in 2001 and the future.
By giving ourselves to prayer we know that:
"Faith can move mountains, Faith can open Fountains;
Faith will help you succeed; Faith will supply your needs;
Where is your Faith in God?
The most dynamic events that took place in the New Friendship Baptist Church was Pastor H.L. Harvey, Jr. preaching the Gospel, telling us the wages of sin is death, but if we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we shall have eternal life.
Pastor Harvey has been saving souls, teaching Sunday School Classes to the men every 1st Sunday and promoted a Revival during the fall.
The Daughters of Faith sponsored a Health Fair and a Women's Revival.
We had Men's day with great participation from the men.
Leadership classes produced greater desire for dynamic laymen leadership.
We look forward to the pulpit and pews taking hold at these wicked times that we maybe the bright light calling men and women out of darkness into Gods marvelous light.
Our mission is to be that Church that Jesus Commissioned to go into all the world and teach and preach the good news of Jesus Christ.