The History of Friendship United Methodist Church

During slavery and Civil War, Negroes received their religious training where they worked, or in the gallery of white churches.  This was no less true of Turkey Creek, for it was true all over the Southland.  After the Civil War the Methodist Episcopal Church, North returned to South Carolina and resumed its work.  April 2, 1866, the South Carolina Mission was organized under Bishop Baker.  Turkey Creek was one among the seven charges of the Charleston District.  Friendship was a church on the charge.

A brush arbor sanctuary was the first church.  With prayer in their hearts and faith in the future that transcended their humble brush arbor sanctuary, a small band of men and women were endued with the spirit of missions when Bishop Baker appointed their first minister to the Turkey Creek Charge.  In 1867 at the Annual Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, Bishop Scott appointed the first minister, Rev. T. W. Lewis as pastor.  The Rev. Alonza Webster followed as pastor and led the church for the next three years. Rev. Webster’s tenure was followed by Rev. Joseph Jenkins and under his guidance and direction a new church was built in the early 1870’s.  Rev. Joseph Jenkins served the charge from1875-1880.  Within the five years, the church grew by leaps and bounds; thus leading to the construction of the second church.   In 1881, Rev. E. McDaniel took up the mantle and helped to increase the membership to over 700 members. 1883 Turkey Creek was placed on the Florence District.

Turkey Creek was blessed with an extensive list of spiritual leaders that led them to become Friendship United Methodist Church of Nesmith.  The burning fire for saving souls was kindled by the pastors that ministered to the flock.  The many shepherds were Rev. B.M. Pegues in 1889; Rev. R. B. Keller in 1891; Rev. W. N. Hannah in 1894; Rev. A. B. Franklin in 1895; Rev. I. H. Fulton in 1897; Rev. S. S. Sparks in 1901; Rev. Dickerson Salters in 1903; Rev. John Harrell in 1907; Rev. N.T. Bown, Jr., in 1910; Rev. W. M. R. Eaddy in 1911; Rev. L.C. Gregg in 1912; Rev. W. E. Jones in 1915; Rev. C.C. Robertson in 1918; Rev. I. H. Richardson in 1920; Rev. D. H. McClam in 1924;  Rev. H. W. Williams in 1927.  Rev. Williams erected the sanctuary of the church that lasted until renovation in 1974.  The Rev. N. E. Franklin became pastor in 1940, followed by Rev. R. C. Connor in 1948.  Rev. L. W. Curry ministered from 1954 until 1958 when Rev. E. N. Jamison became pastor.  He was followed by Rev. F. G. C. Dubois in 1965.  Rev. J.L. Summers came to FUMC in 1967 and the Rev. S. R. Porter continued the tradition in 1968.  Rev. Porter served five successful years. During his tenure, the Gospel Choir was organized and the first organ was purchased.

In June 1973, Rev. J. V. Livingston was appointed pastor.  He served from 1973-1982.  He was a great leader, who won the admiration and the respect of the members.  In September of 1979 the first Homecoming Celebration was held.

In June 1982, Rev. H. B. Shaw was charged with the awesome task of leading Friendship. Under his guidance and direction, the first “Family and Friends Day” celebration was held on May 5, 1985, a new educational building was erected in April 1987 and the H. B. Shaw Choir established.

In June 1991, Rev. Roberta C. Josey was appointed pastor.  She demonstrated an interest in raising money for a new sanctuary and was dedicated to securing plans and resources for the building fund. The Children’s Sermonette was implemented and the Friendship Male Chorus formed under her tenure.

In June 1995, Rev. Leonard Huggins, Jr., was appointed pastor.  Upon his arrival, a new parsonage was purchased and building plans of a new sanctuary and fellowship hall were finalized.  The new edifice was completed in March 1999 and the Friendship Church Choir was organized. 

In June of 2005, Rev. Nathan McClennon became pastor.  He was a God fearing man who believed in the Golden Rule.  He encouraged the members to LOVE one another as Christ Loved the Church.  He implemented Noon-Day Prayer, and firmly believed that if you put God first, everything will be alright.

The Rev. Carlton J. McClam, Sr., became pastor in June of 2006 to the present. He is a realist, a man of integrity, that believe in leading the church by using (2) books; the Bible and the Book of Discipline. He is a great spiritual leader, teacher, and advisor with one main objective; to make disciples for Christ.  He has been instrumental in reorganizing the Young Adult Ministry and Choir.

Friendship United Methodist Church has been through many trials and tribulations, but we have never lost our faith.  We have a strong, rich history that has endured the test of time, but we have always leaned and depended upon Jesus.