During the later part of the 1940's, Rankin Lake Baptist Church of Dallas started a mission church more convenient for people traveling from Belmont for services. On an acre of donated property, a small, one-room auditorium was constructed in April of 1948. Known as the New Hope Baptist Mission, the people held Sunday School until May of 1949. It was then that 57 people organized a church, choosing the name "Friendship". The first baptismal service was in July of 1949: Seven people were baptized in the South Fork River. The same month, the building was expanded to include a basement and Sunday School room. The membership and the building were growing.
In under two years, the church had added even more to it's structure and land. By 1951, they had extended their church ministries and outreaches.
Three years later, the Fellowship Building was added along with a kitchen which was needed since the church membership had increased to 335 by June of 1960. By June of 1961, the congregation of 377 gathered for the first service in the new brick building which included an auditorium, Sunday school rooms, electric heat, and air conditioning.
The first pastor, Reverend Millen, resigned in March of 1970 after 21 years of faithful service, The membership was 449.
In the late 1970's, a 7,200 square foot educational building with a basement was added, providing more places for in-service ministry and worship. Over the next two decades, Friendship Baptist Church has seen changes; but it held constant in providing a place where God's people had opportunity to learn and Grow.
In the twenty-first century, Friendship has held strong to it's original core beliefs that the Bible is the inspired Word of a living God, that the creation of man is by God Himself, the virgin birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the power of Christ to save men from sin by His willingly shedding His blood on the cross, His glorious resurrection from the tomb, His power to save people from sin, new spiritual life by the regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the past few years, Friendship is again seeing growth in its dedicated congregation. With a deep and abiding love for each other and for God, Friendship Baptist Church continues to make friends out of our neighbors throughout Gaston County and beyond. We pray together that we may grow with the same fervency and sense of service that Rankin Lake did back in 1948.... building not only structures for fellowship but disciples for Christ and His kingdom.