Established by faith and in obedience to God Our Heritage

Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) first began as eight North Raleigh couples decided to begin doing work for God in their local area. In January of 1965, they began working on the new church’s constitution and bylaws. They began holding prayer, planning, and fellowship meetings at their homes. It was during one of the earlier meetings that they named the church Friendship Baptist Church.

First Service & Early Years

On May 2, 1965, FBC held its first Sunday service in a restaurant building on Old Wake Forest Road. Rev. Marvin Deitz of Bob Jones University gave our church’s first sermon that day. On July 21, 1965, Terry Herman was called as FBC’s first pastor, and he served until March 1967. The church was officially organized on Sunday, September 5, 1965, with twenty-eight charter members. By May 1966, the charter members had purchased the restaurant building and renovated it to suit the church’s needs. They acquired a piano and began self-publishing a weekly paper. Shortly thereafter, FBC’s membership grew to over one hundred, the Sunday School attendance had doubled, and the church supported three missionaries.

Second Pastor & New Building

On March 22, 1967, Al G. Price was called as the church’s second pastor. On April 30, 1968, FBC purchased the first 5.5 acres of the property on which the church stands today. Bonds for the initial construction of the new church, valued at $125,000, were sold in just ten days! The new building had a 340-seat sanctuary, twelve classrooms, a pastor’s study, an office, a baptistry, and three restrooms. The first service in the new church building was held on February 23, 1969, with Dr. W. Jack Hudson as speaker.

In June of 1969, the church purchased its first parsonage, just down the road from the new building. By September of 1969, membership had grown to over two hundred. On February 1, 1970, Rev. R. E. Peterson joined the staff as FBC’s first Assistant Pastor. Later that year, Mrs. Peterson, his wife, became the teacher of the first kindergarten class of Friendship Christian School.

Third Pastor & Continued Growth

Dr. R. Gene Payne began serving as FBC’s third pastor on April 15, 1971. Over the next few years, Friendship Christian School continued its development, and its first senior class graduation was held in 1980. Dr. Payne served as pastor for twenty-nine years, until December 31, 2000. During his tenure, the church and school facilities were expanded and enhanced as both continued to grow. This included a new education building in 1972 and a gym in 1980. Dr. Payne is now retired and has assumed the role of Pastor Emeritus.

Fourth Pastor & Current Sanctuary

Rev. Bob Vradenburgh, a missionary to the Cayman Islands, was called as FBC’s fourth pastor. He assumed the position of Senior Pastor on January 1, 2001, after serving for one year as the Associate Pastor. Under his leadership, the church built and dedicated its current auditorium on January 4, 2004. Rev. Vradenburgh continues as FBC’s Senior Pastor to this day.

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More Information

About Friendship Baptist Church

Our purpose is to make much of our Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel through the preaching of His Word and the making of disciples. At Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) we teach the Bible in order to facilitate spiritual growth in all of God’s people and to provide opportunities for Christian fellowship. God has graciously used Friendship to further His work both locally and across the globe since 1965.