Friendship Baptist Church, of Pulaski County, Georgia, was organized May 6, 1843. This church was constituted at the home of Mr. Reubin E. Reynolds I who was born in 1795 and died in 1872) and wife, Winnie Cutts Reynolds, and his daughter, Cynthia Reynolds (who later became the wife of John Wesley Turner).
The ministers constituting the presbytery were: Berry Hobbs and Joseph Ross. The charter members were: Benjamin Franklin Adams, William Ridley, Jesse Grantham, Reubin E. Reynolds, Martha Adams, Nancy Ridley, and Winnie Cutts Reynolds.
Services were held in the Reynolds home until the first Friendship Church was built, about a mile from the ancestral home of Reubin E. Reynolds, near the present Pulaski-Wilcox County line. Around this old landmark clusters memories of ninety-two eventful years, and since the present building occupies the site of the old house of worship, it is linked with the days of pioneers. There were only seven families of the early pioneer settlers in this community who moved to this county from Houston County. The church is situated just off the historic old Blackshear Trail, about fourteen miles south of Hawkinsville. Four different buildings have housed the congregation during this time. The first was a structure of legs and boards held in place by weights and pegs. Mr. Harmon Knight (it is believed) gave the first spot of land where the church stands.
A list of early members are: Reubin Bullington: Reubin E. Reynolds, John Wesley Turner. Javis Harvey. James Holt. John A. Hendley, John Warren. Daniel H. Trammel, Reuhin Ellis Reynolds, Jr., William Murfey, Thomas Lewis, Joseph Reynolds. Jackson Mixen, Daniel M. Reynolds, Caswell Wilson. George B. Gammage, Winnie Cutts Reynolds, Martha Reynolds, Cynthia Reynolds (Mrs. John Wesley Turner), Mary Hardy, Elizabeth Hill. Mary Holt, Febv A. Holt, Amelia Holt, Leskey Grantham, Katherine Trammel. Katherine Harvey, Edney Hendley, Terming Fulghum. Hester Lacey. Agnes Lacer. Sarah Wilafred. Sarah Howell. Sidney Pierce. Margaret Johnson. Eliza Bullington, Nancy Tippett, Martha Ann Turner (Mrs. John Daniel Dupree), and Winnifred Penina Holt (Mrs. George B. Gammage).
Among its early pastors were: Rev. Larkin Joiner (1870), Rev. Thomas Aldridge 11860), Rev. Reuhin Bullington (1861), Rev. George W. Turner (1878), and Rev. Tom Jefferson Adanis 11881).
Mr. Reubin E. Reynolds was a deacon and clerk of the church and a faithful member all of his life. He died in 1872, and in a plot of ground near this old historic church on the site of his ancestral home this great Georgian sleeps. Members of his family have been connected with the church since its organization.
There were six ladies of the community who met together and organized the Ladies Aid Society. The charter members were Cynthia Reynolds Turner (Mrs. John Wesley Turner), Mary Ellen Turner Joiner (Mrs. Wm. Curtis Joiner), Penina Holt Gammage (Mrs. George B. Gammage), Martha Ann Turner Dupree (Mrs. John Daniel Dupree), Mrs. Zeke Tippett, and Ellen Bethany Scarborough (Mrs. John Tippett).
Mrs. Mary Ellen Turner Joiner was elected president. The dues were ten cents. The first work of the society was to help the sick of the community and to buy bars for the doors and windows of the new church.
An occasion which combines pleasure with earnest work was an old-fashioned all-day quilting at the home of Dr. and Mrs. J. T. Gammage, in 1930. The quilt has an interesting history which might prove inspirational to other churches. The church needed a new piano and decided to help pay for it. The ladies conceived the idea of making a quilt and embroidering on it the name of each one contributing to the piano fund. No member or well-wisher was willing to have his autograph left off, with the consequence that the quilt bears 608 names, including some of the early members of this old church. This quilt is in the possession of Mrs. Zeke Holt, a great-granddaughter of Benjamin Adams, one of the organizers of Friendship Church.
Another advance in the life of the church was the organizing of God’s Acre project by Dr. J. T. Gammage. He gave of himself for this cause. The work of good men live after them, and the imprint of the handiwork of Dr. Gammage is here to stay forever in the God’s Acre work of the Little River Association. His mother, Mrs. Penina Holt Gammage, who has been a member of Friendship Baptist Church for sixty-three years, has just passed her 90th birthday, and is living with her daughter in Pineview, Georgia.
Mr. Tom Scarborough of Dooly County, who is ninety years old, is also a member of Friendship Church.
God grant that the rounding of the hundred milestone in the cause of the Friendship Baptist Church will be a gateway into broader fields of usefulness and will reveal a path to greater heights of attainment.
We believe in and cordially embrace all these distinct principles of regular Baptists contained in the Ebenezer and Houston Associations on which they were constituted. We covenant together in bonds of love to endeavor to keep houses for God by watching over each other for good by using gospel discipline to keep the house clean, and to honor her professions by a well-ordered life. Whereas, as we feel at liberty to hold our own, keep and endeavor to abound the word of the Lord. In as much as we know our labor is not in vain in the Lord. Amen.
Brethren Benjamin F. Adams, William Ridley, Jesse Grantham, Reubin E. Reynolds.
Sisters Martha Adams, Nancy Ridley, and Winnie Cutts Reynolds. Information given by the late Mrs. Martha Ann Turner Dupree, granddaughter of Reubin E. Reynolds, one of the constituents of Friendship Baptist Church. And also by the present clerk of the church, Mr. John L. Harvey.