In the year 1923, the church had its beginning. A young student of Simmons Bible College made a survey of the 12th Street community and found there was no church between 11th Street, St. Louis and Broadway streets. On a warm night in August, Rev. A. Moses called a meeting of the community parents. They met at the home of Deacon R. S. Downs, at 1119 Maple Street, and on the following Sunday morning, a Sunday began with 18 children present. Deacon Downs was made Superintendent. The Sunday School sessions were held at the Downs’ home and were sometimes referred to as the “Cottage Sunday School.”
By July, 1924, the membership had increased so the members decided to organize a church, serving the entire community. Plans were made and Rev. A. Moses was elected Pastor of the new Church.
Greater Friendship Past Pastors
Rev. A. Moses, 1924-1925
Rev. W. H. Hayes, 1925-1931
Rev. J. L. Simpson, 1931-1934
Rev. F. D. Witherspoon, 1934-1941
Rev. G. W. Stewart, 1941-1943
Rev. J. D. Matthews, 1943-1954
Rev. C. D. Simmons, 1954-1997
Under the 43 years of Pastoral leadership from Rev. Simmons, the church moved from the basement to level ground at the corner of 12th and Zane Streets. When an Urban Renewal Project came and bought all of the property in that immediate area, Rev. Simmons led the church to its present location at 2325 Osage Avenue.
After Rev. Simmons retired, the Church, under the guidance and direction of The Holy Spirit, voted to extend the call of Pastor to Rev. Derrick L. Miles. He accepted the call on July 16, 1998, and officially became the Pastor on August 23, 1998.
Under the short tenure of Dr. Miles, Greater Friendship has moved aggressively forward as a vital and viable Church for our Most High God. The Church has grown numerically, financially, and spiritually. We have remodeled the choir stand and pulpit area; added a parking lot, resurfaced an old lot; designed and prepared two conference rooms, remodeled and enhanced our office suite; developed a Clothing and Food Closet for the neighborhood, completed and furnished a game room, added a computer laboratories. On May 20, 2006, Greater Friendship Baptist Church became a debt free facility; the mortgage was burned on July 16, 2006.
Pastor Miles recently received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. If we continue to follow his leadership as he follows the Lord, we will continue to attempt and accomplish great things for God.