Approximately 1872 Post Oak Trees were out in neighboring woods and sawed into unfinished lumber at a local saw mill. They were used to make a one room school house in the Friendship Community. The chimney was made of dirt and sticks in the east end of the building and door was erected at the south end of the building. The roof was made of boards two feet long overlapping like shingles. They were made in "Little River" bottom out of a Burr Oak tree that someone had donated. The floor was made of the post oak wood planks, size one by twelve.
Church services were conducted in this little school building. Mr. Fowler Davis' grandfather was a teacher in this school building in 1874. The school house was used as a place of worship for about ten years. Some of the early members of the Friendship Methodist Church in 1874 were: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Graham and Miss Jennie Graham, Mr. and Mrs. Cummings, Mrs. Linney, Miss Susan Linney, Mr. and Mrs. Bunting and some of their children. Mr. Cummings was steward at that time.
Friendship was on a circuit and one of the early circuit preachers was Rev. Southerland. Rev. D. Roberson preached at the school house one Sunday a month during the spring and summer for the next four years. In 1876 Rev. Lane came to the church as its preacher. In the summer of 1876 a brush arbor was built near the old gin at the McAninch Spring in which a protracted meeting was held. Several families camped nearby for the service.*
In 1877 and 1878 Rev. Willis J. King was circuit preacher for Friendship. Then in 1879 - 1880 Rev. Hiram M. Glass was the pastor. A parsonage was erected at Davilla and Rev. Glass was the first pastor to live in it. In 1881 Rev. E. A. Bailey was pastor, later becoming a Presiding Elder. In 1881 - 1883, Rev. N. F. Law was the pastor of the Friendship Methodist Church.
In 1881 the "Shed" was built. It was 60 by 80 feet. This was built for the entire circuit.*
In 1881 a young minister by the name of Duke helped hold a meeting for the Friendship community. He served as a Missionary for several years in Japan. In 1884, Rev. Follin was pastor who later became a Presiding Elder. In 1885, Rev. Vaughn was pastor; then in 1886, Rev. J. R. Dunn came as pastor. Edwin D. Mouzon helped with a camp meeting and in 1910 was elected Bishop in the Methodist Church. Then came Rev. Simms in 1887. Rev. F. L. Allen came as pastor in 1888. At this time the circuit was very muchly run down and Rev. Allen was sent to build it up. In 1889 Rev. Leath was pastor. In 1890, 1891 and 1892, Rev Brinson was pastor, then in 1893 Rev. Will Brooks was pastor; then came Rev. Crutchfield in 1898. He preached until 1899. In 1900 Rev. Collier was pastor. In 1901 Rev. Hart returned as pastor, then came Rev. C. E. Simpson who served 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905. In 1906 George W. Riley was pastor and served until 1807. Mr. Salon Walker was married to Miss Ella Keith November 28, 1900 by Rev. Collier. Mr. W. T. Walker was in charge of building the first church.
According to some of the notes, in the summer of 1884 some of the women and men of the community decided to build a church house. They had been having church in a log cabin.
Some of the men who were influential in the building of the first frame church were: William T. Walker, his sons, D. G. Doggett, Edward Graham, T. K. Wilson, Demetres McQuary*and his sons.
Some of the charter members were: William Walker and family, Hiram Madison and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. William Fowler, Mrs. John Fowler, Mrs. Linney and two daughters, "Aunt Susan Linney", Mr. and Mrs. Edward Graham, Mrs. Moody and children, J. H. Collins and family, Mr. and Mrs. D. G. Doggett and children, Nancy McClung, Ann Eliza McClung, Metta Collins, McQuary family.
In 1922 the old church was dismantled and lumber and materials were used to erect another church building. As the years moved along other repairs were made on the church.**
Many fine people have originated from the Friendship Community, many who have become very important and useful citizens through out the country. As mentioned above, many fine pastors have served, many who have become great men in the Methodist Church organization. Other fine pastors having served the church: Rev. Belcher, Rev. Beck, Rev. Weimer, Rev. Moon, Rev. Collier, Rev. Hart, Rev. Simpson, Rev McCreary, Rev. Riley, Rev. Johnson, Rev. Cecil, Rev. Dailey, Rev. Burke, Rev. Green, Rev. Black, Rev. Brinson, Rev. Sample, Rev. Feller, Rev. Box, Rev. Peacock, Rev. Berry, Mack and Rev. Sansom.
Much praise and tribute should be given Mrs. Pearl Walker Satterwhite, who has been active in the Friendship Methodist Church in all departments for many years. She has given loyally of her time and talents for the betterment and growth of the Church. Tribute should be given to all those who have made the Friendship Methodist Church grow.
The Friendship Methodist Church, like all small churches, has had its proverbial "ups and downs", but by PRAYER, FAITH and DETERMINATION it shall be known as:
* The McAninch Spring is designated on the plat of land purchased in 1878 by William Stout McQuary, approximately two miles south of the Church.
* Apparently, the "Shed" is the structure erected at the Camp Ground deeded to the circuit by Fred Graves. My mother, Preble Walker McQuary, remembers that, as a child, families spent a week at the Camp Meetings held in the Camp Ground Pasture. Church records give the dimensions of the plot dedicated as Camp Grounds. The area is located just south of Clay's Creek approximately two miles south of the Church.
* Demetris Mcquary was the son of William Stout McQuary. Very likely this should read, "William Stout Mcquary and sons, Demetris, William and James."
** David Ross Mcquary and Preble Walker McQuary had a record of individuals who had pledged money toward the building of the church. I remember seeing them during my childhood during the late 1920s.
The old copy of the HISTORY from which this was copied was found among the memorabilia of Miller McCormick of Milano, Texas by her nephew, Toliver Wilson. No author is given; however, it is quite likely that Monroe Walker, long time superintendent of the Sunday School, helped compile the information. Some of the pastors mentioned were assigned to the Church during the early 1940s. The document may date to that time.
Toliver Wilson grew up in the Friendship Community and is the descendant of early pioneer families, McClung, McCormick and Wilson. The Friendship Methodist Church is indebted to him for sharing this HISTORY with members of the Church. He presented it to Lucille McQuary Hilliard at Memorial Day Services on June 1, 1991.
Dorothy McQuary Callaway has made the comments above. HISTORY was copied by her for reprinting June 1991.
We must say a special thank you to Larry Wilson of Hurst, Texas, for re-typing the above church history for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.
Created on 23 May 2004 and last revised on _____________