Two youth, dressed as Mary and Joseph, watch over the manger in a Christmas pageant of the 1980s.
A visiting pastor breaks the communion bread at the altar of Friends Congregational.
The pastors address the congregational from step ladders as they christen the new solar panels insta
The sanctuary of years past, sparse and clean with plastic chairs empty and ready. Date unknown.
In a black-and-white photo, a man prepares to play guitar for a crowd of children in the sanctuary.
The pastor uses her hands to break off a piece of communion bread for a member of the congregation.
“Come to the fair” reads a large handmade sign, flanked with smiling people, outside of the sanctuar
A black-and-white photo shows a dozen people, adults and children, posing with a large sign that rea
Arms outstretched, the pastor addresses her congregation.
The senior pastor and church leadership lean onto shovels during a ceremonial groundbreaking on the
A black-and-white photo shows a group of young adults smiling and laughing. Date unknown.
A black-and-white photo shows the original church building, circa 1980s.
A young man and a child sit by the creek at Slumber Falls. Date unknown.
Friends Church was founded in October 1977 by a group of faithful people with a God given vision to start a church that would share the hopeful message of the gospel. Friends Church first met in the South Knoll Elementary cafeteria with William Youngkin, Jr., as pastor. On November 13, 1983 we moved to our current location at the corner of Harvey Mitchell Parkway (FM 2818) and Southwood Drive. Over the years Friends has been involved in numerous outreach programs and activities sharing God's love to the Bryan/College Station community. It is our hope and prayer that through Seeking God, Sharing Journeys and Serving Others you will find God's vision through one of the many opportunities available at Friends Congregational Church.
Following a self-study, a capital campaign and the hiring of Clovis Heinsath as architect in 1981, our new building was constructed. The first worship service in the new church building was held on November 13, 1983, and the building was formally dedicated in February of 1984. In July of 1987, Michael Dack was called as Pastor. In July of 1989, Friends celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Charter.
In September 1994, Charles Stark was called as Pastor and in December of that year, Friends UCC became Friends Congregational Church, UCC. In 1995, The Friends Just Peace Institute (JPI) was formed and hosted the first annual Earth Day Celebration in the Bryan/College Station area, community forums on health care and environmental justice and the first Peace Art Exhibit. In June of 1996, Friends adopted the Open and Affirming Statement, the first church in the South Central Conference to do so, and in August called Jo Hudson as pastor. In December of that year, Friends celebrated its 20th Anniversary. In November of 1998, JPI and FCC hosted a community wide Candlelight Vigil to honor the memory of Matthew Shephard of Laramie, WY and to speak out against hate crimes.
As part of Friends’ on-going commitment to earth care and the community, in April of 2001 the community gardens were constructed in raised beds on our property. And in December of 2003, a labyrinth on the property was dedicated to Friends Congregational Church in celebration of its 25th Anniversary. In September 2003, Dan De Leon was called as pastor. In 2008 Friends became the first church in B/CS to host Family Promise and in November of that year called Rev. Tamara Franks as Associate Pastor and Minister of Spiritual Development. In December 2008, Friends celebrated its 30th Anniversary.
Continuing the commitment to environmental stewardship, in 2012 Friends Church reached 100% wind watts investing in wind energy through College Station Utilities. In July 2013, the congregation celebrated a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the renovation and expansion of the church building. After 5 months “In the Wilderness,” having relocated to A&M United Methodist Church Annex on Tauber Street during remodeling, the congregation celebrated the dedication of the newly renovated and expanded building in November. In December, the church celebrated its 35th anniversary with all five former pastors in attendance. Friends called Trent Williams as Associate Pastor in 2016, installed solar panels solar through Texas Green Energy in 2017 and in 2019 became an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation and an A2A (Accessible to All) Congregation.
In February of 2020, our chancel choir sang at Carnegie Hall and in March of that year,
we announced our official designation as an A2A (Accessible to All) congregation.
Due to the pandemic, in March our worship services went fully online with occasional outdoor services. During the mandatory quarantine days of the pandemic, Church members contributed a portion or all of their government CARES act payments to Friends Church to support Voices for Children and Tiny Hope Village, we established a food pantry in collaboration with Peace Lutheran Church, and more than 50 Friends Church members participated in a local protest for racial justice in the wake of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. In the waning days of the pandemic, each household in our congregation received a goodie bag to help us celebrate Lent, Palm Sunday, and Easter at home. On May 23, 2021 we celebrated our first service in sanctuary since lockdown. In 2022, Rev. Trent Williams became our Executive Pastor, and the youth group led a fundraising endeavor through RIP Medical Debt that raised over $51,000 to forgive over $11.8 million in medical debt. In the summer of 2022, the youth group went on a mission trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they learned about indigenous history. In January of 2023, The Rev. Brooke Dooley was ordained and installed as our Associate Pastor to Youth and Young Adults and then in the summer led the youth group on a mission trip to Tulsa, OK, where they learned about racial justice. Friends Church became a Reproductive Freedom Congregation in the spring of 2023.