Voice. Friendship s. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. - Luke 2:11 (KJV)

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1 Friendship s Voice IN THIS ISSUE: X A NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM X WATCH NIGHT...4 X YEAR-END BREAKFAST X ENHANCE YOUR CHRISTIAN WALK...7 Exalt the Savior * Equip the Saint * Evangelize the Sinner Rev. Ronald L. Bowens Pastor VOLUME 1 ISSUE /2012 All eyes were watching as the lights dimmed and the performances began on Sunday, December 18, The Joy of Christmas was presented by the FBC Drama Ministry. The program featured a play entitled A Night in Bethlehem. The setting of the play was 2000 years ago in Ancient Israel and included such props as an Inn and even a stable. Cast members were adorned in costumes from the time period as they told the story of the birth of Jesus from the point of view of each of the characters they portrayed (Mary, Joseph, Innkeeper, Innkeeper s Wife, Shepherds, Wise Men, and Angels). For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. - Luke 2:11 (KJV)

2 Volume 1, Issue 7 A Purpose Driven Church DECEMBER/JANUARY A Night in Bethlehem (Con t) The Mistress of Ceremony for the evening was Dyanna Agee. Michelle Wilson began by welcoming all in attendance. Cynthia Urquhart and Erichka Shadburn led everyone in prayer and the reading of scripture. The play started at center-stage with Mary (mother of Jesus) played by Whitney Tucker. She dramatized how she felt when she was approached by the Angel who gave her the news that she had been chosen by God to bring Jesus into the world. Next, Joseph played by Joseph Townsel, shared with the audience how he felt when he found out his bride-to-be was expecting a baby. The Innkeeper and his wife played by Emmanuel Tucker and Gail Lewis shared how they felt when they told Mary and Joseph there was no room in the Inn. The shepherds played by Michael Long, William Patterson and Joseph White all shared how they were led to Bethlehem to see the miracle that had taken place there. The angels played by Austin Bookman, Donavan Garner, Trey Short, and Darian Malone all shared the good news of the birth of Jesus in A Night in Bethlehem.

3 Volume 1, Issue 7 A Purpose Driven Church DECEMBER/JANUARY A Night in Bethlehem (Con t) The audience enjoyed the wonderful sounds of Christmas music. The Joy of Christmas also featured soloist and instrumental recitals by Jazzmin, Autum, Cameron Williams and Stanisha Crowder. Delight was also felt when the younger children participated in the Hand Bell Choir led by Vanessa White. The program culminated with the energetic movements performed by the FBC Dance Ministry. Evangelist Denise Jackson shared an awesome performance routine to Mary Did You Know? by Helen Baylor. This was followed by the benediction, given by Pastor Bowens. What a Night in Bethlehem!

4 Volume 1, Issue 7 A Purpose Driven Church DECEMBER/JANUARY Watch Night Service The Ushers were busy finding spaces to seat the steady flow of eager worshippers as the sanctuary filled to capacity. All were determined to end the old year and welcome the New Year worshipping our Lord and Saviour. This was the scene at Friendship Baptist Church on New Year s Eve, 201l. Traditionally, both the members of Friendship and our neighbor Mount Carmel Baptist Church unite for Watch Night Service. This year Pastor Bowens presided over the nights activities, while Dr. Willie Goodman of Mount Carmel delivered the Watch Night Message. Pastor Goodman delivered a very dynamic sermon. The message was based on Matthew 25:31-46 and he used the words Hungry, Thirsty, Stranger, Naked, Prisoner: as his subject. It was a very spirit filled worship experience. The praise and worship section of the service was led by the Deacons of Mount Carmel. We were also blessed with selections by Mount Carmel s choir. The service culminated with inspirational remarks from Pastor Bowens. Truly, the presence of the Holy Spirit was felt throughout the evening, which ended with a great hope for the Year 2012! The Watch Night service can be traced back to gatherings also known as Freedom s Eve. On that night, black slaves and free blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. At the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863; all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as many people fell to their knees and thanked God. Blacks have gathered in churches annually on New Year s Eve ever since, praising God for bringing us safely through another year. It s been over a century since the first Freedom s Eve and tradition still brings us together at this time every year to celebrate how we got over. This celebration takes many African American descendants of slaves into a new year with praise and worship. The service usually begins anywhere from 7PM to 10PM and ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year.

5 Volume 1, Issue 7 A Purpose Driven Church DECEMBER/JANUARY Year-end Breakfast MEN S FELLOWSHIP YEAR END BREAKFAST The Men s Ministry held their year end prayer breakfast on Saturday, December 3 th in the Fellowship Hall. The event was well attended with more than 50 men and youth. As is typical at the Men s fellowship breakfast meetings, the morning started with a hot breakfast that featured grits, fish, eggs and bacon. Many of the men had set goals for 2011 as part of a ministry initiative from January 2011 and it was time to review progress, reassess and set new goals for Goals related to personal, financial, family and church related service matters. Brothers were invited to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Attainable) where progress and success could be measured. There was discussion on accountability partners and the necessity for friends to help, support and counsel one another during the coming year. Brothers including the youth lined up to give their testimonies of what has happened and how God has worked in their lives in Story after story of hardships, illnesses, joblessness, victories and successes, spiritual and material were recounted and in every case God s hand was clearly at work. One story triggered another. The Holy Spirit truly was in the place. At least 20 men got up to tell their stories, some smiling and some crying but all praising the Lord. Everyone was moved beyond words.

6 Volume 1, Issue 7 A Purpose Driven Church DECEMBER/JANUARY Year End Breakfast Photos

7 Volume 1, Issue 7 A Purpose Driven Church DECEMBER/JANUARY Enhance Your Christian Walk SEVEN WORDS OF WORSHIP But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. - John 4:22-23 (KJV) Classes on How to Study the Bible, with Minister Leslie Green as instructor, were held every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 pm. These classes began in the Heritage House, but the response was so great, it had to be moved to the Fellowship Hall. Topics covered were How We Got the Bible, God s Word to Us, The Divisions of the Bible, The Books of the Old and New Testament, The Life of Christ, and The Apostles and the Great Commission. These studies provided a better understanding of how to apply these basics to our daily time spent in the Word. If you missed the opportunity to take advantage of the first session of this dynamic teaching, no need to fret. A new session of the same teaching begins again the second Tuesday in March. Don t let this opportunity pass you by! According to the Webster College Dictionary, worship is the reverent love and allegiance accorded to deity, a set of ceremonies, prayers or other religious forms by which this love is expressed. Worship is a vital ingredient toward developing a deeper and more meaningful walk with God. Our own Deacon Bailey is leading a class on Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. This course is an in-depth study of seven simple words as each one relates to worship. Just as our relationship with God is a personal experience, our desire and form of worshipping is also personal. As we get to know God for who He is and what He has done we will make ourselves available to worship Him.

8 Friendship s Voice A Purpose Driven Church MEET THE STAFF: Communication Ministry Spiritual Advisor Vacant Ministry Deacon Deacon Harold Mitchell President Louie Malone Vice President Vacant Treasurer Kevin Corbett Secretary Barbara Tucker Friendship Baptist Church Mission Statement Exalt the Savior * Equip the Saint * Evangelize the Sinner A Purpose Driven Church Friendly through Fellowship Developed through Discipleship Enlarged through Evangelism Sharing and Caring through Servant Hood Stronger through God s Word and True Worship OFFICE HOURS: 9:00am 5:00 pm; Monday - Friday Webmaster Joseph Townsel Technical Advisor Henry Richardson Friendship Voice Newsletter Editor-in-Chief Ruth Ellis Associate Ministers Minister Chris Colston Elder Chris Evans Rev. Gar eld Garner Minister Shurron Green Elder John T. Hayes Rev. Alton Wilson Ministers of Evangelism Minister Amelia Brown Evangelist Geneva Burse Evangelist Karen DeLee Minister Leslie Green Minister Roslyn Long Evangelist Denise Jackson Rev. Dr. Joeann Malone Evangelist Ruthell Morris Publisher & Graphic Design Joseph Reeves Anthony Swint Editor & Reporters Kristen Lucas Errol Kerr Barbara Tucker Youth Reporter Justice Williams Photographers Louie Malone OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE WEEKLY Bible Study (Adult & Youth) Wednesday 7:30 PM Deacon s Meeting Tuesday 7:00 PM Intercessory Prayer Wednesday 6:00pm/Friday 7:00 PM New Members Class Sunday 9:30 AM Sunday School Sunday 9:45 AM Recovery Ministry Tim Sanford 7 days 24 hours Praise Team Preparation Tuesday (2nd, 3rd, 4th) 6:30 PM Sunday School Teachers Wednesday 6:30 PM Sunday Worship Sunday 7:30 & 11:00am Youth Bible Study Wednesday 7:45 PM Please direct comments or questions to:

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