Our History

Founded on the living Word of God and the prayers of God’s people, Friendship Baptist Church has grown and served Plainfield and the surrounding communities for five decades. From its beginning in 1957 as a prayer meeting in a home, to constituting as a church on November 19, 1960, to its present location, we have sought to fulfill the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Under the direction of the church’s nine pastors and through the faithful work of members, hundreds of people have professed faith in Christ and received believer’s baptism. FBC is an Acts 1:8 church. We do missions in our community, the state of Illinois, the United States and all across our world. Plainfield and the surrounding area continue to grow rapidly as people move in from around the world. The mission field is continually expanding. As a result of reaching further, FBC started a church plant, Crosswinds, led by John Stillman and Ken Schultz, with a core group from our church. God has blessed them and they will constitute as a church in early 2011.

We are currently in a five year partnership with Travis and Kim Forsythe who are serving as missionaries in Senegal, Africa. To date, we have had two teams go for mission trips, with another team leaving out in October. One of our very own members, Cheryl Argabright, is serving as a missionary in Bulgaria.

God’s challenge to FBC during the years ahead will be to reach out faithfully to those who need Jesus Christ, sharing the good news of eternal life with them.

 

PASTORS

Frank Brookman November 1960 – May 1962
Briscoe Lamb August 1962 – August 1963
Melvin Larson October 1963 – November 1965
Donald Stephens January 1966 – October 1969
Ora H. Morgan June 1970 – August 1971
C. L. Lindsey November 1972 – December 1974
William A. Dean April 1975 – June 1989
Michael W. Nolen October 1989 – February 2003
Odis W. Weaver September 2004 – Present


HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS

1957 – 1959
Prayer and fellowship meetings begin at the home of Miss Iva Walker.

1959
Calvary Baptist Church, Aurora, sponsors mission in Plainfield. On October 21, mission holds first Wednesday night service at 406 Lockport Street. October 25 is the first Lord’s Day service held with 13 present.

1960
On November 29, Plainfield Missionary Church is constituted with 28 members present, and 41 total membership.

1961
Church purchases and remodels building at 1108 Mill Street. Worship begins at new location on July 3.

1962
In July, church purchases a building to be used for educational space from Hazel Atlas Glass Factory. In September, the home at 500 Fox River Street is purchased for use as a parsonage.

1967
Church purchases three acres of land on Rt. 59 & Norman Avenue for $20,000. Mill Street property is sold for $20,000. A loan of $43,000 is secured to construct new building. In June, church’s name is changed to First Southern Baptist Church of Plainfield and groundbreaking services are held.

1968
In February, church has first meeting in new building.

1972
Parsonage at 500 Fox River Road is sold for $27,000 and new parsonage is purchased at 3253 Willardshire.

1977
Church sponsors Westview Chapel in Shorewood.

1978
Church secures $85,000 loan for construction of new educational building. In the fall, construction on new parsonage begins and parsonage on Willardshire is sold.

1979
In June, new educational building is dedicated.

1983
Gary Blessman is called as Minister of Education & Youth.

1984
Westview Baptist Chapel constitutes into Westview Baptist Church.

1988
Church approves a new church statement of purpose upon the recommendation of the church council.

1989
Church votes to change name to Friendship Baptist Church. Mike Nolen is called as Pastor.

1990
Church purchases and installs a new church sign. On August 28, tornado devastates Plainfield and causes significant damage to church building.

1991
Church completes rebuilding and remodeling project of $250,000. A 24-ft. addition is built, creating a new welcome center. Building dedication takes place on November 24.

1993
Annual budget exceeds $100,000 for the first time in history.

1994
Annual worship attendance average breaks 100 for the first time in history.

1995
Bob Brown is called as part time Minister to Youth. Annual Sunday School attendance average breaks 100 for the first time in history.

1996
Annual worship attendance breaks 150.

1997
Annual budget exceeds $200,000.

1998
Rick Mullan is called as Minister to Families and begins serving in December.


1999
On September 26, the first “Discovering Church Membership” class is taught. This class is the first tangible step toward the adoption of a Purpose-Driven model of church ministry.

2000
Church adopts a new constitution which expressly reflects the Purpose-Driven model of church ministry on March 26. Church has largest ever Vacation Bible School, with total average attendance of 260. VBC family night is the largest single event in FBC history, with a total attendance of 483. The first “Discovering Spiritual Maturity” class is taught on October 29. Annual budget exceeds $300,000. Annual worship attendance breaks 200.

2001
Church completes a parking lot expansion project in the summer, paying cash for the $125,000 project.

2002
First “Discovering My Ministry” class is taught on September 22. Church participates in a nationwide emphasis, “40 Days of Purpose”. This emphasis results in a new understanding of the Purpose-Driven model of church ministry and culminates in a Celebration Sunday service at Wesmere School, with 300 people in attendance. Church ministers to an average of 280 people each week.

Church sets a new record of giving to the budget with a year-end total of $416,564, far surpassing the budget of $359,389.

2003
Mike Nolen resigns as Pastor of FBC, effective February 18, 2003. Accepts call as Senior Pastor at SouthWinds Church in Tracy, CA. His last Sunday is February 16. Pastor Search Committee is selected: Tony Spano, Chair; John Stillman, Ken Schultz, Oliver Jones, Susan Fox, Jonathan Parsley, and Joann Weaver.

Church approves Odis Weaver, who is Director of Missions for Three Rivers Baptist Association, as interim pastor.

2004
Pastor Rick and Dave Cline go on mission trip to Bulgaria. In August, the church unanimously calls Odis Weaver as Senior Pastor. Church adopts new logo, “Faith, Family and Friends”. Numerous outreach events include: Celebration of Marriage, free car washes, Vacation Bible School, fireworks night, ladies retreat, tricks & treats, and women’s ornament exchange.

2005
Church begins an action plan to utilize properties we have as well as seeking to start new churches. Mission team goes to Kenya with several of our folks going. Sanctuary is remodeled with laminate flooring at the front of sanctuary, new carpet, new chairs, and new partitions to divide into Connection Classes.

John Stillman and Ken Schultz share their vision to begin a new church plant. Church votes to accept the plans and move forward. The name “Crosswinds Church” was adopted.

2006
Building team is formed and charter developed. Prayer walk is done. Building campaign consultant and architect are hired. Budget is approved for building project. Church votes to add the position of “Minister to Students” and the application process is begun. Summer mission trip is taken to Ukraine. Numerous outreach events are held: VBS doorhangers, free car washes, fireworks night, Fall Family Festival, Chosen Arrow events, Taste of Friendship, G.R.O.W. teams.

2007
“Building Friendship” capital campaign is conducted January – April. Pledges made as of May are $576,183. Building costs are estimated at 4-6 million dollars. Church calls Doug Anderson as Minister to Students. First Wild Game Dinner by Chosen Arrow Ministry, led by Pastor Rick, is held and 80 people attend. Another summer mission trip is taken to Ukraine.

2008
Church votes to proceed with Phase 1 and 2 concept design to maximize the use of our three acre site. This is not a vote to begin building, but focuses on checking on volunteer labor, phasing options and lowering construction costs. A second Wild Game Dinner is held. 40% of attendees are not from our church. A mission trip to Ukraine is taken in the summer. Pastor Odis goes to Senegal, Africa, on a discovery trip to see about partnering with the Forsythes who are IMB missionaries serving there. Easter service is held at Plainfield Central High School to accommodate all our people in one service. We began outreach program for new movers in area with the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce.

2009
Church votes to begin a partnership with the Forsythes in Senegal. Pastor Odis and Don/Sally Baker go on mission trip to Senegal. Primary purpose is to distribute Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes that were delivered for that area. This was a great opportunity to go into the villages and schools to deliver these personally. Third annual Wild Game dinner is held at Plainfield Central High School on March 7. 340 people are in attendance. Approximately 120 are non-churched. Church begins process of developing a security manual after the tragic shooting of a pastor in southern Illinois.

2010
Fourth annual Wild Game dinner is held at PCHS with 375 in attendance. Church votes to celebrate its 50 year anniversary on Sunday, November 14. Our church plant, Crosswinds, makes plans to constitute as a church in early 2011 and their pastors, John Stillman and Ken Schultz are ordained. Church is site for a Beth Moore simulcast. Great VBS and tent service are held. Two mission teams are sent to Senegal to work with IMB missionaries, Travis and Kim Forsythe. The youth participate in MissionFuge and PowerPlant during the summer. Cheryl Argabright goes to Bulgaria as IMB missionary. Church continues to participate in local, state, and national mission projects.