The Friendship Baptist Church, currently located at 407 Union Street in Schenectady, NY 12305 where the Pastor is Reverend William Lynn Hamilton. He was installed on March 1, 2010. Pastor Hamilton encourages the theme of “God’s Plan…Our Mission“. Since his pastorate, Pastor Hamilton is leading the congregation in a transformational vision to meet the needs of spiritual growth in the 21st century. The Church vision includes enhancing and expanding several of the churches infrastructures such as technology, building and financial supports, are all key aspects that he has promoted under his leadership. He also is incorporating opportunities for growth for all members of the church through the different ministries, utilizing the visions of the youth, young adults and people with longstanding membership in the church to provide ideas, assistance, and guidance.


Friendship Baptist Church was without a pastor for 2 years and The Deacon Ministry along with Reverend Catherine Y. Patterson, led the congregation in praise and worship.


Rev. Van I. Stuart was the Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church. During his tenure, he invoked the theme of “Serving God Through Serving Others” He challenged the congregation to follow the Great Commission: “To love God unconditionally, to love our fellowman compassionately, to preach, teach and make disciples for Jesus Christ”. Also, under his pastorate, the 2nd church mortgage was paid off, and a church van was purchased.


Reverend Catherine Y. Patterson served as the Interim Pastor for 3 ½ years (1994 – 1998). During her tenure as Interim Pastor, she supported the church with the purchasing of Friendship House located at 955 State Street in Schenectady, NY.


The longest serving pastor of the church was Reverend Carl B. Taylor (1965-1994). During his tenure as Pastor, Friendship actively participated in inter-denominational and community activities. They held memberships in national, state and local Baptist and religious organizations. Through the leadership and encouragement of Rev. Taylor, the membership assumed and completed the task of building a new church edifice that was dedicated in January 1984. (Pictured: laying the cornerstone)


Rev. Harold E. Pinkston served as Pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church (2/63-10/64). Friendship became a tithing church and the mortgage on the church was paid off and a parsonage was purchased in Scotia, New York.
Rev. James G. Williams served as interim Pastor from 1960-1963.

The 1950’s

Four Pastors officiated at the Friendship Baptist Church:
Reverend Robert Raspberry (1959-end of year)
Reverend Joseph Moore (1953-1959)
Reverend Lafayette Cox served as Interim Pastor (1952-1953)
Reverend Robert H. Dixon Sr. (1950-1952)

Friendship under the pastorate of Rev. Robert H. Dixon Sr., became one of the first churches in the Capital District Area to sponsor a Sunday Broadcast.

In 1956 under the pastorate of Rev. Moore, members of the Friendship Baptist Church located on North College Street in Schenectady purchased the First Baptist Church located at 407 Union Street in Schenectady for $30,000.

The 1930’s-1940’s

Three Pastors served:
1947–1949 - Rev. Gerald S. White served as Pastor of Friendship. He also served as President of the NAACP during his tenure at Friendship.
1943-1945 – Rev. W. M. Revies served as Pastor of the Church. During his tenure, the purchase of property for a new church on College Street in Schenectady, NY (pictured) was made. Along with the new property came a new name. The church became known as Friendship Baptist Church, and was incorporated as a religious corporation.
1938–1942 - Rev. Lafayette C. Cox was called to the pastorate of the church. He resigned in 1942 to enter the military.

The 1920’s

Pastors at Mt. Horeb - 141 Washington Street, Schenectady, NY:
1925-1938 - Rev. Morgan M. Days was called to the pastorate. It was under his leadership that signs of growth became visible. During his ministry, the name of the church was changed to the Community Baptist Church (city records identified the church as The African (or African American) Community Baptist Church.
Reverend Thomas Ponds, who served a short term from (3/25 -8/25).
Reverend C.E. Skinner (5/24-9/24)

1924 -At the request of Rev. Gordon H. Baker from the First Baptist Church on Union Avenue, Mt. Horeb and its 30 members were admitted into the Mid-Hudson River Association North (American Baptist Church Association)

1923-1924 The First Pastor of the Mt. Horeb Church was Reverend Ellsworth L. Wormsley (then again 9/24-3/25).


Itinerant Preachers served a small congregation until late 1923.

Rev. George Baker, Pastor of the First Baptist Church (at 407 Union Street in Schenectady) helped reorganized the Mt. Horeb Baptist Church on Washington Street in Schenectady, New York.

1919 - The history of Black Baptists in Schenectady, NY started around the turn of the century. Small groups of dedicated Christian people would gather to worship. On the first Sunday in October 1919, the congregation established a Baptist mission. The church was a small shanty located on Railroad Avenue in Schenectady, NY.