“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Detroit in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Friendship Baptist Church

Friendship Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
1. Friendship Baptist Church Marker
Side 1
Inscription.   In 1916 the Rev. Samuel S. Cumby founded Friendship Baptist Church, an African-American congregation, on Russell Street. The Rev. John Henry Johnson (1878-1957) began to lead the church the next year. Its membership grew rapidly over the next two decades, forcing several moves in search of more space. In 1935 Rev. Johnson and the approximately 1,000-member church moved to their first long-term location, at 623 Rowena, later renamed Mack Avenue. By this time, the church had more than twenty-five auxiliaries and clubs engaged in such community outreach efforts as Red Cross projects, food programs and volunteering. In 1960 Friendship Baptist Church became the second African-American church to join the Detroit Association of American Baptist Churches.

In the 1950s Detroit began urban renewal. Meant to improve the city with highway, housing and public building projects, the effort also destroyed neighborhoods, including “Black Bottom,” where Friendship Baptist was located. In 1958 the Rev. Louis Johnson (1930-2008), the church’s third pastor, heard that Friendship would be razed for the Detroit Medical Center project. After a three-year

Friendship Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
2. Friendship Baptist Church Marker
Side 2
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battle to stay in the area, the church became the first approved for a new site. The building on Mack was leveled in 1963. This Modern-style church was designed by Wallace K. Kagawa, an architect with Minoru Yamasaki and Associates, who helped design the World Trade Center in New York City. Opened in April 1964, Friendship was the first Detroit church built in an urban renewal area.
Erected 2018 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan History Center. (Marker Number L2298.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1964.
Location. 42° 21.12′ N, 83° 3.202′ W. Marker is in Detroit, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is on Beaubien Boulevard 0.2 miles north of Mack Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Located across the street from Children's Hospital of Michigan ER. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3900 Beaubien Blvd, Detroit MI 48201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Recreation Park (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); American Academy of Pediatrics (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brewster Homes (approx. ¼ mile away); Alpha House (approx.
Friendship Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
3. Friendship Baptist Church Marker
¼ mile away); Detroit Urban League (approx. ¼ mile away); Greater Shiloh Baptist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Josaphat Roman Catholic Church Complex (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Detroit Medical College (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Detroit.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 6, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 6, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 12, 2021