Friendly Chapel Church was organized on November 4, 1964. We organized as an independent work with 36 charter members. Our services were held in a house on Black Mountain Road, a few miles from our present location.
In April, 1965, land was purchased beside Highway 52, south of Pilot Mountain, and construction of the sanctuary was completed in October 1965. Over the years, many additions and restorations have been made to the church facility.
On June 1, 2019, our church steeple experienced two lightning strikes, resulting in fire and water damage to the vestibule and sanctuary. To God be the glory, the church was able to undergo roof restoration and extensive remodeling. After several months of holding church services in the fellowship hall, the church celebrated its Grand Reopening on Sunday, March 1, 2020. The new steeple was installed on Friday, April 24, 2020.
Donald Wayne Collins, known to everyone as “Bro. Don”, loyally and faithfully served Friendly Chapel Church as Pastor since the opening date on October 3, 1965. Throughout the years, Bro. Don’s ministry for the Lord has reached thousands of people, not only in our area, but throughout the world. He is known nationally for his radio broadcast, “The Midnight Cry”.
In early 2020, Ryan Whitt became Pastor of Friendly Chapel. Ryan came to Friendly Chapel Church as a young child with his grandparents, and became a member in 1996. Growing up under Bro. Don Collins helped to influence Ryan. Ryan accepted the call to preach in 2007 and continued to teach Sunday School and lead the choir at his church.
Ryan Whitt, his wife Shannon, and their son, Ezra
Born and raised in the small town of King, NC, Ryan and his family was led by the LORD to become full-time members of Friendly Chapel Church in 1996. Ryan had regularly visited Friendly Chapel throughout his childhood with his grandparents, and had accepted Jesus as his personal Savior at the age of eight in August of 1991.
Through his teen years Ryan developed a love for Southern Gospel Music and began a ministry as the teen youth choir director. With no thoughts of making ministry his fulltime endeavor, Ryan enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree. While pursuing his education he began to feel a new calling on his life that led to teaching a small teen’s Sunday school class.While continuing to teach a growing teen class and finishing his nursing degree, it was clear that God had placed an undeniable passion for studying, teaching, and preaching His Holy Word.
Ryan began a career in health care in 2005, and then married his wife, Shannon, a year later. Ryan’s ministry continued to expand as he was asked to direct the forty-five voice Friendly Chapel Adult Choir in 2008. This was followed by Ryan officially making public to his church God’s call on his life to preach the Gospel in 2009. Then, in 2010 another door was opened in Ryan’s ministry as he was asked to serve as teacher of the True Believer’s Sunday School Class: a seventy member adult class that has existed since the start of Friendly Chapel. As Ryan’s call to ministry was growing, so was his family. Ryan and Shannon gratefully welcomed their son, Ezra, in 2014.
In 2019, after the declining health of Ryan’s mentor and Founding Pastor, Bro. Don Collins; the congregation and church leadership (with the blessing of Bro. Don) asked Ryan to serve as Interim Pastor of Friendly Chapel. With much prayer, and a clear divinely designed plan Ryan accepted the invitation to serve the congregation and community of Friendly Chapel Church as Head Pastor in February of 2020.
Ryan humbly considers it the greatest responsibility and privilege of a lifetime to preach the Gospel of his LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. He unapologetically preaches every scripture within context and with focus on the Bible’s unchanging relevance to our everyday lives. We are excited to see how God uses this ministry, and for the countless souls who are won for His Glory!