History of Friendship Community Church
Rev. Dr. Ernest Kratofil and his family, previously missionaries in India, were called to be the church planters in the Victoria area. Delbrook Baptist Church of North Vancouver (now The Bridge Community Church) accepted the role of sponsoring mother church.
In July of 1975 the Kratofil family moved to the Gordon Head (University of Victoria) area. Public services began in November of that year and the church was organized in July of 1976, followed by a recognition service on November 7, 1976. Over the next few years, services were moved from the Gordon Head area to the Saanichton Elementary School and later to Stelly’s Secondary School.
The relatively small congregation searched for land and found the current 6.5 acre site in the municipality of Central Saanich, which it bought in 1980. In 1983, after clearing many hurdles, the first church building was erected. An office expansion was completed in 1994, a new sanctuary was dedicated in October of 2007, and a Christian Education addition was added in September of 2017.
It was also in 2007 that some of the members from Friendship, led by Pastor Steven Buhr, who had been the worship leader at Friendship for 15 years, and with the encouragement and financial support of FCC over 9 years, planted Westshore Community Church in Colwood, where it continues to hold services. FCC is also the mother church to a Filipino church plant in Victoria (Victoria Christian Faith Church) under the leadership of pastor Allan Yadao.
In January 2009 the members of Friendship voted to change the name of the church from Friendship Baptist Church to Friendship Community Church, reflecting a desire to be a church that does not define itself primarily denominationally, and hopefully be more inviting to the non-churched.
FCC has been blessed with long-term ministry staff. Rev. Kratofil retired in September 1996 after 21 years of fruitful ministry. Rev. Dr. Spencer Stadler, who previously served in Nanaimo and Coquitlam, was called to this position and has served as Lead Pastor from February 1998 to June 2018.
Pastor George Hodgson served faithfully for 16 years as the Associate Pastor, from April 1991 until his retirement in August of 2007. He is still active as the “Mr. Fix-it” around the church and as a part-time chaplain to the Saanich Peninsula hospital. Pastor Byron Knight began his ministry as associate pastor in September of 2007 and has helped initiate the yearly missions’ trips to the Dominican Republic.
Sharon Baerg joined the ministry team as the first Worship & Women's Pastor in October of 2009 and has introduced many positive changes in training the worship team leaders and bringing on new team members. She has also brought leadership to the many women's ministries that currently operate at FCC and all 8 ministries now operate under the single umbrella of what is referred to as 'bloom'.
In July of 2012, Sarah Davidson became the Children & Families Pastor and has been instrumental in expanding our children’s ministry during Sunday services, weekly age-appropriate small groups, and a great summer camp program.
In January 2014 Kurt Friesen took over as the Youth Pastor and brought leadership to our middle school and Sr. high youth programs. Since 2017, Jackie Friesen is active in children’s ministry, youth ministry and in bringing additional leadership to the missions’ trips. Also beginning that year, Connor Baerg started heading up the young adult ministry.
Friendship Community Church is a member of the Baptist General Conference of Canada http://www.bgc.ca