|Friendship United Methodist Church|
"Here, brethren, the 1898 history ends, but it is written in vain, if we can only obtain amusement or intellectual pleasure from it. Few people read history for pleasure, but rather for knowledge and a desire to profit by the experience of others, nations, or individuals. I see lessons in this one for us all, but will only devote a short time to one for us as Christians; a lesson which we all need much to learn, a lesson of encouragement. How often have we felt like laying our weapons down and giving up the battle entirely, when, after having fought hard and long against the forces of evil, we have looked around on the world and have seen Satan apparently as strong as ever, sin and vice still triumphant. A soul saved here and there, perhaps scores of them at times, but thousands of others, many near and dear to us personally, who appear as yet untouched, who do not see their danger, or if they do, will not take the only means to escape it.
"We all want to see the work of the Lord prosper in our hands, and if that is denied us, we think the cause is lost and that we are wasting our time and labor. Now I suppose the men and women who helped to build this church had just such thoughts, just such experiences, just such discouragements; and yet when we look back on the record of the past ninety years in the history of this old church, can you and I say that their work was a failure? When we think of the many, many souls that have found Christ in this house, can we say their labor was in vain? When some of us who are here today can certify that in this very church we have found a blessed rest in Jesus, can we say that the building of Friendship was a mistake?
"When we think of the blessed communions we have had here with Christ, and with each other, when we think how our faith has been increased, our hopes brightened and our fears dispelled, through the instrumentality of the meetings we have attended in this house, surely we can testify that the labors of those old brethren were not in vain in the Lord.
"And we can appreciate still more highly these hopeful words which have come down to us from the lips of one of Christ’s true servants, ‘Wearily have the years passed I know; wearily to the pale watcher on the hill, who has been so long gazing for the day break; wearily to the anxious multitudes who have been waiting for His tidings below. Often has the cry gone up through the darkness, ‘Watcher, what of the night?’ and often has the disappointing answer come, ‘It is night still; here the stars are clear above me, but they shine afar, and yonder the clouds lower heavily, and the sad night winds blow.’ But the time shall come, and perhaps sooner than we look for it, when the countenance of that pale watcher shall gather into intenser expectancy, and when the challenge shall be given, with a hopefulness of a nearer vision, ‘Watcher, what of the night?’ and the answer will come, ‘The darkness is not so dense as it was; mist is in the valleys, but there is a radiance on the distant hills. It comes nearer—that promise of the day! The clouds roll rapidly away and they are fringed with amber and gold! What is this? It is, it is the blessed sunlight that I feel around me—morning!’
"It Is Morning!!!
"Morning!! Hark, how the earth rejoices in it, and its many minstrels challenge the harpers of the sky. Sing with us, ye heavens! The morning cometh, the darkness is past, the shadows flee away, the true light shineth now.
"Morning!! Hark, how the sympathetic heavens reply, ‘Thy sun shall no
more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw herself, for the Lord shall
be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy weeping shall be ended.’
And see! The light climbeth onward and upward, for there is a sacred
beyond. That noon is heaven.
Concerning the Comer family of Friendship: Nathan Comer m. Mary K. Down (1834-1862 Fdsp.) (She of Jesse Down and Catherine Kandle.) Also there was Josiah Bennett Comer m. Amy Down of Millville. They were parents of Rev. Percy R. Comer, Sr. (1869 Mlvl.-1953 Fdsp.) m. Eleanor Hamil Shannon (1878-1966 Fdsp.). Whether brother or cousin there was William B. Comer (1860-1931 Fdsp.) m. Elizabeth A. Downs (1863-1953 Fdsp.). He a Friendship trustee 1898, 1908. They had a son Earle Comer, whose grandson is Robert L. Comer of Tenafly, NJ. Also son Delbert Comer (1888-1966 Fdsp.) a trustee 1945 and grandson Howard D. Comer (Fdsp., a trustee in 1968. Son Jesse Comer (Fdsp.) and grandson Chester Comer (Fdsp.), and daughter Mary Comer (1895-1980 Fdsp.), she a trustee 1968, m. Belford Saul.
In 1937 the idea of having a Social Hall was made. The first fund raiser was an ice cream social at Comer’s Grove, Downstown. At the grounddedication 1945, Delbert was a trustee. At its completion and dedication in 1942, Mrs. Elizabeth A. (Downs) Comer (age 85) helped officiate.
Rev. Percy, Sr. had four children, #1 Josiah Bennett Comer died in W.W.II. #4 Rev. Percy R. Comer, Jr. (1909 Yorktown-1971 Fdsp.) m. Dorothy F. (1915-1997 Fdsp.). They had three children, #3 John Bennett Comer.