Rev. Dr. Friendly J. Gadson
Rev. Dr. Friendly J. Gadson is the oldest of three children born to the late Sam R. Gadson, Jr. and Bertha Lonon Gadson Donaldson. He was reared in Sumter, S.C. in the St Paul AMEC community, where he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age. He graduated Salutatorian of his 1969 graduating class of Eastern High School in Sumter, S.C. Dr. Gadson is a 1973 Business Administration graduate of Benedict College, Columbia, S.C. In 2000, he received his Master Degree in Business Administration from Scarsdale University, St. Joe, Michigan. In May of 2005, Dr. Gadson earned a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Masters Graduate School of Divinity, Evansville, Indiana. He has done additional studies at the L.B. Burgess School of Religion, Florence, S.C. and ITC, i.e., Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Gadson accepted God’s call to preach the gospel in November, 1989 under his spiritual leader and mentor, the Rev. Dr. B.J. Glover. He was admitted into the Northeast South Carolina Annual Conference in September, 1990. He received his Deacon’s Ordination (under the Missionary Rule) in 1991 under the Presiding Prelate, Bishop Fredrick Calhoun James. In September, 1994, Dr. Gadson received his Elder’s Ordination under the Presiding Prelate, Bishop John Hurst Adams. He has sinced, also served under the Presiding Prelates, Bishop Henry Allen Belin, Jr., Bishop Preston Warren Williams 11 and Bishop Richard Franklin Norris. Presiding Prelate, Julius Harrison McAllister has also has an impressionable presence in Dr. Gadson’s life and ministry.
Dr. Gadson has pastored St. Peter AMEC, Mayesville, S.C. 1991-1994, Quinn Chapel AMEC, Sumter, S.C. 1994-1997, Union Station AMEC, Sumter, S.C. 1997-2011. Dr. Gadson was appointed pastor of Mt. Olive AMEC (Woodrow Community), Sumter, S.C. in November 2011.
Dr. Gadson also serves in the following capacities on the Northeast Conference (NEC), Sumter District and Local Areas:
- Member of the NEC Board of Examiners
- Teaches 3rd Year Study Classes
- Member of the NEC Trustee Board
- NEC Christian Education Director
- Member of the NEC Finance Committee
- Secretary for the Sumter District
- Coordinator of the SOA-Sumter District
- Member of the Sumter Black Concerned Clergy
Dr. Gadson has also been blessed to have had a very successful and fruitful business career. He spent thirty-four (34) years in the areas of Purchasing and Materials Management, with the past twenty-six (26) prior and up to 2007 at the managerial level. During his business career, he extended employment opportunities to some four hundred (400) persons and has promoted over the years countless others. Dr. Gadson has traveled extensively throughout his business career, and God has enabled him to help lift others as he, himself, climb. During the twenty-six (26) years that he was employed with his last employers, Bexdix Corporation, Allied Signal and Robert Bosch LLC, God opened so many doors and windows, and made so many ways, until he was certain that it was indeed a move of God on his life. As a Purchasing Director, there were years whereby Dr. Gadson’s annual budget to manage was some eight hundred million dollars ($800,000,000.00).
Dr. Gadson is married to the former Ms. Flora A. York of Mayesville, S.C.. God has blessed them with two (2) wonderful and very successful daughters, Sheneal Kenyatta and Lakesha Christian Gadson. They are the proud grand parents of one (1) grandson, Friendly Markel and two (2) grand daughters, Dre’onna Markita and Ke’Andra Mykirra Gadson.
One of Dr. Gadson’s favorite scripture is Psalm 27:13-14 which states, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord.”