Rev. Dr. Friendly J. Gadson


Rev. Dr. Friendly Joseph 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:

  1. Member of the NEC Board of Examiners
  2. Teaches 3rd Year Study Classes
  3. Member of the NEC Trustee Board
  4. NEC Christian Education Director
  5. Member of the NEC Finance Committee
  6. Secretary for the Sumter District
  7. Coordinator of the SOA-Sumter District
  8. 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.”

First Lady Flora Y. Gadson

First Lady Flora Y. Gadson

First Lady Flora Y. Gadson

Flora York Gadson is the daughter of Mr. Jerome York and Mrs. Mabel S. York Scott.  She attended public schools in Sumter County.  She completed her undergraduate studies in Business Education and received a Bachelor of Science degree 1973 from Benedict College, Columbia, SC.  She continued her studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC and did graduate work in the field of Student Personnel Services.

As a child, Mrs. Gadson received her early Christian training from Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, Maysville, SC, where she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and was affiliated in numerous Church activities.

On June 30, 1979, Mrs. Gadson married Rev. Dr. Friendly Joseph Gadson, her high school sweetheart. She joined St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sumter, SC and became active in the church, the District, Conference and Episcopal levels. At St. Paul Mrs. Gadson directed the Sunbeam Choir, was a YPD Advisor, sang on Chancellor Choir, member of Women’s Missionary Society(WMS), Church Hostess, and Church Assistant Clerk.  Also at St. Paul, she was crowned as “Young Woman of the Year.”  In 1991, Dr. and Mrs. Gadson were moved to St. Peter AMEC, Mayesville, SC.  There, Mrs. Gadson sang on the Adult Choir, WMS President, Children’s Church School Teacher, and directed the Children’s Choir. In 1994, the Conference moved Dr. and Mrs. Gadson to Quinn Chapel African Methodist Church, Sumter South Carolina. At Quinn Chapel, Mrs. Gadson sang on the Adult Choir, directed the Sunbeam Choir, Advisor to the WMS, and the Children’s Church School Teacher. In 1997, Rev. and Mrs. Gadson were moved the Union Station African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sumter, South Carolina where she was a member of the F.J. Gadson Inspirational Choir, WMS first V.P., Senior Class Church School Teacher, and Director of the Acolyte Ministry.  Presently, Rev. Dr. Friendly J. Gadson and Mrs. Gadson have the charge to serve Mt Olive African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sumter, South Carolina. At Mt. Olive, Mrs. Gadson is a member of the Senior Unity Choir, Assistant Church School Teacher for Senior Class #1, Director to the Acolytes Ministry and Advisor to the WMS.

Positions held on all levels:  Northeast Conference Branch Women’s Missionary Society Corresponding Secretary, Northeast Conference Branch Debutantes Masters Commission Commissioner, Sumter Area WMS-Promotion and Missionary Education(PME) Director, Sumter Area Acolytes Ministry Director, Sumter District, and Ministers’ Spouses, Widows, and Widower Organization Plus PK’s Corresponding Secretary and Financial Secretary.

May 2011, Mrs. Gadson retired from the University of South Carolina Sumter Campus, Office of the Registrar as Director or Records and Registration. She rendered thirty-eight year services.  At USC Sumter, she coordinated a youth outreach program composed of 8-12 graders, “Students in Search of Positive Role Models,” and Advisor to the USC Sumter Gospel Choir.

Awards while employed at the University of South Carolina included; The HD Barnett Distinguished Staff Award, Staff of the Quarter, and Tribute to Women in Industry (TWIN).

Professional Organizations Affiliations:  Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CACRAO), Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (SACRAO), and the South Carolina Employees Association.

Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Gadson have two daughters, Sheneal and Lakesha, a grandson Markel and two granddaughters Dre’Onna and Ke’Andre.

Mrs. Gadson’s life motto is:  “If I can help somebody as I travel along, then my living shall not be in vain!”

Latest Sermons

A Message From The Potter’s House

Jeremiah 18:1-6

18 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.


Upcoming Events

SED Mid-Year Convocation and Theological Institute

March 4, 2015 8:00 am

Usher Board Ministry Annual Day

March 8, 2015 8:00 am

Sumter Area WMS Blue & White Gala

March 15, 2015 8:00 am

Latest News

3rd Annual Women’s Conference

For all “Women of Excellence”, get your hands on the registration form for this year’s conference!!!  We are so excited to be able to once again fellowship in sisterhood and empowerment.  Take advantage of pre-registration and reserve your space today!Flyer and Registration

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Tickets are $20 and are on sale now for this holiday formal affair which will be held on Saturday, December 20th at 5:00 pm.    Dinner will be provided along with entertainment.  Please see one of the following Homecoming Committee members to purchase your ticket:  Mary White, Mary Sumpter, Odell Abrams, Charlene Grant, and Albert Kelly.



Homecoming 2014: “Remember When….”

The 144th Annual Homecoming Celebration of Mt. Olive AME Church is quickly approaching!!  All members that pre-ordered their souvenir reflection booklets will receive them immediately after service on September 14th from Sis. Dana Mitchell.  Anyone wishing to purchase a booklet on that date may do so and your booklet will be given to you by the next Sunday.  Souvenir booklets are $10.00 and will surely take you down memory lane from when we used to worship in the old sanctuary.  All members are encouraged to meet your financial obligation of $150.00 on this day.   A delicious repast will be prepared an all are invited to fellowship.