This church, founded during Reconstruction, has been at the same site since 1890. The first sanctuary serving this congregation was located on Hibben Street and built on a lot leased by the Town of Mount Pleasant in 1877. After moving here and building a new church under pastorate Rev. F.E. Rivers in 1890, the congregation grew so quickly that it built its third sanctuary, a large frame church, by 1895.
A 1911 storm during the pastorate of Rev. Frank Woodbury nearly destroyed the sanctuary,which was essentially rebuilt. Later renovations, including the application of a brick veneer in 1961 during the pastorate of Rev. J.A. Sabb, Jr. gave the church its present appearance. Friendship AME church also hosted the graduation exercises of nearby Laing School for many years until the school closed in 1953.