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Our Mission Statement

As followers of Jesus Christ, assured of God’s unconditional love for everyone, we strive to be an accepting and joyful community that centers upon worship, encourages personal growth, celebrates diversity, nurtures individual gifts, and moves beyond boundaries to share, through service, Jesus’ love, compassion, and justice in an uncertain world.

You are invited …

There are many ways you can worship, learn, grow, and serve at Friendship Presbyterian Church!

  • On Sundays, our Adult Sunday School class gathers in the Friendship Room at 9:30 am to study the scriptures to be read in the worship service following. This is a group that enjoys each other and loves to welcome newcomers!
  • Sunday Morning Worship is the heart of our life together. It begins at 11 a.m. on Sundays in the Sanctuary and features a brilliant music program led by our highly accomplished music directors and engaging, scripturally-grounded messages from the pulpit. If you love outstanding sacred music and expect to be stimulated in both mind and heart by a sermon, then you will feel at home here. And know this: We are always looking for new voices for our Chancel Choir! Rehearsals are held weekly in our Sanctuary during the academic year (August to May), on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. If you love to sing and would like to be part of something truly special, contact Co-Music Director Kevin Kelly for more information on how you can participate.
  • We also offer ONLINE worship each week, featuring the same themes as our in-person services.
  • We gather online by ZOOM for Bible Study every Tuesday morning at 10:00 AM. We typically read and discuss our way through whole biblical books and strive to understand the scriptures in their historical context while also seeking to discern in them God’s Word to us today. Currently (as of February 1, 2022), we are engaged in a careful study of I & II Corinthians. No matter how familiar you are (or aren’t) with the Bible, you are most welcome to join us! Just email Pastor Tom to let him know that you would like to be added to the Zoom invitation list.
  • In June 2020, we began a new program of community engagement and adult education called The Forum @ Friendship, with thought-provoking monthly presentations in the evening, all so far by Zoom, with participation from all over! We are committed to providing opportunities for members, friends, and seekers to explore faith in a safe space where questions and doubts are welcome.
  • Friendship hosts special musical events throughout the year. In addition to our outstanding music program, we are also home to the Athens Chamber Singers, the Athens Recorder Ensemble, and the Friendship Community Choir – all led by our music director, Dr. Kevin Kelly. All three are widely celebrated in Athens and throughout Georgia. With the Friendship Community Choir, Kevin has led 5 international concert tours, two performances at Piccolo Spoleto, and joined concerts with choirs in Wales and Prague.
  • Friendship Church is especially active in mission to the community through ACTS (Area Churches Together Serving), the YWCO Summer Girls’ Club, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and other service organizations throughout the year.
  • The Friendship Presbyterian Preschool is one of the most outstanding preschools in the larger area, serving over 100 children and their families.
  • Friendship Church also seeks to join efforts both local and global in working for a more just and peaceful world. See our Resources page for links to help foster faithful engagement on such issues as Racial Justice, Climate Change, and others.

There IS a place for you at Friendship! We heartily invite you to join us on the journey.


Our Staff


The Reverend J. Thomas Buchanan

A lifelong Presbyterian, Tom was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama.  He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Princeton Theological Seminary, and was ordained to the ministry in 1993.  Over the last 28 years, Tom has served several churches in New Jersey and Georgia, and became Friendship’s Interim Pastor in March 2018. He accepted the call to stay as Pastor in February 2019.  He enjoys reading and travel, and is an avid fan of college football and international soccer.  Making their home in Athens over two years ago, Tom and his wife Lisa enjoy their life together, along with an amusing black cat named Boo.

For Pastor Tom’s recent sermons, please click HERE.

Music Directors

Kevin Kelly

Dr. Kevin Kelly

Organist & Choir Director

Kevin has a PhD in musicology from the University of North Carolina. He is the supervisor of the Music Library, Hodgson School of Music, at UGA and also teachers music theory and American music. He directs the Athens Chamber Singers, the Athens Recorder Ensemble and the Friendship Community Choir. With the Friendship Community Choir, Kevin has led 5 international concert tours, two performances at Piccolo Spoleto and join concerts with choirs in Wales and Prague.

Nan McMurry

Dr. Nan McMurry


Nan is the Director for Collection Development at the University of Georgia Libraries in Athens. She also teaches history of medicine classes for the UGA History Department. She has a PhD in history from Duke University, as well as master’s degrees in music and library science from the University of North Carolina. In addition to working with the FPC choir, she performs with the Athens Chamber Singers, Athens Recorder Consort, and the Friendship Community Choir, playing keyboard, recorder, folk harp, penny whistle, and singing.

Preschool Director

Susanne Hayes

Susanne Hayes

“I have worked at Friendship Presbyterian Preschool for 7 years. I spent the last 6 years teaching in the 3 year old classroom and absolutely loved every minute of that experience. It is so much fun to see the excitement and wonder on a child’s face when they are exposed to new and exciting lessons at school. My husband and I moved with our two daughters to Oconee County eight years ago. My youngest daughter attended Friendship for Pre-K and that was when we fell in love with the school. We love this community and are so happy we get to call this wonderful place home.”

Preschool & Office Administrator

Donna RigsbyDonna Rigsby

“I have served as Office Administrator for Friendship since 2007. I graduated from the University of Alabama-Huntsville with a B.S.B.A. in accounting and management information systems and worked with several accounting firms and non-profits before coming to Friendship. My husband Tom and I live in Jefferson and have 3 grown children.”