Pastor David Klass
David’s roots are deep in the hills of eastern Oklahoma… but his heart in the mountains of west-
central Montana. Cathy was raised in Saginaw Michigan and like her husband, she has embraced the unique lifestyle of “The Last Best Place”! They met at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri where they both graduated with missions degrees (“76″ & “77″). They served in 2 churches in Canon City, Colorado and Bainbridge, Georgia… all the while seeking the Lord’s direction concerning where to serve the Lord globally. Having no clear leading of the Lord to minister in a cross-cultural setting, the Lord led them to Helena in September of 1983 for the sole purpose of planting a New Testament Church in Montana. They served at Liberty Baptist Church for 2 ½ years gaining more ministry experience and valuable insights to the Montana culture. After several months of seeking the Lord’s guidance… on January 12, 1986, under the authority of LBC, Friendship was birthed! The church has since been under David’s pastoral leadership and care… with his faithful friend and ministry partner Cathy at his side.
Jim Patzer – Associate Pastor
My wife and I had the privilege of being led to the Lord by Pastor Klass in January of 2001. We later moved to Great Falls, MT where we served as youth leaders for about ten years at Temple Baptist Church. Eventually, I began to serve as a deacon and my wife ran the nursery. We stepped down from the teens to teach the 3rd thru 6th grade class and God allowed me the opportunity to teach children’s church. I also had the privilege of filling pulpits around the state in order to be a blessing to Pastor’s taking time off and to churches searching for a pastor.
About seven years ago, Pastor Klass approached me about someday serving with him at Friendship Baptist Church. We began to pray about this decision as I was nearing the end of my Air Force career. After retiring from the Air Force we had a decision to make; go 89 miles down the road and serve at Friendship Baptist Church with Pastor Klass or travel 1,239 miles to Lancaster, CA to attend Bible college. Tami asked me a very pointed question, “What do we have to offer Pastor Klass and Friendship Baptist Church?” God made it clear that He wanted me to seek more training, so in August of 2018, I moved my family to California to attend West Coast Baptist College. We remained open to the Lord’s leading and put our faith and trust in Him for direction. God has allowed me to come back to the church where I was saved and serve with the Pastor who led me to the Lord. What a great God we serve!
Kolter Klass – Youth Leader
I was raised at Friendship Baptist Church where I was saved, and grew in my faith. In high school, I felt a call to ministry while at a missions conference. As a result, upon high school graduation in 2012, I attended Montana Wilderness School of the Bible in Augusta, Montana for a year, followed by four years at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. While in Missouri, I was involved in college ministry at Missouri State University of Springfield, Missouri through Adolos Ministries. Upon graduation in 2017, I moved back to Montana City, Montana to work as the youth pastor at Friendship Baptist Church.
My goals in ministry are to be used by God to see people come to a saving faith in Christ, disciple them, and repeat the process. If I can see continued growth, church involvement, and discipleship among these young believers years down the road, that will be a successful ministry.
Evaleen Starkel – Financial Secretary & Church Clerk
My husband Richard and I joined Friendship in May of 2009 and have grown to love the members as family. We married in 1980 and have two sons, Travis and Justin, ten grandchildren, and one great granddaughter, Natalia.
In 2016 I started to pray and asked the Lord if I could please retire. He brought the year 2017 to mind, then the month of September. As I drove home from work in Helena to the Elkhorn Mountains where we live near Clancy, Montana, I prayed and ask the Lord where He would want me to work next. I was excited to serve Him wherever He would plant me. In June my husband Rick attended a meeting at the church where the Pastor expressed a need – the church secretary was retiring in September and they needed a replacement.
I retired in September of 2017 after working almost 34 years for the State of Montana and in Great God fashion; He put me in a wonderful spot. I now enjoy serving my Pastor, my church family, and my wonderful Lord and Savior in a capacity I had only dreamed about. I am blessed!