Written by Tanya Terry
Dr. Brian C. Frelix, pastor of Foss Avenue Baptist Church, takes his responsibilities of preaching, teaching and restructuring the church’s ministry very seriously. He started in his position on January 1, 2023. Frelix talked to the Courier about how he realizes he holds the power to help change how many members of the general public look at churches to help them see it in a more positive light.
Frelix, who is from Nashville, Tennessee, recently told the Courier he first became acquainted with Foss Avenue in June of 2022. At that time, he was applying for his current role.
Frelix was previously the assistant pastor of Priest Lake Baptist Church, where Bishop Harold Frelix, his father, was the pastor. Frelix served in this capacity for 22 years and told the Courier his father retired last year.
“We really didn’t go by a mission statement, but what we did was we did outside ministry,” he continued. “That was the primary goal of the church, and we went to all the nursing homes, the homeless shelters and the prisons on a daily basis. The foundation of our ministry was to minister to the lost.”
Frelix explained Foss Avenue’s mission is still in development, but it has to do with presenting to community and to the world the image of honesty, integrity and transparency to the ministry.
Frelix continued by saying some people view the church and its people as “not honest, not having integrity and not being transparent” because of the church’s mistakes or missteps.
“I believe we have to give the people that are seeking to be saved – to the people that are seeking churches – give them that image so they can have more hope and more belief in what the ministry stands for – the goals of the church.”
Frelix stated he would like to give people the option of seeking a church that’s not about show.
He said there are typically between 200-300 members in attendance on any particular Sunday.
“When I got here, I just noticed they’re ready to start over again and have a spiritual reset.”
Frelix said Foss Avenue members have embraced the new way he does things and the new vision, while keeping the historical memory of the leadership.
A homecoming event is being planned at Foss Avenue for March 2024, during the church’s anniversary celebration.
Frelix pointed out that Foss Avenue sits behind trees, but most people from the city know about its standing in the community. Foss Avenue is located in the heart of north Flint.
“It’s a good area to be in because there are so many people here that are unchurched, that need to find a church home. So, that puts us in a good position to be of assistance and give people access to some of the things they need as far as helping the community is concerned.”
The vision for the church is to not just grow numerically, but to grow spiritually.
“I’ve been in school so long that I learned a lot about what it is to appreciate what we learned not in academia, but through history. Academia helped me appreciate what was taught through history in our past of growing up in the Black church. The traditions really help keep with the rudiments of the faith. It helps us have a more firm standing on our Christian faith. But academia has taught me that we must seek to educate our churches and bring them to a wider knowledge of what Biblical research is as a whole.”
Frelix graduated Summa Cum Laude from America Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee. He also graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University, where he pursued his master’s in divinity. He received his doctorate from Lipscomb University.
Services at Foss Avenue are held at 11 a.m. on Sundays, with Bible study on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“If people are looking for an honest ministry, one that has honesty and transparency, please come and give us a chance. We’re seeking to be a family with the community at Foss Avenue.”