Sunday, February 11, 2018

Providence Baptist Church History

Providence Baptist Church (Providence, Caswell County, North Carolina)

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Centennial Observation 1962

"The founding of Providence Baptist Church 100 years ago and its history down through the years will be dwelt upon during the centennial observance about to start at the modern brick church located just off the old Yanceyville Rd.

"There will be three phases of the anniversary observance: a cornerstone laying tomorrow, homecoming the following Sunday, and a revival to follow throughout the week.

"The cornerstone ceremony will be held at the conclusion of tomorrow's morning services. The new auditorium was completed two years ago, but the ceremony was delayed to coincide with the centennial observance, according to the pastor, the Rev. Charles O. Jenkins.

"Sunday, Sept. 30, will be the big day with six former pastors expected to participate in the centennial homecoming. They are returning from as far as Florida and California.

"The Rev. Roy D. Keller of Apex, N.C., a former pastor, will deliver the Sunday morning sermon, with dinner on the grounds to feature the cutting of the centennial cake -- which is to be baked in the form of the new church building.

"An afternoon service starting at about 2 o'clock will feature special music by the choir and the congregation, brief opening remarks by each of the former pastors, a resume of the church's history, a memorial service and recognition of all members past age 65.

"Each day of the ensuing week is named after one of the former pastors and the honoree of the day will speak at the morning (10 a.m.) service on his day and will also speak briefly at the evening service.

"Principal speaker each evening at the 7:30 services will be the Rev. W. T. Smith, former pastor currently serving in Fayettevylle, N.C.

"As each former pastor on his day speaks at the evening service, he will give highlights of the church's progress under his ministry and those baptized into the church by him will be recognized.

"The former pastors, their day and current homes are as follows: the Rev. Frank L. Israel, of Westminister, Calif., on Monday; the Rev. B. C. Lamb of Wauchula, Fla., on Tuesday; the Rev. R. W. Prevost of Oultewah, Tenn., on Wednesday; the Rev. Keller of Apex, N.C., on Thursday; the Rev. Hugh L. Nichols of Durham, N.C., on Friday, and the Rev. Mr. Smith on Saturday.

"Regular preaching services by missionary Baptists got underway in the Providence community in 1859. Prior to that, a few Sunday meetings had been conducted in the Sergeants Schoolhouse where Dr. T. C. Dodson and others gathered with young people of the community for 'gospel singing.'

"Occasionally, a travelling, or circuit minister from another area, would ride into the community, deliver a sermon, then ride out to the next church or community gathering place.

"In the summer of 1859, the first steps were taken toward establishing a meeting house of some sort for those who wished to found a church in the Providence community.

"The Rev. S. G. Mason, pastor then of the Yanceyville Baptist Church, started holding Saturday services in the Moon Creek Primitive Baptist Church in the summer of 1959. In 1860 this series of meetings was moved to the Sergents School. The following year a 'protracted meeting' of seven or eight days duration, a revival was held in the schoolhouse and throughout the course of the services, some 12 to 15 persons professed conversion and requested Baptism. When the meeting was closed, the Rev. Mr. Mason called together a group of the Yanceyville church members, a conference was held, and those 'seeking salvation were baptized.'

"In 1862 another meeting was held at the schoolhouse by Mason who this time was assisted by a 'Brother Chaplin' from Danville. Again, 12 to 15 persons expressed conversion and were baptized.

"The Yanceyville church then resolved to constitute the Providence 'brethren and sisters' into a 'regular arm' of the Yanceyville Baptist Church. A list of rights were [sic] constituted by the new 'branch' and they were: 'To hold meetings and secure for themselves the right of preaching the Word: to receive and dismiss members; to administer the ordinances; and to exercise discipline.'

"The latter stipulation was not ignored, either, records show. If a member were [sic] suspected of unbecoming behavior such as dancing, using profane language, intemperance, fornication, adultery or any other 'immoral conduct,' he or she was visited by a committee of two or three members and, if found guilty without repentance, was excluded from the group.

"A brother Lake who was associated with the Danville Female College came upon the scene in 1862 to assist Mason and enough money was subscribed for the first church building.

"Land was donated by the Sergents and this later was exchanged for land across the road where the present buildings now stand.

"After a dozen years from its inception, the church engaged Jesse Wheeler as pastor, replacing Mason who returned to Yanceyville.

. . . .

"C. A. G. Thomas took over at the first fixed salary -- $125 per annum -- in 1887, but he remained only eight months and was followed by Mason again who agreed to aid the congregation for another two years. He was paid $100 per year and his train fare from Yanceyville was paid, records note.

"Between 1889, when Mason again left, and 1900, meager records were kept, but it is known the pastors during the 1890s were a Brother Wingate, J. B. Jones, J. E. Armstrong, and D. J. Harris.

"J. B. Moore took over the pastorate in 1900 and remained two years. Moore had just graduated from college and it was noted that during his tenure, a large number of additions were made to the membership roll. Many of these came during a revival which was conducted by a Rev. Elsom.

"The Rev. S. B. Wilson came to the church in 1902 for a five year stay during which time the W.M.U. was organized, the membership increased and 'the church progressed.'

"Plans for a bigger and better building for services were launched while Keller served (from 1907 to 1911), and the new building was completed while J. K. Reid (1911-1913) was pastor.

"He was followed by S. J. Beeker who came to the group from Leaksville Institute and, during his short term of service in 1913, the church debt was paid off and the new building dedicated.

"The late Rev. H. T. Allison took over in 1913 and in 1917 died in pastorate.

"The B.Y.P.U. was organized during the pastorate of J. F. Davis, from 1917 to 1919, and he was succeeded by the Rev. J. A. Hackney who remained until 1922.

"The Rev. Mr. Prevost took over in 1922 and during his pastorate the field of churches divided with J. C. Holland of Danville serving on supply duty.

"In 1923, the Rev. Mr. Nichols took over for three years during which a five-room addition was made at a cost of $2,000.

"C. W. Hood took over in 1926 and in the same year, W. S. Tillman succeeded him. Under Tillman the parsonage was build, an annex built, property fronting highway 86 was acquired and some 60 persons were baptized in Walters Mill have a revival.

"The Rev. Karl Stukenbroke held the pastorate from 1932 to 1934.

He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Israel, under whom the parsonage debt was paid. He remained until 1939.

"The Rev. Mr. Smith served from 1940 to 1943.

He was followed by the Rev. Mr. Lamb who served until 1947.

He was followed by the Rev. Mr. Keller (1948 to 1953) who preceded the present pastor, the Rev. C. O. Jenkins. "Under Keller's leadership the addition to the education building was erected.

The present Brotherhood was organized and the brick sanctuary erected under the Rev. C. O. Jenkins.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 22, September 1962, Saturday, Page 3.


Church History

In the summer of 1859, Brother S. G. Mason, pastor of the Yanceyville Missionary Baptist Church began preaching one Saturday of each month at Moon's Creek Meeting House, which belonged to the Anti-Missionary Baptist Church.

In 1860 the meetings were moved to Sergeant's schoolhouse because some of the Anti-Missionary group objected to the Missionary group using their building.

Steven Sergent, who was a member of Moon's Creek congregation, did not agree with their anti-missionary beliefs. He forthwith gave the missionary group a one room school house building and ample land and joined their congregation. This was across the road from where the present Providence Church stands. Later this land was traded to C. B. Flintoff for land where the present Providence Missionary Baptist Church stands.

In 1862, the Yanceyville Church granted the Providence arm of the church the right to hold meetings and secure the right of preaching the word, reception and dismissal of members, administration of the ordinances, and the exercise of discipline. During that year the first church house for Providence was built. Some 65 persons were on the membership rolls. The first record of contributions to missions was in that year, also.

In May 1874 the Providence arm of the Yanceyville Baptist Church was constituted into an independent church and began "keeping house for the Lord."

In 1887 we find the first record of a preacher being employed at a fixed salary. C.A.G. Thomas was called at a salary of $125.00 for the year.

A larger church building, with some Sunday school rooms, was built in 1912 to take care of the increased membership.

The church grew and its third worship house was built in 1962. The old building continued in use as Sunday school rooms, etc., until the present educational building was completed in 1978. Then the old building was torn down and removed.

In 1990 an elevator was installed. Rev. Barry Crocker, Louie and Connie Oakley went on a Mission trip to Cost Rica. Louie and Connie also went on other Mission trips to Costa Rica in 1993 and 1995. In 1991, 12 chandeliers were hung in the sanctuary and a new sound system was installed. In 1992, the fellowship hall was remodeled. In 1995, a new sign for the front of the church was purchased and plexi-glass was put over the stained glass windows of the church, also a volleyball court was added and the church grounds were landscaped. In 1992 and 1994 there were Mission trips to West Virginia, each time clothes, food and toys were taken, and each time the estimated value was over $3,000. In 1995, the first Youth pastor was hired, Bruce Morgan, and a new piano was purchased. In 1998, new play ground equipment was given by L. Aubrey Goodson, Jr., Nancy G. Parrott, and Neal Goodson, the children of Louie and Lenna Goodson. In 1999, a Disaster Relive tram went to the NC coast to rebuild and repair homes destroyed by Hurricane Floyd. The team was made up of 12 men, youth and 2 women. Also, a truck of supplies went with them for the victims.

Later the parking lots on both sides of the church were paved.

Today the church continues to grow. A large youth and young people's department assures there will continue to be a Providence Missionary Baptist Church in the future.

Pastors who have served Providence Missionary Baptist Church: Revs. S. G. Mason, Jesse Wheeler, T. H. Walker, B. H. Phillips, J. A. Lamberth, C. G. Jones, C. A. G. Thomas, S. G. Mason (again), S. B. Wilson, Wingate, J. B. Jones, J. E. Armstrong, D. J. Harris, D. A. Keller, J. K. Reid, S. L. Becker, H. T. Allison, J. F. Davis, J. A. Hackney, R. W. Prevost, Hugh Nichols, C. W. Wood, W. S. Tillman, Karl Stukenbroke, Frank L. Israel, W. T. Smith, B. C. Lamb, Roy D. Keller, Charles O. Jenkins, Howard Laney, Allen Thompson, Talmadge Wilcox, Claude Harrelson, Barry Crocker, Dan Wackerhagen, Steve Conerly, Kenneth Clark.

Rev. Clark is still serving at this time (1998) and the church is growing in members and service for the Lord. Rev. Bruce Morgan was engaged to minister to the children and youth in 1995 and also there has been a very favorable growth in this area.

Source: Scott, Jean B., Editor. In the Beginning . . . The Churches of Caswell County (c.1998), pp. 80-81.

Note: The reference to the Yanceyville Missionary Baptist Church is to First Baptist Church of Yanceyville. And the reference to the Anti-Missionary Baptist Church probably is to the Moon's Creek Primitive Baptist Church.

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