Providence Church worshipped in city school, Miller's Institute
(Note: African American Church)
Submitted by Martha Fant
Providence Missionary Baptist Church was organized January 21, 1905 by Professor G. W. Sadler, S. P. Stephenson, Allen Avery, Jonas H. Alexander, Tillman Hill, H. B. Hubbard, George Cole, Dan Hollowell, Amos Dixon, Rev. Julius Johnson, and Jobe Martin, who were the first Deacons.
These men were Christians, most of whom had been members of Hopewell Baptist Church of this city. They found themselves without a place to worship but wished to continue in their faith. So this Church was organized and named Providence, meaning God Watching Over Us.
They met and worshipped in Miller's Institute, the city school, until they could buy this Church site and build a church. They invited ministers to preach for them until they could call a pastor. The first of whom was Rev. D. V. Richardson.
It was during his pastorial here that the corner stone was laid June 24, 1906 by the Silver Shower Lodge No. 2143. Under the leadership of Professor G. W. Sadler, the Sunday School was second to none.
This Church has had a number of pastors some of whom I will mention: Reverends D. V. Richardson, Wade, Duncan, Johnson, Watson, C. A. Greer, Boykins, Holloway, McClinton, V. C. Mackey and our pastor, Rev. R. B. Hardaway.
Reverends D. V. Richardson, Wade, Duncan and Johnson came when we needed spiritual guidance, Rev. Sam Watson came when we needed financial leadership, and Reverends Greer, Boykins and Holloway came when the youth of this Church needed intellectual guidance.
Rev. Mackey came when we needed a leader to rebuild our 56-year frame church, which had been badly damaged by wind storms, and our pastor, Rev. Hardaway, came in 1963 when we needed someone to continue guiding us spiritually, financially and intellectually.
We have not been disappointed. The leaders were an inspiration to the youths of this Church and gave them the opportunity to develop their talents.
As a result, a number of young men and women have gone further in various ranks of life, as ministers, attorneys, doctors, teachers, musicians, army officers, technicians, nurses, farmers, and citizens of whom we honor.
Since the year of 1963, under the leadership of our pastor, this Church has been progressive. The corner stone was laid in June 1967 by the Cedar Grove Lodge No. 39.
The membership has increased tremendously, and about 490 youths have been converted. For the past 12-years we have been able to reach out and touch through the facilities of Radio Station WKRA, Holly Springs, Mississippi.
In 1974 the mortgage on the old building was paid in full and was burned on October 13 of that year. Since that time we have purchased additional property and built an educational department at the cost of $3,700.
We can see God's hand molding out the future of a great Church. But we must remember that behind a great Church is a great minister, a great minister's wife, a great membership and most of all there is a great God.
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