History

In August, 1836, seven years after the establishment of the Methodist Protestant Church of the United States, a group of people in the little community of Kemptown decided to purchase a small parcel of land from Solomon Kemp and his wife, Barbary Kemp. It was part of a tract of land known as “Snakeroot Thicket”. On that tract a church, or perhaps more accurately, a log meeting house, was built and named: Providence Methodist Protestant Church. The people of Kemptown chose to give their church the name of “Providence”, because it means “The Lord will provide”.


The congregation grew, and it became necessary to erect the present church in 1872. The land, containing nine-tenths of an acre and also a part of “Snakeroot Thicket”, was purchased for $ 50 from Greenberry Baker and his wife, Hepsey. The church building had two entrance doors, one for women and one for men. They entered church separately and they sat in church separately. There was a dividing partition in the center of the middle section of pews to separate the men from the women. The church was heated by pot-bellied stoves, one on each side of the sanctuary. They were later replaced with stoves called Heatrollas. Today, we have furnaces and central air conditioning.


The church was remodeled in 1930. A set of double doors in the center of the church building became the entrance, replacing the two separate ones, which were turned into windows. New pews, without partitions, were installed, and then the men and women could sit together. In 1954, a Fellowship Hall was added to the church. In 1962, eleven beautiful stained-glass windows were dedicated to the Service of Our Lord. The windows speak of the lives of those whom they memorialize, attesting to their individual and collective roles in the development of Providence Church. In January, 2013, a steeple was installed.


The present church is adorned with The Cross and Flame which became the emblem of the United Methodist Church and of the United Methodist Women when the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church merged in 1968. There are certain traditions that we try to keep alive at our Church. One is the “Fried Chicken and Country Ham Dinner”, for many years known as the “Sunday School Picnic”. Each year, for at least the past 100 years, the dinner has been held on the second Saturday of August. The Browningsville Band, organized in 1884, has been playing every year that the Sunday School Picnic dinner has been held. Even though we like to keep some of our church traditions ongoing, we are very much involved in new and exciting projects. We are recognized as a very mission-oriented church.



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"As we look ahead to the future, it is important to look back into the past, to rediscover our historical roots. You see, it is from our history that we can find some of the guidance and inspiration we need to be disciples of Jesus Christ in the present and in the future."  

–Richard O. Randolph (Pastor, 1982 - 1986)

 

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