Our Vision: Making disciples to transform the nations for the glory of God.
Our Mission: Equipping believers to fulfill their purpose through Jesus Christ.
A group of thirteen believers met in the home of Deacon Carl Fauntleroy for the purpose of establishing what is now called Providence Baptist Church. The following persons were in attendance:
Christine Haynes, Hazel Pride, Hettie Stokes, Sallie Williams, Nannie Bailey, Rev. Ernest Williams, Dea. Charles Bowens, Rev. Olivia Alston, Wilbert Alston, Gilda Alston, Lillian King, Alean Fauntleroy, Cora Conde, Dea. C. N. Bailey, Dea. Carl Fauntleroy, Dea. Calhoun Brown, Ronald Pride, Egertha Alston, Ralph Southerland, and Roxie Southerland.
In its inception, the body of believers were known as, "Save Our Church Mission."
On Friday, May 1, 1964, a group of believers met at the Taborian Hall located at 2126 Madison Avenue in Newport News, VA at 8:15 p.m., to officially organize in to a church. Hazel Pride submitted the name Providence Baptist Church. It received a favorable vote on April 16, 1964.
The Reverend William W. Gilchrist of Newport News, Virginia proceeded with the organization of the church in accordance with the Baptist Hiscox Directory. The following ministers were witnesses: The Reverends R. R. Harris, Solomon H. Wesley, James L. Hargrave, W. W. Butler, O. B. Alston, N. C. Drew, and B. Byrd.Deacon Horace Patterson led the pledge and it was repeated by the members of the Mission. The Reverend N. C. Drew led the Mission in taking the oath of the Baptist Covenant, followed by prayer of guidance to keep the Covenant by the Reverend W. W. Butler.The Providence Baptist Church Missionary Circle was organized, July 16, 1964 with Sister C. C. Edwards presiding. The following officers were elected: Sisters C. C. Edwards, president, Annie Wesson, vice president, Louise Cooke, recording secretary, Mahalia Crews, treasurer, Hettie Stokes, pianist and Bible instructor, Lillie Harrison, chairperson of the Sick Committee. The first meeting was held in Sister Edwards' home with Sister Stokes in charge of the Bible discussion. The fifth Sunday was set aside as Missionary Day.
On the fourth Sunday, July 1964, the Reverend R. R. Harris installed the officers. They were as follows: Deacons Calhoun Brown, Chairman, John Flood Jr., Elijah Langley, Carl Fauntleroy, Willie Draughn, Charles Bowen, James Pope, Horace Patterson, and Vernon Wesson; Trustees: Schuyler Smith, Chairman, Clarence Pearson Sr., Ben Taliaferro, J. E. Crews, Ralph Southerland, Cheatham Davis, Clarence Jackson, and Ronald Pride; Church Clerk: Carl Fauntleroy, Assistant Clerk: Egertha Sedgwick, and Treasurer: Ronald Pride.
The Reverend Gilchrist then declared Providence Baptist Church duly organized and set apart for the promotion of the Christian Faith and the saving of souls. It was motioned and second that our Church would be guided by the Holy Bible, and constitutional requirements as adopted by the body.
On August 19, 1964, it was voted to purchase lots to build a new sanctuary and fellowship hall. Mr. Clarence Pearson, Jr., an architectural major at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) drew the plans and on May 1, 1965, the Board reviewed the plans and accepted them.
On September 24, 1964, Reverend James L. Hargrave was called as pastor. He was installed on the first Sunday in January 1965. He was married to the former Gladys M. Coleman. His tenure as pastor was from 1965-1978.
On September 6, 1965, the groundbreaking services were held with the Reverend C. B. Battle of Richmond, Virginia as the speaker. The original church building was built by the members of the church. Our cornerstone laying was held on July 29, 1967. Placed in the cornerstone was a current church roll, a dedication program, a clipping or our groundbreaking service, a church bulletin or our last Sunday in Taborian Hall dated, July 23, 1967, a picture of the pastor, James L. Hargrave, and a 1964 Kennedy Half-dollar. On August 6, 1967, members marched from Taborian Hall on Madison Avenue and 27th Street to our new building at 1331-30th Street and dedicated it to God with a series of dedication services.
A full Men's, Women's, and Junior Usher Board was established with Mr. Wilbert Alston as president of the men, Mrs. Odell Judge as the president of the women's and Rosa Wills as junior president.
Under the leadership of our Minister of Music, Mr. Freddie Ballard, a Senior Choir, with Mr. Eddie Ballard as president was started. It later became the First Senior Choir. A Gospel Chorus was started under the leadership of Mrs. Irene Lockett as president and Mrs. Essie Stevens as pianist. The Junior Choir was formed with Vera Fauntleroy as president and Esther Williams as pianist. Later, a Second Senior Choir was established with George Fauntleroy as organist. It later became known as the Mass Choir. A Male Chorus was also established with George Fauntleroy as organist. Later an Angel Choir was formed with Janet Meely as director.
The Sunday school was organized under the leadership of our first superintendent, Mr. Ronald Pride.
" The first Women's Day was on the fourth Sunday, October 1, 1965.
" The first Deacon's Day celebration was organized by Deacon Carl Fauntleroy and observed on January 23, 1966. At the time, Deacon Calhoun Brown was chairman of the Deacon Board.
" The church held a banquet at the Booker T. Washington School, Newport News on April 11, 1966 with Ronald Pride as the speaker and Sallie Williams as the chairman of the event. A string ensemble from Carver High School performed.
" On February 4, 1968, the Baptist Training Union (BTU) was organized with Deacon John Flood, Jr. as president, F. M. Shelton, vice president, Eula Green, secretary, and Deacon H. F. Patterson, treasurer.
" The first daily Vacation Bible School was held in June 1970.
" The mortgage burning of our original church building was on May 27, 1973.
" Minister William Upshur was the first minister licensed by Rev. James Hargrave.
Following the departure of Pastor Hargrave, the Church chose to seek a new leader in April 1978. A pulpit committee comprised of Deacons Carl Fauntleroy and Paul Cooper and Trustee Ronald Pride was formed. The Reverend James Jacob Gray was called on April 12, 1979 to Pastor Providence Baptist Church.
Dr. James J. Gray: July 22, 1979 - October 12, 2002
Reverend Gray preached his first sermon at the Church on June 1, 1979. He was installed as the pastor on July 22, 1979, by the Reverend Walter Dean, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Hampton, VA. Pastor Gray was married to the former Barbara Pollard.
Pastor Gray was concerned about the spiritual and physical growth of the church. He organized an active witnessing team that went out weekly in the East End area, knocking on doors and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. He began a three day period of fasting and praying leading up to Thanksgiving Day. He organized the church into 12 tribes, Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. The Watch care groups were headed by Deacons who were responsible for visiting the members within their tribe and making the pastor aware of the special needs of the members. A membership committee and hospitality committee were also organized under the direction of Pastor Gray to further enhance the watchful care of the flock. Additional instructional classes were formed for new converts and the pastor began teaching the Shepherd's class on Wednesday evenings. A nursery was started, an Angel choir formed, and a tutorial program for the youth was held on Thursday evenings. Under Pastor Gray's leadership the administrative office was restructured and additional staff added. Computers were installed and a new budget and accounting system was developed.
Under Pastor Gray the church began an extensive benevolent spirit which touches the lives of people all over the world. The church is known throughout the community for helping the needy throughout the year as well as during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons when many bags of food are given out to those in need.
Seeing the spiritual growth and membership of the church increasing, Pastor Gray saw a need to expand the physical facility. In 1987, a groundbreaking service was held for a new educational, recreational, and fellowship center. It was completed in 1989. This facility was named the Genesis Hall by Sharon Williams. It includes a completely equipped nursery, kitchen, pastor's study and administrative offices. There are also rooms for the Deacons, Trustees, and Ushers. Choir and cloak rooms are available and a fully equipped sound room. The multi-purpose room is so designed to accommodate diverse activities for our youth and includes a full court for basketball. The altar and choir loft have been extensively remodeled and the main sanctuary has an overflow area. A heated vestibule area has also been added.
A second van was purchases on January 20, 1993 to transport persons attending the various church services.
The pastor started a video and cassette taping of every service. Two Sunday services were held at 8 and 11:00 a.m. A fellowship period was added before Sunday school classes each Sunday.
Dr. Corey L. Brown: February 5, 2006 - Present
Our third and present Pastor, Dr. Corey L. Brown, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, was called in December 2005, preaching his first sermon on February 5, 2006. Dr. Brown was officially installed as Pastor on March 26, 2006, by his pastors, Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick, Sr. and Dr. Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr., of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church of Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Brown is a graduate of the prestigious Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He is a family man, married to the former Veronica Keene. They have two children, Sean and Michelle. His vision is to provide sound doctrine, to feed us God's Word, and to help Providence to become a Five-Star Church. In an effort to encourage people in their daily lives, he has authored two devotional books, “Emerge: little by little” and “Get Your Aim Right.”
Pastor Brown's vision for his first year at Providence was “Not by might nor by Power, but by My Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). It was through this vision that the disciples of Providence were led to let the glory of God fill the church. They were also inspired to be more like Christ, strive for excellence, and do God's Will. Vision and Mission Statements for the church were adopted. The Vision became “Making disciples to transform the nations for the glory of God,” and the Mission, “Equipping believers to fulfill their purpose through Jesus Christ.” These statements gave direction to the leaders and members on how we would carry out God's plan.
Placing increased emphasis on God looking for disciples, not members, Pastor Brown began to develop future leaders through a new ministry, “Joshua's Generation,” and ministries began to increase. Each ministry was then asked to develop a vision and mission statement, aligned with that of the Church. Dr. Brown was committed to fulfilling God's plan of nurturing and growing God's people, so he began a second Bible Study, called “Happy Hour.” It is a noon-day bible study, which has made the word accessible to those who are unable to come out in the evening.
Dr. Brown’s second year included a vision of “Rebuilding the Wall” (Nehemiah 2:17). An innovative and strategic leader, Dr. Brown brought in the year by starting Martha's Kitchen, a ministry that feeds those in need of a meal. In addition, "Christmas in June” was a blessing to more than 500 people who needed clothing, household items, etc. A ministry for women was implemented entitled, “Sistas With Vision” (SWV). It challenges women to pursue unity and harmony through spiritual and emotional growth, thus affecting the church, the family, and the community. "Higher Learning” (a tutorial ministry) provides enrichment in the areas of math and reading for K-12 students. It was a year where ministries began to strive for excellence. Pastor Brown was invited to preach on The Word Network, for a segment featuring Up and Coming Preachers.
In his first two years at Providence, Pastor Brown provided the church with a sense of continuity of purpose and direction. His foresight, planning, and guidance can be found in every sector of the church. As a result, the church began to regenerate and attract new members. There has been an astounding 81 percent increase in membership. The church operating budget also experienced a substantial increase.
Subsequent to his first two years, Dr. Brown continues to bring forth new ministries to meet the needs of the members and the community. “The Brothers Network” (TBN) was created to equip men to realize their purpose in order to receive what God has ordained specifically for them, as men of God. A married couples ministry, “The Love Connection (TLC) was dedicated to providing married and engaged couples with biblical principles to help cultivate the relationship God has ordained. “Training Day” became a ministry designed to promote physical fitness via exercise and healthy eating habits. “The Pride” was created to minister to our seniors. Also, to empower Christian Singles to live with the joy of the Lord, “Singled Out” was formed. To enhance the overall worship experience, the Mime, Youth and Young Adult Praise Dance ministries were established.
With a passion for education, one of the most impactful ministries for the youth of Providence has been Dr. Brown’s establishment of the Annual Walk for Education in 2009. This ministry has raised more than $75,000 in scholarship funds since its inception, for more than 20 students to pursue their dreams of a college education.
Pastor Brown has increased efforts to brand and market Providence to the community through several initiatives. He developed a slogan: “Anointed Word…Relevant Ministry…Awesome Worship,” and created a logo, designed as a shield with the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith and The Word of God. The Church has been given global presence by a new internet website: www.pbcnews.org, in addition to its facebook page (www.facebook.com/pbcnews), and twitter account (@ProvidenceBC1). Worship services can now be viewed through live broadcast @pbcnews.org.
To transport worshippers to bible study and Sunday services, two new church vans have been purchased. Additionally, in 2013, the church sanctuary was renovated with the installation of new carpet, new pew cushions and pulpit furniture.
During Pastor Brown's tenure, many souls have been saved and disciples have been made. The church ministries are thriving. Bible Study and Worship services are well attended. The members of Providence are privileged to be part of a unified body of believers, working together towards a common goal in Christ. Prior to Pastor Brown, the church looked back to find its best days. Now, the Providence Baptist Church Family is praising God for the past, blessing God for the present and celebrating the future.