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History of Providence Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Emory C. Virgil, Sr. D.C.C., Pastor

1907 to 2018

111th Anniversary

The Anniversary Theme: “Preserving Our Past and Guiding Our Future Under the Blood of Jesus”. “Supporting Text: 1 Corinthians 2:5 and Hebrews 13:20-21 “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God”.


Brief History of Providence Missionary Baptist Church:


In 1907, the Providence Missionary Baptist Church was born out of a spiritual need in the community. In response to a divine revelation from God, the late Mother Mary Louisa Williams along with other believers in Jesus Christ proceeded to "build a house" for the Lord. Providence began as a prayer house, where it was known as the Providence of God.




In the back ground is Providence First Church Rev. Frank Martin, Sr. became the third pastor in 1910, on the front row:


Walking down Magnolia road (now Magnolia Street), Mother William and sister Rosa Peaks had a vision of a building with a steeple that would be erected on the corner of a passageway now known as Fourth Avenue and Magnolia Street. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, she and her dedicated prayer band members built their first physical place of worship.


The first donations made to the church's building fund were made by Sister Rosa Peaks in the amount of one dollar and Sister Lue Taylor in the amount of fifty cents. Mrs. Williams sought help from her employer, Mr. Charlie Chaplins of Elsoma Plantation. In response to her request, Mr. Chaplins generously contributed to the building fund. Her friends, relatives, and the community gave according to how the Lord blessed them. Mother William’s vision became a reality later that year, with Mr. Bubba Peaks serving as the builder and the first church was built. (SEE photo of old first church)

In 1907, the Reverend Henry Fennell became the First Pastor of Providence of God.

In 1908, the Reverend Robert Raymond became the second pastor of Providence Church


Providence M. B. Church from 1907 to 1958


In 1910, Rev. Frank Martin, Sr., of Providence Church.  He served from 1910-1955;


In April 1956, the Reverend Arthur J. Atkinson became the fourth pastor of Providence Church.  Under Rev. Atkinson’s administration, the raising of funds began for the construction of another church edifice.


In 1957, contracts were prepared for the construction of a new church edifice.


Mrs. Mildred Roberts, owner of Sunnyland Packing Company, contributed generously to the building fund. 


Contracts were prepared for the construction of a new church.  The old building was demolished.


In 1958, on the second Sunday in September, the members marched from the site of the old church to the Magnolia Street location.


Providence M.B. Church from 1958 to Present​


In 1970, the fifth pastor to serve Providence was the Reverend Eddie S. Sheffield.

In 1988, sixth pastor of Providence Church... the Reverend James Ceasar Vaughn, Jr. 

On January 23, 2000, Providence Missionary Baptist Church celebrated The New Millennium Installation service for its seventh pastor, Rev. Dr. Emory C. Virgil, Sr.  Since the installation of Rev. Virgil, the church continues to grow in grace and the work of “Glorifying God, Magnifying Christ, and Helping Others.”

Providence extended ministries has continues for the past 18 years provided funds in the amount of $113,010 to the community’s youth and education programs. In addition, the Benevolent Fund to provide assistance to members and the community who are experiencing severe financial hardship, through the below ministries:

  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)---$9,300.00

  • Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Georgia (Marguerite Neel Williams) ---$12,400.00

  • Lenoris E. Abrams, Sr., Students Academic Scholarship Award Program--$25,000.00

  • Providence Academic Student Scholarship Award (PASS)- $28,000.00

  • Sister Serena Y. Tillman Scholarship Program for Favor Christian Academy--$11,000.00

  • Jack Hadley Black History Museum-------------------------------------------$5,700.00

  • Benevolent Fund to Members & Community------------------------------$21,110.00


There have been several hundred members’ confessions of faith in Christ and Baptisms during the past 18 years of the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Emory C. Virgil’s leadership. 

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