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History

The uniqueness of Providence Baptist Church is to be found in Jesus Christ, the stone which the builders rejected (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42). Paul presented Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone of the new covenant (Ephesians 2:20-22).

In 1807 Lot Carey (Cary) became a Christian and felt called to preached the Good News soon after. He preached his trial sermon under the pastorate of the Rev. John Courtney of First Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia, USA. In 1821 Carey along with Collin Teague and their families sailed for Liberia on the ship Nautilus as the first African American missionaries from Richmond African Baptist Missionary Society, an organization Carey had helped to organize in 1815. Before sailing, Carey and his wife Nancy, Teague, his wife and son Hilary, Joseph Langford and his wife Susan met and constituted themselves into a church.

In January of 1822 Carey, Teague, Langford and their families arrived at the Providence Island on the Mesurado River in what is today Liberia. Immediately, upon their arrival they established the Providence Baptist Church on a high level ground overlooking the Mesurado River on the north and the Atlantic on the south.

In October 1825 the first sanctuary was dedicated. Rev. Lot Carey said upon its completion, “It is quite a comfortable house, thirty by twenty, and ceiled inside nearly up to the plates, with a decent pulpit and seats.

In 1828 when Carey died, Providence had one hundred members. Rev. Colston Waring became pastor thereafter. In 1830 a revival was started and continued for six months. During this revival one hundred members were added to the church. This revival extended to Caldwell, Carey Town (New Georgia), Millsburg, Cape Mount and Grand Bassa.

In 1839 the present stone sanctuary (the old church) was completed. It was in these sacred walls, the nation Liberia was born, and declared African’s first independent nation, a beacon light of hope to African and the world. The first Legislative Assembly – The House of Representatives and the Senate was held in this sanctuary. Thus Providence has been revered as “The Cornerstone of the Nation.” Providence was the first Christian Church established and founded in Liberia and one of the oldest on the continent of Africa.

During the pastorate of Rev. Samuel B. Stubblefield, Sr. the first organ was purchased. It was to the dismay of the “old-timers”, who disdained such “unholy disturbance” in the Lord’s house. Consequently, two Sunday worship services were held for a while, on at 9:30 a.m. with the organ and the other at 10:30 a.m. without the organ.

In 1968 under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. John B. Falconer, the congregation grew to more than there hundred and more space was needed for Sunday School and other activities. As a result, the Lott Carey Annex was constructed. During Falconer’s pastorate Providence started the first church public radio ministry. Deaconesses (female Deacons) were for the first time instituted. Church planting by Providence once again gave birth to several fellowships and congregations, including the Second and Third Providence Baptist Churches in Monrovia, Handii Baptist Church in Bong Mines, among others. Dr. Falconer was a great pulpiteer. He was U.S citizen serving with the American military.

Providence played a pivotal role in the established of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convention, Inc., and the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary.

On Sunday, July 18, 1976 under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. E. Toimu A. Reeves, the congregation of Providence dedicated the new edifice called “The Ark.” The old stone edifice because a National Shrine in 1975.

In 1984 under the pastorate of Rev. Peter Amos George, Sr., Providence and Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, established a sister church relationship. This relationship consisted of pulpit exchanges, revivals, Christian Literature and other gifts were shared.

The Evangelism Department under Rev. Eddie G. Gibson and Deacon Marjorie Henries re-energized Providence’s thrust in evangelism and outreach ministries, especially in Church Planting, Hospital, Street and Prison ministries. The James R. Davis Memorial Baptist Church, Bushrod (“Terminal”) Island was constructed and dedicated in December, 1987 in partnership with the Liberia and Georgia Baptist Conventions.

In 1989 Rev. A. Momolue Diggs was elected pastor of Providence after the death of pastor George. In 1989, a series of civil wars erupted that resulted in massive numbers of death and population displacement. The national economic, health, and educational were destroyed. Providence provided wholistic care to thousands of displaced persons in the face of extreme danger. The church closed for six months and reopened under the leadership of Acting Pastor Samuel B. Reeves, Jr. , Acting Chairman of the Deacon Board, Osborne K. Diggs, Sr., among others. The Double-Bridge and Sinkor Old Road Fellowships were established. The church, at great risk to the life of its leaders and members, stood with the people. The Pastor and others oftentimes spoke prophetically to and acted against both governmental and rebel forces to provide care and comfort to all who were in need. Such stances still continue
today.

In 1995 the Rev. Eddie G. Gibson, for director of evangelism was elected as pastor. Under his pastorate the worship services blended the contemporary Praise and Worship into a contextual order for preaching the varying and changing community of faith. Following Pastor’s Gibson returned to the United States, the congregation called Rev. Sunday Olayee Collings who served Providence faithfully during another tumultuous period in the life of the church and the nation. In 2002 Pastor Collins asked the congregation not to renew his tenure as pastor in order to pursued graduate studies in theology in the United
States.

Following the departure of Pastor Collins, Associate pastor Rev. Joseph Jenkins Roberts, served as acting pastor. On Sunday, July ??, 2003 Providence Baptist Church unanimously elected the Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr. as her twenty-third pastor in one hundred and eighty-two years. Before returning to his beloved Providence, Dr. Reeves served as Co-Pastor of the Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States of America. While at Madison, Dr. Reeves established a Congregation-to-Congregation Cross-cultural Partnership between Madison and Providence. This relationship continues
to be of blessing to both Madison and Providence to this day.