Missions as an expression of Christ's love was a top priority. During initial organizational meetings in May and June 2002, participants had donated $228 to cover the expenses of renting meeting rooms. On June 19, 2002, the group decided to follow God's leading and meet the following Sunday for worship. They agreed to offer $100 to Dr. John Deloney to rent David's Catfish Restaurant, where they would hold the first worship service. (Dr. John, who was not at that meeting, later declined the offer and generously offered to open the doors of his restaurant each Sunday at no charge.) The remaining $128 was sent to a Spanish Fort family who had lost their home in a fire the week before.
It was on this note that 34 adults and 21 children gathered at a catfish restaurant on Sunday, June 23, 2002, to worship. That first service opened with the singing of "How Great Thou Art." Other hymns included "The Church's One Foundation," and "Be Thou My Vision." The Old Testament scripture lesson was 2 Chronicles 7: 14-15, while the New Testament lesson was Philippians 4:4-7. The meditation, offered by Rhonda Woodson, was entitled "Power of Prayer."
In the beginning, the congregation had no name, no pastor and was not affiliated with a denomination. The name "
Soon, a group of retired United Methodist pastors helped the fledgling congregation by preaching and offering pastoral services as needed. These pastors, affectionately called "honorary Catfishians," include the Revs. Marcus Smith, John Couey, Langdon Garrison, Edwin Sells, Thomas Lane Butts, Warren G. Booker Jr., Ken Bishop, and Hal Threadcraft. Later, the congregation was also served by the Revs. Paul Nixon, Doug Williams and Bishop Larry M. Goodpastor.
In April 2003, the church received good news...the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the
On Sunday, February 8, 2009, more than 300 people worshipped together in
From these beginnings, Providence UMC continues to serve. Our mission statement says it simply: "
We invite you to be a part of this growing congregation as we worship, learn and serve together.
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