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This history was written from the works of William Park, T.J. Miller, and Custer Baker.
The first religious meeting held in Union Township of which we have any authentic record was held at the home of Peter Vandivier… This was in the winter of 1827…
On the 28th day of September 1838, a number of persons met at the home of Wesley Deer and organized a church and named it the Disciples of Christ at Rock Lick… The group met at their homes for a short time. Then they built a log structure on the land owned by John Mullis… We have a record of 70 members who were affiliated with this church on Dec. 1, 1846…
In December 1846, the group established the Church of God in Christ at Providence. The word Providence must have meant the immediate neighborhood surrounding the church, for the town of Union Village was not named Providence until a much later date…
This religious body built a log church on the farm of Wesley Deer… This building was used as a place of worship from sometime in 1845 to 1859. This building was burned at night and was undoubtedly the work of an incendiary; strong hints were passed about and made that some people knew who the culprit was, but no action was ever taken against them… The record shows that the congregation at this time numbered 261…
The group determined to build another church. This building was erected on the same rocks that the old log church was built upon… The building was also burned in the latter part of 1863. It was thought to be the work of the same fire-bug who had burned the log church. This was discouraging, but their faith was strong and they did not know what failure meant. In their dilemma, some of the members of the New Light Congregation who had a church building… offered to let them use this building as a place of worship… The organization continued to worship in the New Light Church building from 1863 to 1868… The congregation grew in numbers to where it was necessary to have a larger house, so on Jun 22, 1868, they purchased land from Willis Deer Sr.… here they built a frame church which was used as a place of worship for more than 50 years. The present brick structure was built in 1905 and was dedicated in August 1906…
Important Dates
1838 to 1840s – Private homes served as places of worship
1840s to 1845 – Log church served as church and school.
1846 to 1859 – New log church built and name was changed to “The Church of God in Christ                          at Providence.” Later was burned.
1859 to 1863 – Another log church was built on the old log church foundation. Later was                                burned.
1863 to 1868 – Met in the New Light Meeting House.
1868 to 1905 – On our present site, a frame building was built. This was removed in 1905 for                          the new building.
1905 – Our present brick building was built at a cost of $7,000. It was dedicated on Aug. 19,             1906.
1956 – An Education and Fellowship addition was dedicated on May 27, 1956.
2005 – On Jan. 21, 2005, the church purchased nearly 5 acres of land adjoining the north                   church lot line.
Interesting Church Facts
  • In the early days of our church, the deacons and elders were men only. The wives of the deacons baked the unleavened bread and made the grape juice for communion.
  • In the days before Providence had a resident minister, each family took a turn at feeding the pastor’s family after Sunday services.
  • In the days of horses and buggies, the horses were hitched to a heavy chain which was fastened to posts on the north and west sides of the church.
  • The choir loft was added some years after the original church construction. Several Union School music teachers used to direct the choir and congregation in singing.
  • The name Union Village was changed to Providence in June 1880 when a post office came to town. (There already was another Union Village in the state.) The new village name seems to have come from our church name.
  • Our church has gone by various names since her founding – The Disciples of Church at Providence (1838), The Church of God in Christ at Providence (1846), The Church of Christ at Providence (1972), and Providence Christian Church (early 1900s to present).
  • Early church records were kept in the clerks’ homes. Had they been in the log churches which burned, they would have been destroyed. Today, all member records are kept locked in a fireproof box.
  • In 1874, the population of Union Village was about 100 people, with another 900 living in rural Union Township.