History of New Providence Missionary Baptist Church

Sometime during the year 1860, Andrew Johnson, Mary Jones and her daughter Caroline, Marich Utley, Cherry Rowland and Barnabus, along with 22 other enslaved persons from the Rowland Plantation, organized and gave birth to Providence.

For some years these enslaved persons had worshiped as members, with their owners at what is now the Catawba Springs Christian Church.  When they were given permission, they withdrew from that church to form their congregation.  The Utley family donated land for the church, a 30 x 30 foot plot.  The land was approximately 13 paces from Terrible Creek Spring in a densely wooded area.  It is likely that as they cleared the land for a place to worship, they used the trees and brush from the area to construct a brush arbor for worship.  (This first site is approximately one-half mile from our current location, at the lower end of what is now the church cemetery on Johnson Pond road).

The Providence group worshiped under the brush arbor for twenty-six years. Records indicate that in 1885 the Reverend Edwards obtained $50.00 from the Wake Association and used $10.00 of that money to purchase land from the Johnson family, approximately one-half mile from the old site.  The first permanent wood building was completed on this new site in 1886, and named New Providence Missionary Baptist Church.

The church congregation continued to flourish, and by the early 1900’s the membership had outgrown its first church.  A larger wood building was begun and completed around 1917.  This was an interesting building with two steeples.  The church bell was housed in one steeple.  The building had two entrances, one for men, and one for women.  There were three aisles; women sat on the left, men on the right, and young women in the center aisle seats.  The church also had a balcony, which was used by whites when they came for funerals or other special services.  A baptismal pool was added to the outside of the church at a later date.

By 1971 the growth of the congregation required still a larger building; and the first brick building was begun and completed within three years.  On October 10, 1971, the pastor and the congregation entered the new house of worship.  This building is located adjacent to where the two steeple church stood, and a part of the church sits over the baptismal pool.

In 1988, Reverend Nathaniel J. Wood became the Pastor of New Providence, and brought with him a new vision for service and ministry.  Under his leadership our membership has continued to grow and our work has expanded; today we have over 500 members, 11 associate Ministers, some 25 active ministries, six choirs and a functioning pastoral and administrative team.   Reverend Wood has guided New Providence – the friendly church of worship—as we have increased our service.  God has truly blessed the New Providence Missionary Baptist Church family.

In 2004 we broke ground for a new sanctuary, and on November 13, 2005, we moved into our new facility.  We have a new administrative wing and a new sanctuary that will comfortably seat six hundred.  Our technology is state of the art.  God has truly blessed New Providence Missionary Baptist Church.  From our days under the brush arbor through all of our other buildings, we have been blessed, and we are poised to do even greater works. The harvest for the souls of men is ripe” and God is enlarging us for the increase of souls that will come and join our discipleship.  Let us therefore not be weary in well doing, for in due season, we shall reap if we faint not. Our church family is prepared to continue our work to maximize the promises of God in a new Season.