Charlotte’s Providence Presbyterian Church Celebrates 250th Anniversary, Invites Members of Black Sister Churches To Sunday Homecoming

People rise during the opening processional at Providence Presbyterian Church’s Homecoming service celebrating 250 years of worship and service. 250 dresses made by church members for girls in Africa were hung around the balcony in the sanctuary. On Sunday. Providence Presbyterian Church capped off a months-long celebration of its 250th anniversary. A bagpiper played, and the sanctuary was decorated with 250 dresses made by church members for girls in Africa. The church, founded in 1767, also invited members of African-American churches founded by ex-slaves who had earlier worshiped — from the balcony — at Providence Presbyterian. Those daughter churches (Jonesville ANE Zion and Murkland Presbytyerian) are still going. Diedra Laird

Members of Charlotte’s Providence Presbyterian Church capped its year-long celebration of its 250th anniversary on Sunday with bagpipes, a homecoming luncheon, and a display of 250 dresses made for little girls in Africa.

The church, one of the oldest in Mecklenburg County, was founded in 1767 by Scots-Irish Presbyterian settlers (also called Ulster Irish from Northern Ireland).

The church property includes a centuries-old graveyard, a spring that was an early baptismal site, a “Preaching Rock” that was the first pulpit, and a wooden sanctuary dating to 1858 that is still used for services.

One of Charlotte’s major thoroughfares, Providence Road, got its name from the church.

Shortly after the Civil War, ex-slaves who had to worship from the church’s balcony left Providence Presbyterian to start their own churches: Jonesville AME Zion and Matthews Murkland Presbyterian Church. Members of both black churches, still going strong, were invited to the Sunday homecoming.

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SOURCE: The Charlotte Observer – Tim Funk