Providence Baptist Church History
Providence Baptist Church at Fremont & Edmondson Aves.
In April 1928, 243 Baptized believers withdrew their membership from Union Baptist Church after the majority of that congregation voted to relieve the pastor, Reverend David E. Over, of his duties. While searching for a permanent place to worship, the group met regularly for prayer and consultation during the week and worshiped on Sundays with a congregation pastored by Reverend Francis Storey at Schroeder and Pierce Streets. At a special meeting of the founding group, a resolution was unanimously adopted to establish a church in accordance with the policy and practice of a missionary baptist church.The honor of naming the new church was given to the oldest member of the founding group, Mrs. Amanda Robinson. Believing the new church was in the "Providence" of God, she offered the name "Providence Baptist Church." On April 17, 1928, the "Articles of Incorporation" were adopted.
Blessed by God, the new congregation purchased the property at Fremont and Edmondson Avenues where the historic founding meeting was held. This location was to become the congregation's center for worship and service of the next 48 years. Rev. Dr. David E. Over provided leadership in the establishment of the new church, and was called as its first pastor on May 4, 1928. During the first year, the church moved forward with success, both spiritually and financially. Rev. Over died suddenly on April 29, 1929.
Subsequent to the death of Rev. Over, the Providence Baptist Church family was seeking new and inspired leadership and called Rev. Dr. Eugene W. White from Tulane Baptist Church, New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 17, 1929.
Rev. David E. Over, PBC's First Pastor
Rev. Dr. Eugene W. White, PBC's Second Pastor
Rev. White encouraged spiritual and programmatic development and guided the congregation through the economic struggles of the Great Depression to a period of growth and revitalization. During his ministry, the church burned its first mortgage in 1939, and the second mortgage in June 1943. In July 1951, the church accepted Dr. White's resignation as a result of ill health.
Rev. Dr. White remained as Pastor Emeritus until his death on September 25, 1952. In that same year, after months of prayer and meditation, the congregation called Reverend Marcus G. Wood, from the Bethlehem Baptist Church, Woodbury, New Jersey, as its third pastor. His extensive educational background, strong religious training, and varied experiences, greatly enriched and expanded upon the programs instituted by his two predecessors.
Under Rev. Wood's leadership, grew and incorporated many innovative educational and service programs and building projects. Included among the educational and service programs are the Board of Christian Education; the Church-wide Institute, the Parent-Child Seminar, the SHARE Program, the Food Pantry, and HIV/AIDS Ministry. All of these programs are still active parts of Providence's ministry.
Rev. Marcus G. Wood, PBC's Third Pastor
Providence Baptist Church at Pennsylvania & Lafayette Aves.
Our most prominent building project, under the leadership of Rev. Wood, started in 1972 following the congregation's commitment to 30 days of prayer. After listening to God, Rev. Wood and the congregation started making plans to build a new church, and in February 1981, the congregation marched into its new solar-heated church home at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue. While this project was in development, the congregation shared facilities with the First Baptist Church of Baltimore from July 1972 to February 1981. In subsequent years, Providence completed other building projects including the addition of 13 Sunday School rooms and the Adult Day Care facility (located next door to Providence).
Under Dr. Summers' leadership, Providence strengthened our health ministries, expanded our academic assistance programs, acquired and demolished four dilapidated houses across the street from Providence (on Lafayette Avenue), launched and implemented the Spiritual Gifts Assessment initiative, and commissioned the development of our mission statement.
Providence has been blessed to have Christ-centered, spirit-led leaders who are committed to the work that Jesus Christ has set before them. Providence's history is rich, but our future is bright. We look forward to the blessings and challenges that God has in store.
Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Summers,
PBC's Fourth Pastor