On January 5th, 2007, Providence OPC in Charlottesville, VA was particularized, with a total membership of forty-nine. This day was the fruit of years of worship, prayer and labor. It was in the spring months of 2000 when Covenant OPC in Staunton, just on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, received calls from five different families, none of whom knew each other. Each was wondering whether the OPC might be interested in interested in a church plant in Charlottesville. As Scott Willett, then pastor of Covenant put it, the answer to the first was “Not at this time.” By the time the fifth had called the answer was “Why yes, yes we are.”
It was a small group to plant a church with, but God slowly built the church. In August of 2001 Tony Monaghan was ordained by the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic, and began serving as organizing pastor at Providence. On January 5, 2007 the church particularized, installing Tony Monaghan as pastor. Ken Barnes, who had served as an elder in a number of OPC churches was installed as ruling elder. He and his family had moved to Charlottesville in 2000, just after Providence had begun public worship.
The Rev. Dick Ellis, then serving as the Regional Home Missionary in the PMA preached from Philippians 1:9-11. The Rev. Scott Willet gave the charge to the pastor, the Rev. Steve Doe the charge to the congregation and Providence was organized as a new and separate congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Since then Providence has grown and shrunk and grown and shrunk, as churches in university towns will do. Yet Providence continues, ministering the gospel in Charlottesville, a southern university town. This strange mixture of Cambridge, Massachusetts and a small town in Alabama that we call home. Glory to God in the Highest!
Picture: Providence OPC members in 2007.