A Church Called Providence 

Providence Primitive Baptist Church of Christ, Mount Vernon, Texas, Franklin County, Texas was organized May 28, 1842 in Lamar County, Texas while Texas was a Republic.  It is the oldest church in Franklin County, Texas.  The doctrine is absolute predestination.  

To see the list of founding Elders and members click here Original Members

 The original land was donated by W. J. Caudle in February, 1845 for church purposes.  Two additional pieces of land adjoining the original donation have been added since 1845 bringing the total acreage to an approximate 3 acres.  Over the years, four meeting houses have stood on the rural East Texas farmland.  The present meeting house was built in 1945 by R. B. Hightower & Sons.  Materials from the prior meeting house were used to construct the building, and the congregation assisted in the construction.  Meeting house preservation has kept the building in good repair and retained its rural 1945 East Texas facade. 

 A cemetery is located north of the meeting house which contains over 2,300 graves.  Burials began prior to 1870.  Petrified stone, colored glass, etc. were used to mark graves in the beginning so no actual date of the first burial can be determined.  The oldest marked grave is Mary Holder, who died January 25, 1870.

 The meeting house pews are constructed of ďfirst cutĒ white pine put together with square head nails in 1872 after the second meeting house had been built.  The backs of the pews are one solid piece of pine cut from one tree.  A mill finish gives the pews a rustic appearance.

 A well was located at the southeast end of the meeting house.  In the beginning, the congregation arrived on horseback, by wagon, or buggy.  People drank and horses were watered from the well.  In August, the meeting continued 3 days, so water was important and one dipper was used by the entire congregation.  They camped out during the 3 days and spread lunch on quilts on the ground.

 A cappella four-note singing began church meetings.  Baptisms were, and are, in creeks, pools, or lakes.  Following the example of Jesus, communion consists of the Lordís Supper and includes foot-washing.  Today, communion is observed on Saturday before the first Sunday in May.

 The passage of time has not changed the worship activities of Providence Primitive Baptist Church.  Providence Church holds to worship tradition and begins meetings with a cappella singing just as the early congregations began meetings.  Baptisms are in creeks, pools, lakes, etc., with complete emersion.  Communion includes foot-washing.

 Our late Deacon Darrell Rhoades stated that when he was at his brotherís feet, he was not at his brotherís throat.