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.