The History of Providence ARP
The Providence Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregation was organized on September 10, 1836. The service of organization was officiated by the Rev. James L. Young, the church's first Pastor and under the care of 2nd Presbytery of the Associate Reformed Synod of the South. Due to its organization and lineage within the Associate Reformed Synod of the South, later to become the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Providence ARP is the oldest congregation in Clinton, SC.
According to the church's history book, A History of Providence Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church: September 10, 1836 - July 10, 1977, the church was founded through the efforts and contributions of William Blakely. The church was originally located on 7.5 acres of land right outside of Clinton, SC, that was donated to the church by William and Samuel Blakely in October 1840. The church remained at this location until 1901.
In 1901 the church sold its building to an African American congregation. This congregation dismantled the building and moved it to another location where it is still in use today. The Providence ARP church then raised funds to build a new building in Clinton. Providence bought a lot on North Broad Street, a location that was much more suitable for many of the church members, and then built a church under the guidance of Rev. W. A. M. Plaxco. The church remained at this location until 1952 when it moved to its third, and current location, on South Broad Street.
Though the church didn’t move into their new building until 1952, the need was felt as early as 1925 for more space. The Great Depression and World War II slowed the congregation down in their efforts to build and move into a new building, but it didn’t stop them. After many years of planning, hoping, and praying for a new building, Providence ARP held their first worship service in the new building on February 18, 1952. The church has continued to worship and serve the Clinton area from this location on S. Broad Street.