A brief history of Providence Baptist Church in Rusk County, from the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
in Silsbee web site.
History of Providence Baptist Church, Henderson, Texas
(Crim's Chapel Community, Rusk County, Texas)
(A History by Flora Roman Kirksey, the oldest surviving member born March 3, 1909, went to be with our Lord at 101 years of age on February 4, 2011)
Providence Baptist Church of Crim's Chapel, Rusk County, Texas was organized the second Sunday in January 1875 with a membership of twelve, composed of four men and eight women. Services were held in the school building during the early period of its organization.
Some years later a church building was erected approximately one hundred yards south of the present building. During the 1880's this building was destroyed by a storm but rebuilt on the same site.
Names of the twelve original members : Elliot Barton and wife, Mary Barton; W.P. Bassett and wife, Mendocia Basset; E.P.. Spivey and wife, Mary Spivey; Elizia Gibson; Maria Gibson; America (Crim) Honeycutt; Elsa Irwin; Mary Standard and C.A. Todd.
During the first six months of 1901 when many Baptist churches were being allied with the Southern Baptist Association (Convention) the issue came before the Providence Baptist Church with part of the members being in favor of the alliance an another part being bitterly opposed to it. The disagreement came to a climax in the summer of 1901. By a small majority those favoring the alliance voted to join the Southern Baptist Association. The opposing members withdrew and reorganized into a separate church to be known as Providence Missionary Baptist Church.
Services were held in the school building until a church could be built. It was finished and dedicated in April 1902.
Elder C. T. Sanders was first pastor of the new church. Next came F. W. Capps, who pastored the church from 1902 to 1905. The church then called T. H. Irwin, a young minister and native of the community. He served the church as its pastor for sixteen years, resigning in 1921. Succeeding Brother Irwin was Elder C.P. Spivey who began his ministry with the church in January 1922, a position he held until 1942 when he was forced to resign because of ill health. Upon the retirement of Brother Spivey, Elder John W. Reynolds was serving as interim pastor, later being called full time by the church. (Under the pastorate of Elder Reynolds the Grace Baptist Church, now the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church of Silsbee, Texas was organized). After serving the church as its pastor for thirty two years he was forced to retire because of ill health and age made it impossible for him to carry on in that capacity.
Elder Steve Fulton was called by the members in October 1974 and is currently serving the church as pastor. Deacons of the church at this time are: L. G. Holland, L.O. Cole, Troy Irwin, Wayland Irwin, Prentiss Irwin, Mark McMahon, and Carleton Cole. Wayland Irwin is church clerk, also Sunday School superintendent.
The history of this church is significant as it is part of the history of Rusk County. It is the church that Flora Kirksey has attended for sixty eight years and still does. Today it is a small country church with an average attendance of 60 to 75 people, and it is some kind of a record that the church has had only three pastors since 1922. Seventy-six years and going strong.