Providence Methodist Church

Submitted by June Banks Evans 16 Aug 2003

(This page was last updated )


Former location: Route 178, [Mecklenburg map 1870, section 8]
36° 44' 24"N, 78° 04' 15"W (WGS84/NAD83)
USGS La Crosse Quad

Present location: Wilson Road, route 638
36° 45' 18"N, 78° 03' 15"W (WGS84/NAD83)
USGS Forksville Quad

[Excerpted from The Richmond Christian Advocate, "Sesquicentennial of Methodist in Southside Virginia," June 21, 1934]

Providence Church, South Hill Charge

"In 1760 five Ozlin brothers came over from England with James Oglethorpe and settled in Georgia. Two of these brothers were Methodist preachers. One of them, Jesse Ozlin, came to Virginia and settled in Mecklenburg County. He married Winifred Lucas, who was a great church worker. Feeling the need of some place to worship, they built a small, unpretentious structure on their own land and named it Providence in recognition of God's providential care and love. Through the influence and efforts of these consecrated people so many united with the church that the building was inadequate. Isaac, son of Jesse Ozlin, married Ann Marshall Pennington, a devout woman, whose home was a retreat for the circuit riders and Methodist preachers who passed that way. They gave two acres of land and money to help build a larger and more comfortable church in 1795. This building was used for worship for almost one hundred years. A rather interesting matter has just come to light in this connection. A right of way seventeen feet wide from the church site to the spring, which was a part of the original property, remains today, never having been transferred. In 1892, E. M. Hite gave one and one-half acres of land with money to build a new church. This time the location was changed to the present site of Providence Church on the Boydton and Petersburg Plank Road, not far from Forksville Post Office and Skelton Railway Station on the Seaboard Air Line railway. . . .
"But there are other interests attaching church. In 1874 the first free school in this section was held in old Providence Church. Jesse Q. Gee was principal and his daughter, Miss Alice, assistant. Camp meetings came and with them the crowds, numbering thousands, so much so that it became necessary to place guards at the springs to protect the water supply for the people. The last of these meetings was just after the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1847."

[Excerpted from Journals of William Emmanuel Bugg 1848-1935, transcribed by June Banks Evans, 1986]

Forksville, Va., Sept. 17, 1928; to editor of Norlina [NC] Headlight

"I attended a S.S. in old Providence M.E. Church, which was a mile South of here, near the road leading to Piny Road, now LaCrosse. The same church has been moved on the road half a mile above Skelton, where I now live and a member of the S.S. there also Assistant Supt. When [we] went to the S.S. at the former place in 1868 we took our lunches with us and had two sessions, morning and afternoon.
"After S.S. services in summer we young folk went to a mineral spring called "Black Spring" and enjoyed ourselves. People used to resort to that spring in summer in crowds and sometimes have preaching there by some local minister. Families used to move there and camp out two or three months and drink that water for their health."

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