In 1976 the Norfolk Presbytery, recognizing the community growth in
the Kempsville area of Virginia Beach, authorized the establishment of a
The Presbytery purchased the land at the intersection of Providence
Road and Whitehurst Landing Road for the construction project and
provided a grant in the amount of $125,000 to help get construction
The Rev. Carlyle A. McDonald was called as the organizing pastor.
The first worship service was held at Woodstock Elementary School on
June 5, 1977 with 98 people in attendance.
The small congregation grew rapidly to 196 members at which time it
was formally chartered as Providence Presbyterian Church on November 13,
The church community continued to meet and worship in Woodstock
Elementary School for one year and then moved to Kempsville Junior High
School where it remained for four years.
During that time, Donald Reid, an elder in the church, assumed the
responsibility of Project Director for church construction. A building
committee was formed and took up the responsibility of general
Church construction began with a ground breaking ceremony on
October 4, 1981. Pictured above is the nucleus of the Church Buidling
Committee: Charles A. Verget, A. James DeBellis, F. Donald Reid, James
H. Lytle and Edith H. Hill.
The building program was started in three stages: Stage one
completed the Sanctuary, offices, kitchen, restrooms, nursery and
classrooms. Stage two completed the building. Stage three added the
Fellowship Hall onto the first building.
Work began in February 1982 with the laying of the foundation and by
June the external form of the building was essentially complete.
building makes use of Georgian architecture and has a 100-foot lighted
steeple. Fink and Associates of Philadelphia designed the building
along with Carlton Goodwin of Virginia Beach. The 2 and one-half ton,
57-foot tall steeple was made by Aluminum Fabricators of Campbellsville,
KY and trucked to Virginia Beach. It was placed in June 1982 and, at
the time of placement, was one on the tallest structures in the city
rising to 100 feet. Rev. McDonald was hoisted up by construction crane
to place the steeple cross.
During and immediately after the construction, men and women of the
congregation volunteered their time and talents to putting the finishing
touches on the building project. Congregational volunteers worked
hundreds of hours cleaning, doing carpentry, painting, installing
hardware and floor tile, and grading and seeding to add the many nice
housekeeping and landscape touches we still enjoy today.
Everyone contributed. Even Pastor McDonald used his own talents in
carpentry by designing and building the white, octagonal pulpit for the
The first worship service was celebrated in the new church building on August 8, 1982.
The Fifth Anniversary was a time of celebration as the newly built
Church building had opened its doors barely three months prior. The
Fifth Anniversary celebration took place on Sunday November 7, 1982.
The day was marked with a formal Worship Service followed by an open
house, and a tour of the building.
The Twentieth Anniversary was celebrated on Sunday October 12, 1997
with a special Worship Service and dinner attended by all former pastors
and many past members who had traveled from out of state. Rev. Larson,
one of the early pastors of the Church, was invited to speak. He
offered his insights and reminiscences marking the anniversary.
Providence Presbyterian Church marked its twenty-fifth anniversary
on November 10, 2002. We were honored by the presence of former
pastors Rev. Carlyle McDonald and his wife Tony; Rev. Bob Larson and his
wife Mary; Rev. Robin Wooddell and his wife Beverly; Rev. Charles
Speight; and Rev. Richard Lund and his wife Barbara. Rev. Ken Hicks and
his wife Tina were unable to attend the event. Morning worship was
inspiring and the music uplifting. Rev. McDonald, our founding pastor,
participated in the service with Rev. Bell. Rev. Bell, in his message,
thanked the former pastors and their wives for laying the strong
foundation on which Providence stands and for their hard work and
diligence in serving this church. Numerous charter members and former
members were in attendance. The anniversary weekend celebration began
with a Golf outing on Friday and a catered barbecue for the entire
congregation on Saturday.
Celebrating thirty-five years as an organized church, Providence
Presbyterian marked the occasion during its morning worship service on
Sunday November 11, 2012. Charter members were called to the front of
the sanctuary and were recognized during the service for their vision,
faith, and support through the years. Afterwards, the entire
congregation, family and friends celebrated with a pot luck luncheon in
the Fellowship Hall. During lunch a special multimedia presentation
chronicling the past thirty-five years was offered to document how far
we have progressed as a church.