Providence Church
15010 W. Howardsville Road, Lena, Illinois 61048

(In the community known as Howardsville, West Point Township, Stephenson County, Illinois)

This property was obtained by the Primitive Baptists, on August 10, 2016. Restoration work at the site is now complete. Please contact us for further information.

History of the Providence "Old Stone" Church

The details of the constitution of Providence Church are presently unknown, except that the obituary of Joseph Wilson state that he was a charter member. Since Joseph Wilson is shown in the 1850 census for Scioto County, Ohio, with his wife and children, and since he purchased his farm in Rush Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, in 1852, the church must have been organized after that date. Most likely the church was formed by members being dismissed from Mt. Pleasant Church near South Wayne, Lafayette Co., Wisconsin, in the mid to late 1850's.

The obituary of Bro. Murray Howard states that during the time the Providence church was without a meeting house, they met in his house. Until evidence appears to the contrary, we assume that the church had no meeting house of its own until the stone church was erected. In 1861 Providence Church hosted the First Northwestern Association, but it appears the meeting was held at the meeting house of Mt. Pleasant Church, the mother church. The obituary of Bro. Ward B. Howard states that he united with the church in 1868, and was baptized by Elder Isaac N. Vanmeter, and a few years later helped build the stone church on one corner of his farm, and named it Providence. The cemetery, however, had been used at least twenty years before the stone church was built.

Photos showing the restoration of the Old Stone Church.