Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church was formed as a daughter church of Covenant Presbyterian Church of St. Louis on Ballas Road in Town & Country, MO. Covenant Church’s pews were full, and the parking lot overflowing on Sunday mornings. They had been seeking to expand the physical facilities, but were unable to get approval from the Town & Country city government. The Session entertained the idea of sponsoring a daughter church in 1981-1982. Reverend David K. Winecoff, the Associate Pastor at Covenant, started holding a Bible Study weekly at Roland and Carolan Van Heest’s home.
After several months of the Bible Study with a core group of interested people, the Masonic Lodge on the intersection of Sappington Road and Eddie and Park Road in Crestwood was rented for Sunday morning worship. The first worship service was held Labor Day weekend, September 5, 1982 with 75 worshipers, including several well-wishers from Covenant.
Providence Through the Years
The Missouri Presbytery particularized Providence in February, 1983 with 39 charter communicant members. Covenant Church continued to support Providence financially on a declining basis for the first year, ensuring a strong start. At the particularization service, 7 Ruling Elders were ordained, and 7 Deacons installed and ordained, establishing a strong base of leadership that has continued to this day.
After several frustrating attempts to find suitable property to buy or build a church building in the Crestwood or Sunset Hills area, the 2.31 acre pear orchard across the street from the Masonic Lodge was purchased in 1988. After architectural design and fund raising, the present church sanctuary and fellowship hall were completed in 1992.
Pastor David Winecoff fell to his tragic death on August 18, 1993 during a mountain climbing vacation in Colorado, leaving a devastated congregation and a widow with 4 young children. In God’s grace, an able Associate Pastor, Reverend Philip Harden assumed the leadership and shepherded the flock for the next 13 months while a pastoral search committee did its work to select a new senior pastor for PRPC.
A former member and pastoral intern of Providence while attending Covenant Seminary, and then the Senior Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX, Reverend Jeffery J. Meyers was called and installed in September, 1994, to be the second Senior Pastor of PRPC.
The next milestone in the life of the congregation was the ordination and installation of Tommy Lee as the full-time Assistant Pastor in 1999. Pastor Lee was a Covenant Seminary student and intern at Providence church for four years
A few years later in 2001 the session called pastoral intern, Chris Smith, as an Assistant Pastor to serve the homeless and poor with Sunshine Ministries in downtown St. Louis.
In 1999, the leaders of the church decided an educational building was needed. All of the children’s Sunday school classes were crowded into the basement of the church, separated only by partitions. The money was raised, the ground broken in the Spring of 2000, and the building completed and dedicated in January 2001.
In 2002 Providence began to study and pray about planting a daughter church. The sanctuary was crowded on Sunday morning and we were required by our Constitution and By Laws to study the prospect of planting a new church. As a result of that study and prayer, the congregation sent Associate Pastor Tommy Lee and about 50 members in 2003 to begin a daughter church south and west of Providence in Jefferson County. Cornerstone Presbyterian Church became a self-supporting, particular church in April 2004.
After Pastor Lee left to begin Cornerstone, Pastor Smith was called as an Associate Pastor and began full-time pastoral duties with the congregation of Providence.
In the summer of 2008, the session of Providence called Tim Weston to be an Assistant Pastor in order to work with international students on St. Louis university campuses. We also called Joshua Anderson as an Assistant Pastor to help with discipleship and administration. The Lord has blessed the ministries of both of these men.
In December 2009, we sent out about 70 members to plant a second daughter church under the leadership of Pastor Chris Smith. The new church was called Resurrection Presbyterian Church. Unfortunately, in 2013 Resurrection had to suspend it's ministry, as the leadership wisely decided that the work was no longer viable.
In 2013, we also added Ryan Van Horn to our staff as a new youth pastor. His work energized and organized the youth of our church in wonderful ways.
The past few years have brought much change to Providence. Associate Pastor Anderson received a call to pastor Colleyville Presbyterian Church in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Pastor Ryan Van Horn was also called to be a church planting intern in Brooklyn, NY. Brad and Anna Owens took over the high school ministry, while Cody and Molly Dotson continued Pastor Anderson and Pastor Van Horne's ministry with the young adults by leading Fair Haven. The Owens received a call as an Assistant Pastor in South Carolina. The Dotsons are headed to Brooklyn for a church planting intership. This past summer, we also said goodbye to Assistant Pastor Tim Weston as he followed his calling to the West Coast.
The Lord is always challenging us and moving us in new directions. We are reevaluating our mission and calling, as well as beginning to think about calling a new assistant/associate pastor. We are confident of the Lord's guidance and direction as we seek to be faithful to his Word and Gospel.