“Are you reformed? We are seeking like fellowship.”
This quotation appeared in a 1991 Fort Wayne newspaper advertisement, inviting those of the reformed Christian faith to come to a Bible study, whose goal was the formation of a church. A small group, including a family from Ohio, began meeting in the home of the couple who placed the advertisement. Rev. Tim Bero, pastor, at that time, of Community Presbyterian Church (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, drove to Fort Wayne on a weekly basis to lead the group. Later, the Bible study moved to Hicksville, Ohio, where they continued to meet for approximately two years.
In Fort Wayne, March, 1995, Dr. Hadley Mitchell, a professor at Taylor University, a member of the first group but unable to follow them to Hicksville, began meeting with new residents who were looking for a reformed church. Through the graciousness of their host, the group held Sunday evening worship services in the sanctuary of Redeemer Lutheran Church. This group became a church plant of Westminster Presbyterian (Presbyterian Church in America) of Muncie, Indiana, where Dr. Mitchell served as an elder. Dr. Paul House and Mr. Ron Collymore, both colleagues of Dr. Mitchell at Taylor, served the new church for approximately two years.
A search for a pastor was completed in 1997 when Rev. Philip Strong, M.Div. accepted a call from Westminster Presbyterian to be the organizing pastor of the new Fort Wayne church, Providence Presbyterian Church. The church began renting space at Concordia Lutheran High School and held Sunday morning and evening worship services. Providence Presbyterian became the church home for those who placed the 1991 advertisement and began the original Bible study. Westminster Presbyterian continued oversight and provided financial support until May 28, 2000, when Providence Presbyterian was designated a particular church of the Presbyterian Church in America.
Pastor Strong faithfully served the church for five years. In 2002, he received and accepted a call to a church in Florida. Rev. David Dupee, M.Div. accepted a call to Providence Presbyterian and was installed in February, 2003. Pastor Dupee retired from ministry July 1, 2015, after 12 years of dedicated service. Shortly after his retirement announcement, a Pastoral Search Committee was formed and began its work.
In 2009, the church had sufficient finances, supplemented by an interest free loan from its denomination, to purchase a building. The church moved into the facility at 639 Putnam St. in July, 2009. In late 2013, the debt to the denomination was retired.
As of 2015, there are few reformed churches in the Northeastern region of Indiana, and Providence Presbyterian’s congregation is widespread. Besides Fort Wayne, towns represented in the church include, in Indiana, Auburn, Churubusco, Columbia City, Garrett, Hoagland, Kendallville, and New Haven, and in Ohio, Defiance and Holgate.
Providence Presbyterian agrees with the purpose of the Presbyterian Church in America to be faithful to the Scriptures, true to the reformed faith and obedient to the Great Commission.