In 2004, my wife Courtney and I were newlyweds and joined The Village Church, in Flower Mound, TX. We loved the expositional style of preaching and the worship and had begun to develop some solid relationships within their community groups. After about a year, the pastors began talking about planting a church in Frisco, where we were living. They encouraged those driving from Frisco to prayerfully consider being a part of the church planting group. After all, it’s much more natural to invite people into your church community when you attend a local church.
Courtney and I were honestly hesitant about joining the church plant. We enjoyed where we were and didn’t want to change. We attended the first few informational sessions, though, and after a few weeks of prayer, we both felt a sense that Providence Church was where we needed to be.
We ended up serving in just about every capacity you could serve (as is typical when planting a church). We helped teach the children, passed out communion, greeted people, helped manage finances, set up and tore down (before we had a building), and a whole host of other odd jobs.
In 2007, the church began a more formal elder team, and at the end of that year created a diaconate. The elders and deacons at that time were responsible for leading different areas of ministry within the church. It was amazing to see the Lord work in our lives through these ministries, and we could see the impact throughout the community.
In early 2010, we had recently moved into a newly renovated building — our current location on Preston Road. It was a time of excitement for our church family, but an unexpected tragedy struck: our founding pastor, Barry Keldie, passed away unexpectedly. It was an incredibly sad time for the church and so many families who had been impacted through the ministry.
During that time, the elders and deacons began to meet to determine if and how Providence could continue to operate. For a period of about nine months, leaders within the church continued preaching God’s Word each Sunday and serving the congregation throughout the week in a variety of ways. By the end of 2010, the Lord graciously sent us the Ziafat family. Afshin had solid theology, a sense of community, and a peaceful demeanor that served as healing for the congregation. A new chapter in Providence’s history had begun.
Courtney and I have often reflected in amazement on these early and transformational times at Providence. While we had some trepidation about leaving a comfortable situation to plant a new church, we have been blessed again and again through the people and ministry of Providence. When we saw dark times through the passing of our pastor, God sent the perfect person to lead us forward.
We learned that the church isn’t the church because of one dynamic speaker or worship leader, but that the Lord uses all the body to advance his kingdom. During that period of mourning in the life of our church, that’s exactly what happened: a group of elders helped to fill the void left by our teaching pastor, a group of deacons with a variety of gifts served the church in amazing and unique ways, and the Word of God continued to spread in our community.
More recently, we’ve seen God’s sustaining hand in the life of Providence through global pandemics, social unrest, and even sending out great people to plant other churches. There’s no way to predict what challenges our church community may face in the future, but there’s one thing we can say for certain. The Lord’s hand will guide us through whatever situation may arise.