Providence Presbyterian to mark 30th anniversary

The Rev. Gerald S. Mills
The Rev. Gerald S. Mills

Providence Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island will mark its 30th anniversary on Sept. 11 with founding pastor Gerald S. Mills leading a combined 10 a.m. worship service.

Mills also will be the keynote speaker Saturday evening, Sept. 10, at a family dinner with the theme “The Miracle of Providence Presbyterian Church.”

Mills was the charismatic leader as the church developed with the motto: “Cause God Joy.”

Mills had been senior pastor at large churches in New Jersey when he was called by the Charleston Presbytery to organize a new church on Hilton Head.

The first service was held at The Seabrook auditorium on Sept. 7, 1986. More than 200 people attended, including many from First Presbyterian Church who were asked to help found another Presbyterian (USA) church on the island.

The formal charter date was December 1986 with 127 adult members. Four years later, 245 members moved to the new five-building campus at 171 Cordillo Parkway, which was debt-free by 1993.

Providence is unusual in that it has never had a formal stewardship campaign or pledging.

In 1997, with 480 members and attendance averaging 436, funds were raised to expand the music and education facilities with the Mills Building, which also houses the Providence Early Learning Center.

Mills retired in 1998. His wife, Judy, died of cancer in 2008, leaving daughters Judith and Deborah with grandchildren Joshua and Hannah.

Everyone interested is invited to the family dinner at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, in the Fellowship Hall. For reservations, call the church office 843-842-5673.

For further information, see the church website, www.CauseGodJoy.com.