Providenciales (Provo) and North Caicos, Turks and Caicos Work
In 1983, the Centerville church of Christ began a radio broadcast over station WCKY in Cincinnati, Ohio. Because of one of these broadcasts a Bible correspondence was begun with an individual on the Turks & Caicos Islands who was later baptized. In 1985, several from the Centerville congregation visited the Turks and Caicos island of North Caicos and found the desire for the gospel had been spread, and thus the Centerville church of Christ began supporting this work. In 1989 after the church in North Caicos had been started, the Centerville congregation raised funds and helped construct a building on the island of North Caicos. In 1995, a group from Centerville visited the island once again. During their visit a gospel meeting was held and three were baptized. In 1996 the first campaign to the islands was held with forty four traveling to North Caicos. While there the group held a Gospel Meeting, door knocked, visited the schools, and handed out literature. The church in North Caicos continues to meet with several visits from the brethren from Providenciales.
In 1999 the desire was shown to reach out to the largest populated island of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Providenciales. In 2000 a group of twenty-two visited the islands to door knock, hand out literature, and hold a gospel meeting. In 2001, school supplies were collected to hand out to the schools for another mission effort there. Since that time several small trips have been taken and a renewed effort to build a church in Providenciales has begun. The church comes together almost nightly to study the Word and encourage one another. On Sundays two services are held, one in English and another in French-Creole. A van and several cars have been sent to the church to help with transportation.
Since 1999 the Providenciales (Provo) Church of Christ has met in schools and rented one room buildings. Our most recent trip in July of 2014, we visited Providenciales with a goal to encourage the church and to seek out a building for the church to have a permanent home. During this trip a Vacation Bible School was help with attendance for the two days of just children was fifty and eighty respectively. Also, we were able to combined service of both English and French Creole.
While on the islands a wonderful find was discovered right on the beach. Just across from the High School in Providenciales, where the church held services several years ago, was a piece of property right on the beach that is vacant. This location is just a few yards from the current rented facility for the congregation. The piece of property was planned to be a restaurant with three building and a large parking lot already constructed but had been abandoned a few years ago. Thru several months of negotiating and diligence, the property has been attained. A portion has been paid from a fund that was started from the trip in 2000. Mable Dunn and her family saw the desire to help this congregation and to secure a building for the church on Provo. Work remains to complete the buildings and pay for the rest of the debt.
In June 2015 a group traveled to Provo in hopes to finish the building. With help from the Provo church members, the decks were completed, the classroom building was secured and ready for use, and the main building was completed with the exception of doors, electricity and water. Since the trip in June 2015 the church at Provo has been able to complete the doors, electricity and water as well as supply new furnishing for the auditorium. On April 3, 2016 the Provo church of Christ met in their new building with an attendance over 100! On June 19, the Provo church set a new attendance record with 151 present with a baptism as well on this glorious day! In July 2017 a group of 22 traveled to help prep the building for paint, paint and other misc things to the building. Also, a VBS was conducted by the Provo church and the group assisted with it. There were over 100 in attendance each night of VBS. It was a unforgettable week of support and encouragement for the church as well as the group that went. To God be the glory for all the growth and blessings that continue on the Turks and Caicos Islands.
In 2017, two hurricanes delivered severe damage to the Turks & Caicos Islands, especially Providenciales and the Blue Hills area where the church building is located. Thankfully the building suffered minor damage with the deck being almost destroyed. However, the brethren were able to use the building to house and feed 100s from the island.
We are so thankful to the many churches and individuals that have given to rebuild homes and the church on the island. We continue to work to pay off the building and to help the church be self supportive financially in the coming years.
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Previously rented space for the church
New building for the Provo Church of Christ in Blue Hills
Building before and work in progress
Some of the hurricane damage and work that has begun on rebuilding.