Our Logo

Our logo is rich with meaning, beginning with our name. “Providence” refers to God’s care for and control of the world, particularly for the benefit of His children. We don’t believe in luck, but in a God who is actively in charge of all things. Seemingly random events have been knit together in a story He is telling as He reveals His glory to His creation.

As a “church” we are a community of likeminded baptized believers in the triune God, thereby united in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are essentially brothers and sisters, working together to do the will of the Father as we try to glorify Him by making a positive impact on the world.

In the logo, “Providence Church” is at the foot of the cross to remind us of our subordination to Christ as the head of the church. We are here to serve Him — to be His hands and feet in the world, accomplishing His will.

The cross itself reminds us of the only means of redemption: we can only be saved from God’s wrath which we deserve as sinners because of the price Jesus paid on our behalf. He died that we might live. He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. In the cross we are reminded of God’s great love for sinners such as we. Yet the cross is empty, reminding us that we serve a risen Savior. Christ’s resurrection proclaims that God’s demands have been satisfied. Christ rose from the dead proclaiming that He accomplished redemption for those who believe. We can have confidence that He took our sin and we receive His righteousness.

The ring of “solas” encircle the church, serving as boundaries that we dare not cross as we try to accomplish God’s work in God’s way for God’s glory. The concepts of the solas are the “guardrails” that keep us on the right path.

The solas are ideas central to our Protestant identity which remind us of the church’s need to be always reforming (Semper Reformanda). They are the “alones”. A short description of each follows, though more elaboration can be found in The Cambridge Declaration, our philosophy of ministry.

Soli Deo Gloria means to God alone be the glory. Our primary purpose as created people is to glorify God. Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is our ruling authority: it evaluates everything we do as individuals or as a church. Sola Gratia means it is God’s grace alone that delivers us from our bondage to sin so that we are born again to new life, not by grace plus our human cooperation or any “making up the difference” to help God. Sola Fide means we are saved by grace through faith alone, not by faith plus our own efforts. Solus Christus means we are saved by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. His sacrifice for us is the only thing which could pay for our sin, and the only means of having a right relationship with God is Christ’s righteousness being credited to our account. For more information listen to our Five Solas Series.

Our logo reminds us that our God in His wisdom brought about the formation of this church and will ensure its success as we submit to His concerns, glorifying Him in all we do.


Tending God's Flock

Providence Church recognizes the two offices of “elder” and “deacon”. We are led by a group of elders, but ultimate authority resides with the congregation under Christ. As such the congregation elects elders and empowers them with the governing of the church in its normal functions. But the elders are accountable to the congregation with regard to (re)election, approving a budget, approving new members, and other such “big” issues. The elders are in charge of the spiritual needs of the church. This would entail the direction of the church, guarding doctrine through ensuring biblical teaching, and general oversight. The deacons are in charge of taking care of the physical needs of the church. For example, they look after the building, run our fellowship meals, and oversee our benevolence ministry.

Deacons: Cody Dixon, David Lamb, Daniel Bradley, Heath Barkley

Eric “Gunny” Hartman

Eric “Gunny” Hartman

Elder, Pastor (2006-Present)

Gunny has a BA & MS from Texas A&M University, a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary, a MSt from Oxford University, and has completed coursework for a PhD in Rhetoric from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has served as an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, teaching church history & preaching. Gunny and Mary Ellen were married in 1993 and have been blessed with four children. He’s an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys. You’re welcome to follow him on Twitter or read his personal blog: SEMPER REFORMANDA.

Bob Helmick

Bob Helmick

Elder (2008-Present)

Bob Helmick was born in Pennsylvania and graduated from Indiana Tech University in 1950, after having his studies interrupted by serving with the Army in the Pacific during World War II. He has had experience in various vocations, though is presently retired. But as he’ll tell you, he hasn’t retired from living, nor from serving the Lord. Among other things, he has been a Sunday school teacher, a deacon, and men’s Bible study leader. Bob was married 64 years to his bride, Barbara, who went to be with the Lord Jesus in October 2013. Bob has 2 children, 3 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.

Tommy Sessums

Tommy Sessums

Elder (2018-Present)

Tommy has a BS degree from East Texas State University in Biology and Chemistry. He also holds MA and PhD degrees from Cornerstone University in Christian Counseling and Pastoral Studies, graduating with highest honors. He received his ordination for Pastoral Ministry in 2006. Tommy is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor. He has advanced training and certification in prison ministry and evangelism. He has served in the ministries of Counseling Pastor, Minister of Evangelism, and Bible and Sunday School Teacher. He has been a business owner in Plano and Wylie for more than four decades. Tommy has been married to Naomi since 1972, and they have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.

Rev. Jay Porterfield

Rev. Jay Porterfield

Elder (2006-Present)

Jay earned a BBA in Accounting and Finance with honors at East Texas State University where he later received a MS in Economics. Jay has been in the commercial real estate business in Dallas for over ten years. Jay grew up in a small Baptist church in East Texas, where this grandson of a preacher began participating in the music ministry of the church at an early age. He began teaching Sunday school as a teenager and became an ordained minister in 2000, which helped prepare him for his present role as an adult Sunday school teacher. Jay and Amber (his college sweetheart) have been married since 1996 and have three children (Castleton, McCleary and Noelle). The Porterfields have lived in Murphy since 2001. As for hobbies, Jay was a good golfer… before having children.

Glenn Linsky

Glenn Linsky

Elder (2014-Present)

Glenn grew up in central Pennsylvania and earned a BS from Penn State University. He still enjoys Penn State athletics, even returning annually for a football game. While visiting his brother in Dallas one summer, Glenn met Betsy, to whom he has been married since 1979. They have three children and two grandchildren. They live in Plano where Glenn has been an agent with State Farm Insurance since 1991. He has previously served as a deacon at Providence Church. Glenn loves the holiness and sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace, which are foundational at Providence Church.

We are a Reformed and Southern Baptist Church.

Our Mission: To glorify God by making disciples who love God and others.

We are a Southern Baptists of Texas church plant sponsored through the Cooperative Program by Parkway Baptist Church and the Collin Baptist Association. Providence Church is also a member of FIRE (Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals) and is listed among those churches that affirm the “9 Marks of a Healthy Church.”

What does Reformed mean?

First of all, it doesn’t mean that we’ve “arrived”. We’re not perfect, as individuals or as a church, but we pursue such through reliance on the Holy Spirit. In fact, part of being a Reformed church entails a recognition that it is always in process. Or, as it was put centuries ago, ecclesia reformata semper reformanda est (“The Reformed church is always reforming”).

Being “Reformed” means an adherence to and advancement of the theological principles of the Protestant Reformation. This is most clearly seen in our doctrinal statement and in our subscription to the “5 Solas” of the Reformation as expressed in The Cambridge Declaration. It declares that our authority is Scripture Alone by which we hold to salvation by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone. Thus, we proclaim To God Alone Be the Glory! Cooperation with other Reformed churches is seen in our membership in FIRE. Our theological framework might also be referred to as Calvinistic or Augustinian.

What does Southern Baptist mean?

It means that, although we are an autonomous body, we voluntarily associate ourselves with other Baptists for the purposes of cooperation in missions and other ministries. At the national level we are aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention. At the state level we are uniquely aligned with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.For further information, see: From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention: What Hath Geneva To Do with Nashville?

Our Founding Documents (PDF)

Location and Times

Providence Church of Texas

Providence Church of Texas, 8000 Miller Road, Rowlett, Tx 75088

We meet at Providence Church of Texas, 8000 Miller Road, Rowlett, Tx 75088, , in the heart of the Rowlett peninsula.

Sunday Services:

9:15am    Sunday School
10:30am  Worship Service
6:00pm    Evening Service & Kids Programs


NOTE: On the first Sunday of the month we hold the Lord’s Supper followed by a fellowship meal after the morning service. All are welcome to stay! There are no evening activities on the first Sunday of the month.

Other Services:

6:30pm   Wednesday Prayer Meeting
3:15pm   Thursday Nursing Home Ministry at Collinwood