In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
In a day where congregations are shrinking and churches are closing their doors, people are choosing to stay home and watch TV evangelism. God has moved once again in a mighty way making His presence known and letting us know that He has not forgotten about us nor has He left us to fend for ourselves. As the prophet Isaiah quotes God’s Word “A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” We give thanks to God for the good things He has done in the creation of this new society called New Christian Harvest A.M.E. Zion Church.
Rev. Paul B. Watson was given the authority to start a missionary church on October 2, 2010. This paper appointment to New Christian Harvest A.M.E. Zion Church was made at the Marriott Conference Center, Williamsburg, Virginia, by Bishop Warren M. Brown.
Being lead to leave his hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and his home church, St. John A.M.E. Zion Church, following the passing of his father, the late Rev. William B. Watson, Sr., Rev. Paul B. Watson found himself 90 miles west of the Lehigh Valley to start what we know now as his journey of faith in pleasing God.
In late November 2010 upon completion of his assignment as associate pastor under the leadership and direction of Reverend Donald E. Brantley of the Harris A.M.E. Zion Church of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Reverend Watson was prompted by the Holy Spirit to move back to his native Lehigh Valley home and area and establish New Christian Harvest A.M.E. Zion Church. On December 5, 2010, he opened the doors of his home at 1328 Marathon Drive, Whitehall, Pennsylvania, to a waiting congregation of 20 excited and spirit-filled Christ followers.
Only two weeks into having services in the sunroom that Reverend Watson had prepared for worship, the attendance of believers grew and overflowed into the main portion of his home. He was again prompted by the Holy Spirit to find a larger and more sufficient space to accommodate the growing of God’s people. God’s plan was to move the church into Reverend Watson’s two-car garage. Again he yielded to the guiding of the Holy Spirit and prepared to move the church into that new space where the Holy Spirit was active and once more showed us the power by continuing to grow the church weekly. Reverend Watson didn’t waste any time getting this new space ready for Sunday services as he and the First Lady cleaned, painted and decorated God’s sanctuary for worship. Wednesday night was a special time as we gathered in that place for 7 P.M. Bible study hour. For the next 5 ½ months we would meet for our 11 A.M. Sunday morning service and our Wednesday evening Bible study.
In the month of June 2011 while returning home from attending a Philadelphia and Baltimore Annual Conference, God spoke to Reverend Watson again letting him know it was time to move abroad. As he sat in prayer and asked God to reveal to him where this next place would be, God was quick to respond. On June 5, 2011, God opened the door at a local hotel by the name of Ramada Inn.
We became part of the AME Zion Conference in May of 2011. Our first official service was held June 5, 2011, at the Ramada Inn.