It is known that Watch Night Service has its historical roots tied to slavery in 1862. The slaves gathered in homes at houses of worship and in groups to pray, sing, and watch for any news that would come that they were free and would be able to live FREE for the rest of their lives. However, it did not come easy. The night, December 31st, before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, served as what was known as FREEDOM EVE NIGHT. The next day the slaves rejoiced for their new experiences that had come.
Well, the irony in this experience continues to serve in the African American churches today, not because of slavery in its general use of the word but in the sense of gathering to praise and worship God for having kept, provided for, and blessed them during the year. This annual ritual is preferably shared in AA churches and is unknown as to whether or not churches of ethnicities practice this service.
This year’s Watch Night Service wasn’t any different than it has been since 1862. Maybe the difference was that 8 Pastors and other Local Clergy gathered in one church to celebrate this Freedom to worship God.
Bethesda Christian Center was the site where these Pastors co.03.
9mmemorated Watch Night Service in a highly spirited way. Those present were Apostle Marilyn Witherspoon of the Altar Of God Ministries, Bishop Melvin Lotherey Ministries, Bishop Kevin and Pastor Terri Sutton of Word of Faith Ministries, Pastor Louis Self, Interim at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Elder Elizabeth Edmund Ministries, Pastor Loreen Pettaway Of Kingdom Christian Community Church, and Bishop Marjorie Holt as the Host Pastor.
The evening of service consisted of following: processional by the Clergy, Prayer by Elder Elizabeth Edmund, Old and New Testament by Elder Irene Blue, Welcome by Pastor Loreen Pettaway, Music by the BCC Praise Team, a 7 minute Ready, Set, Go sermon by Elder Irene Blue of the Kingdom Christian Community Church, Elder Shannon Adams of Bethesda Christian Center, Minister Lorell Anderson of Bethesda, and Minister Vanessa Powell of Bethesda. The Pastors in attendance each shared Pastoral Reflections and the evening was topped off by Bishop Holt with a Q & A session with gifts, prayer, and a symbolic Affirmation for the new year by the sharing of an anointed cloth engraved with a STAR, encouraging each attendee to see themselves as a STAR to the Lord in this new year. The service concluded with a repast shared with the attendees.
Bishop Holt and the Bethesda Christian Center Family would like to say thanks to the 8 Pastors who shared in this WATCH NIGHT service. May God each of your ministries during this year.