» TNW HISTORY

The Texas Northwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction has a rich heritage, currently serving as the largest geographic Jurisdiction in the continental United States with churches from El Paso to the Dallas/Fort-Worth metroplex.

In 1914, the founder of the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Charles Harrison Mason assigned E. M. Page Overseer of the state of Texas. In 1927, Father Arthur Givens moved his family from the “dust bowl” city of Stanton, to the “tumbleweed capital” of Midland, TX. Once they were settled, the search began for a church home, and they quickly learned that a COGIC congregation did not exist in the area. Since Father Givens was not an ordained minister he received permission from State Bishop E. M. Page to organize a church. The first COGIC services were held in the living room of the Givens’ home, with his household being the first members on the roll. Being thoroughly dedicated to God’s work, they fasted and prayed until the Lord added to their number. Their home soon became too small to accommodate all who were being saved and healed so they began to move furniture outside to make room for God’s people. In 1941 God called John Elbert Alexander to this area known for tumble weeds and jack rabbits and he built Alexander Temple, which provided a church home for the COGIC congregation in Midland, TX.

In 1956 Texas was divided into four parts and John Elbert Alexander was consecrated Bishop of Texas Northwest by Bishop C. H. Mason. Bishop J. E. Alexander served in Midland, TX promoting the doctrine of the Church of God in Christ to an extent that perpetuated the standards given it by the founder Senior Bishop C. H. Mason and other pioneers of this great church. In the spirit of evangelism and missions Bishop J. E. Alexander placed over 75 churches across West Texas. He once preached a message entitled, “Worked the Valley,” and that is precisely what he did. In 1972, he moved the State Headquarters from Alexander Temple in Midland, TX to Ford Memorial Church of God In Christ in Lubbock, TX. He served the Jurisdiction until he went from labor to reward in 1983.

Presiding Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. consecrated Bishop William H. Watson as the Jurisdictional Prelate of the Texas Northwest Jurisdiction on December 9, 1983. In 1993, Bishop Watson relocated the State Headquarters to Agape Temple Church of God in Christ. The members of the jurisdiction moved into a new dimension of praise and worship, community outreach and youth development previously not available due to the lack of facilities. The Texas Northwest Jurisdiction experienced great growth and saw many souls saved. Bishop Watson also had a heart for his community and served on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapist, the Chancellor’s Minority Community Advisory Council for Texas Tech University and the Texas State Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. Bishop Watson also served the national church with great loyalty and dedication as Corresponding Secretary of the Board of Bishops from 1984-2004, then as 1st Vice-Chairman of the Board of Bishops from 2004-2012. Bishop Watson served, with his wife Arneda Watson by his side, for 29 years until he went from earth to glory in 2012. He was a father to many sons and daughters in ministry and he was greatly loved throughout the brotherhood.

Like Elijah and Elisha the mantle was passed from the late Bishop W. H. Watson to his son, William Henry Watson, III, and he became the third in succession to lead the Texas Northwest Jurisdiction. On November 11, 2012 Bishop William Henry Watson, III was consecrated as Bishop of the Texas Northwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction by Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Bishop Watson’s vision is to offer assistance to pastors by establishing a commission to implement health insurance, retirement benefits, a commission for church growth and continuing education programs for members of the clergy. He also hopes to optimize technology and social media as building tools to reach the unsaved. Bishop Watson, with his wife Dr. Stacy Watson by his side, is taking the Jurisdiction to higher heights and deeper depths. The Texas Northwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction is moving: Faith Forward.