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.