In the year of 2005 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Grace and Mercy Missionary Baptist Church was organized by Rev. Donald Watson, Bishop Milton McSwain, Rev Louise McSwain and Shervie Watson.
On April 3, 2005, Grace and Mercy Missionary Baptist Church was founded by 12 children of God: Rev. Donald Watson, Shervie Watson, Bishop McSwain, Rev. Louise McSwain, Gloria Scott, Curtis Graig, Andreesa Graig, Janice Young, Doreese Walker, Quinn Walker, Jackie Robson and James Perry.
The Lord blessed us with a three room area on the second floor of a fur and dress shop, located at 120 Washington Street in Middletown, CT. On May 15, 2005at2:00 pmwe went into one of the rooms, which was to be the sanctuary, and had prayer service. That afternoon the Lord led three people to join us and become members at this location. They were Karen Dorsey, Damarius Dorsey and Lashonda Heath.
On May 22, 2005 our first official service was held at 11 am. We had two people to join on that day: Darlene and Tamara Ellis.
June 5, 2005, Grace and Mercy had its first Communion service. That afternoon at 4 pm was the Installation Service. Apostle Roberta Knotts, of The Christian Training and Healing Center in New Haven, CT, officiated over the service, which was held at Zion Baptist Church in Middletown. It was a great celebration in the Lord.
One of our first Outreach Ministries is the Christian and Recovery meetings, which is held at the church on Monday nights and is lead by Deacon Jerome Bruton of Gospel Mission in Bridgeport, CT. This started onJune 6, 2005. Our other Outreach Ministry is when we go out into the community and hold service at the Women and Children’s Center once a month. This started in February of 2006.
The first invitation sent out was to Pastor Nelson and his congregation from St John Church in New Haven, CT to come and fellowship with us was on September 18, 2005. All those in attendance were truly blessed.
As we continued to service the Lord, our numbers grew, and the Lord blessed us with larger accommodations. October 7th and 8th 2005 we moved down the hall in the same building.
October 14th Pastor Watson and the congregation of Grace and Mercy were invited to The Christian Training and Healing Center to fellowship. We had a blessed time in Jesus name.
On November 5, 2005, we had our first baptism service in our own church with the help of a portable pool. Service was held at 5 pm. We had four candidates for baptism: Karen Dorsey, Damarius Dorsey, Jackie Robson and 85 years young, Mother Faye James.
We held our first Revival Service November 14 – 18, 2005. Evangelist Lenwood Brooks, from North Carolina, was the revivalist. The first two nights were held at our church and the remaining nights were held at New Jerusalem Baptist Church of Middletown, CT.
There was a snow storm the night of our first New Year’s Eve service of 2005. With God’s grace, we had a well attended service. We continued our fellowship with breakfast, which was served after service. New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday, service was held at 12 pm.
In March of 2006, First Lady Watson took on the duty of being the new choir director. April 26, 2006, the first baby was born into the Grace and Mercy Family. This gift from God was given to Deacon and Deaconess Graig. They named her Malerie Alise. In June, our Outreach Ministry extended to the Eddy Center, a shelter which is located on the Connecticut Valley Hospital premises. We held services two Fridays a month. Also in June, the Men’s Ministry formed come together to discuss issues to strengthen one another and plan for various events. In October we held our first Children’s Fall Festival (later renamed as the Harvest Festival), one of the events that the Men’s Ministry had planned. There were games, prizes, music, face painting, hot dogs, hamburgers, even cotton candy and popcorn. A good time was had by all and served as an alternative safe and fun choice for kids to spend Halloween.
Now we enter January 2007. A different kind of event was presented called Poetry Night, a night where members and friends could have a chance to share their talents. This was organized by one of our talented members T. Sterling Watson, an inspiring poet. The plan is to have this event every season.
On March 10th, Grace and Mercy had its first concert. A Musical Extravaganza featuring Kergyma Community Choir, Deon Kipping & New Covenant, Stephen Wilson and the anointed Praise Team from Christian Training and Healing Center. Our MC for the night was Minister Kelvin Moore from First Cathedral, Bloomfield, CT. We were able to raise enough money to purchase a 15 passenger van for the church.
The Lord has been blessing us over the years with opportunities and challenges. We still have the H.E.A.L. program operating which serves anywhere from 3 to 15 people a week. One of the opportunities that opened up to us was the Diaper Ministry which consists of giving out free diapers once a month to help out families. The Malachi Project is where we give back to the parishioners through drawings held throughout the year, a total of $600 a year. We started having Movie Night on Friday evenings where attendance is growing steadily. We also offer computers classes on Tuesdays to those wanting to learn to use them and get more advanced. Purpose Driven Life classes have been held to discuss the book. The Harvest Festival which is run by our youth pastor Rev. Gibbs kicks off every October.
In 2010, we were blessed to be a part of Access to Recovery III, a federal funded program overseen by the state of Connecticut. We also joined an organization called the Uttermost Community Outreach (UCO) in New Haven, CT. We were blessed to go into Crossroads Recovery Center in New Haven and conduct several ministries there. We receive toys from Toys for Tots at Christmas time for the youth. During the summer we have annual car washes and receive several donations from well wishers. We were very thankful to Verizon Wireless for the donation that they made to our church. In March 2012, we started our Tape, CD and TV ministry run by our M.I.T. (Manager of Information & Technology), T. Sterling Watson.
We know God has many more blessings in store for Grace and Mercy Church.
Our present officers are as follows:
Pastor Rev Donald Watson
Co-Pastor Rev Louise McSwain
Overseer Bishop Milton McSwain
Reverend Middiree Gibbs
Minister Damon Gibbs
Treasurer/Mother Gloria Scott
Secretary/First Lady Shervie Watson
Updated August 2012