People Stepped Into 2024 With Jesus At Christian Worship Center’s Watch Night Service


LEESBURG – Many Floridians looked with great expectation to a new beginning in 2024 because 2023 was such a tumultuous year we just wanted it to disappear.

That seemed to be the sentiment expressed on faces of more than 200 people who attended Watch Night Service on New Year’s Eve, Sunday, December 31, 2023 at Christian Worship Center at 1414 East Main Street, Leesburg Florida.

The historical Watch Night Service is a traditional African American religious experience, started in 1865 immediately after the Civil War was over and slavery ended. State laws made it illegal for slaves to gather into groups and hold religious services to sing and worship God.

Slaves had to meet secretly in the woods.  Watch Night service simply symbolized slaves staying up and watching for the 12 am hour in 1865 when the institution of slavery would no longer be legal and all African Americans would be declared free because of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

From 9:30 pm. when Elder Dr. Derrick King opened the annual celebratory event to 11:59 pm after CWC’s Senior Pastor John Christian closed the Watch Night Service with prayer for the new year, the attendees were spiritually and emotionally engaged.

The Watch Night’s Service theme: “We Got Work to Do” connected with the people because of the polarization of America and the trials and tribulations many Americans are dealing with right now.

In the very beginning of the Watch Night Service, participants were told: “You’re at the right place, at the right time and for the right reason: to start the New Year, 2024, with Jesus.

Those who attended knew that when life steps up, you need to have a relationship with Jesus, a God of mercy and grace. You need a strong advocate to step into 2024, a year that will decide many important policies that will directly affect people.

The audience’s gestures, hand clapping, and verbal responses during the preaching, the praise and worship, the graceful liturgical dance by CWC’s youth and dance director substantiated the positive atmosphere of the evening.

Evangelist Missionary Dr. Erika Jasper, using the Old Testament Book 2nd Kings 13:14 – 17, encouraged people to “Shoot Your Shot” in 2024. “Be confident in yourself.  If you miss, short your shot again, and again.”

You’re going to face walls of frustration, fear, anger, doubt and more, warned Elder Dr. Derrick King from his discourse titled “Beware of the Walls’ from Joshua 6:1 – 5.  With faith in God and belief that God equips his people, you will be able to knock those walls down, emphasized Elder King.

Informing the audience that CWC will be honoring CWC’s Founder’s Day on January 3, 2024, celebrating 24 years of fantastic accomplishments that included four purchasing four church locations, five-day care centers, rental properties and a Home Construction Unit that built four new homes in the Leesburg community. Co-Pastor Constance Christian declared that God is continuing to bless CWC. “We’re Going Where We’ve Never Gone Before.” She used Joshua 5:1 – 5, to elaborate on her message’s topic.

Although the evening was very successful, Pastor Christian wasn’t able to do his message: “The Time Is Now,” highlighting Daniel 2:21 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

Pastor Christian said the Spirit of God really prevailed in our church tonight. CWC’s leadership team, ministerial staff and our congregation were fully diligent in making our Watch Night Service very successful and sincere.

“As Co-Pastor Connie and I listened to their comments and greeted the people as they proceeded to our recreation center to have breakfast with us, it was obvious that our Watch Night Service, which was about stepping into 2024 with Jesus, was memorable and it affected some of them spiritually.”

CWC Watch Night Service was amazing in every sense of the word! Said an elated Co-Pastor Constance Christian “Going Where We’ve Never Been Before” is what the Lord God gave me for the church and I can’t wait to see what’s getting ready to happen.”