By Leslie E. Royal
Hillside International Truth Center, Inc., sited in Atlanta, Georgia, and its pastor, affectionately known as “Dr. Barbara”, are globally recognized as enlightened, forward-thinking and profound. Dr. Barbara teaches the importance of being loving, positive, and serving as a source of unparalleled encouragement to others. As such, The Ashro Blog asked her to pen the expressions and sentiments that will take place throughout their celebration of welcoming the New Year.
- The Ministry of Singing and Dancing – The service will begin at 10 p.m. with the congregation singing “We’ve Come This Far by Faith,” acknowledging and giving thanks that it is the God within and our faith that has brought us to the end of the year. The choir and dancers will minister.
- A Special Word for The New Year – Bishop Dr. Barbara King and Bishop Dr. Jack Bomar will deliver the lessons in living (sermon) that sets the tone for our 2019 theme, “I Am Creating from the Unseen in 2019.” The scripture is Hebrews 11:3.
- Performing the Burning Bowl Ceremony – Before arriving at Hillside, we write on a slip of paper any negative thoughts, old wounds, unfulfilled expectations, habits or behaviors that have kept us in bondage. We will cast this list into the flames of the burning bowl located outside of the sanctuary entrance, repeating these words: “I release and let go and allow God to guide my life.”
- Writing Letters to God – We will write our dreams and/or goals that have been and are our passion. We request guidance and inspiration to realize them, to create in our lives what we have not yet seen with our eyes. We will place our letters in self-addressed, stamped envelopes for prayer during the year and to be returned to us in November.
- Release and Recognition – We know and understand the historical significance of Dec. 31st for the African-American church and community. However, our focus on that night is to release ourselves from the current “chains” which enslave us and recognize our God-given heritage to be free and live our God-ordained destiny.
The unique service, in the darkened sanctuary, will culminate with singing “Let There Be on Peace on Earth” as attendees hold lights to show that peace begins with “me”. Visit the website of Hillside International Truth Center, Inc.
There will be countless Watch Night Service Celebrations taking place throughout the United States on December 31st. Some begin as early as noon for daytime service. Others begin at the traditional time of 10:00 pm and go on until midnight. Feel free to contact local churches in your area for times.
Want to learn even more about the origins and importance of Watch Night? Explore the links below.
Seven More Watch Night Service Celebrations Around the Nation
- West Angeles COGIC, Los Angeles, CA, Bishop Charles E. Blake, http://westa.org/
- The House of Hope Atlanta (Greater Traveler’s Rest Baptist Church), Decatur, GA, Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., www.houseofhopeatl.org
- The Church Without Walls, Houston, TX, Pastor Ralph Douglas West, https://churchwithoutwalls.org/
- Berean Christian Church DEKALB, Dr. Kerwin B. Lee, https://bereanchristianchurch.org/ and Berean Christian Church GWINNETT, Dr. Kevin B. Lee, https://bereangwinnett.org/
- Antioch MBC Oviedo, Oviedo, FL, Pastor Charles Jones, http://antioch-mbc.org/
- New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Lithonia, GA, Dr. Jamal H. Bryant, https://www.newbirth.org/, See website for transportation schedule.
- Word City Church, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, Dr. R.A. Vernon, http://wordcity.org/
Leslie E. Royal is a Travel & Fashion Contributor for Ashro. An international freelance writer, her articles have appeared in Upscale, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, FORTUNE.com, and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of How to Write and Self-Publish Your Book for FREE with Amazon’s CreateSpace (Amazon $9.95) and Leslie’s Lane The Book! (Amazon $14.95). Follow her on Instagram here.