Our History

The New Covenant Church of God in Christ had its beginning in 1972. The New Covenant Church is a holiness pentecostal church with a rich history on the south side of Minneapolis. Through the inspiration of God in July 1972, Elder Fred W. Washington, at age 29, established an outreach ministry in south Minneapolis. It was originally known as the Inner-City Outreach Ministry (ICOM). The charter members were founding Pastor, Elder Fred W. Washington; his wife, Sister Barbara Jean Cotton Washington; and their three children at the time, Debra Kaye, Bruce Alan, and Kevin Charles. Their other two children (Monica Renee` and Damon Fredrick) were born later, 1977. The church was founded with the mission to reach out into the community with the message of hope and deliverance through Jesus Christ. The ministry shared a building at 301 East Lake Street with the Southside Medical Center, Minnesota Tenants Union, Make and Sell Boutique, and the Collective Carpentry. Services were held every weekend (Friday Night, Saturday Night, and Sunday Day and Night). The ministry began its services and door-to-door canvassing in July 1972 and was officially recognized in a Send-Off Service on the first Saturday night of September 1972. Bishop L. H. Ford was the Interim Bishop of Minnesota, and Supt. Earl Demming preached the opening sermon. Approximately 180 people were in attendance at that historical event. The church became the 12th Church of God in Christ in existence in the state of Minnesota at the time. It was a member of the J. W. Graham Memorial District. Pastor Washington added “Church of God in Christ Mission” to the name of the ministry to identify it as a church. However, many mistook the church for a mission station. Pastor Washington sought God for a name to distinguish the church from a mission station. During the International Holy convocation in Memphis, Tennessee in 1973, the name “‘NEW COVENANT” was revealed to Pastor Washington. Upon his return, he named the church, “NEW COVENANT CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, and incorporated it as such in 1974. 


Missionary Ruth Lynch and Missionary Pernella Stewart came to assist in the ministry shortly after its inception. The first convert of the ministry was Brother Anthony Hare, who became its musician and choir director. Brother Richard Long became its first minister. The church began its growth as other souls were added to the church. The building at 301 East Lake Street was sold in 1973, leaving the church without a place to worship for a couple of months.  The church relocated to a storefront at 810 East 38th Street in September 1973. God blessed the church bountifully in the 1970’s. Minister Nathaniel Loche became the newly formed church’s first ordained elder, Mother Jerrie Loche was the first church mother, and Sister Annie Timberlake was the first convert at 810 East 38th Street. Many migrated from the south and joined the church, including Minister Billy Smith and his family, Minister McElroy, the Jackson, and others. The church grew to over one hundred members in the 1970’s. However, many families decided to move back south, in what we termed as the “great exodus.”


Subsequent to the “great exodus” of families back to the South in the late 1970’s, the church took on a new growth in the 1980’s. In January of 1980, a young woman, named Patricia Hayes, walked into the storefront church seeking God. She was saved and filled with Holy Ghost that same day. She later joined the church, and souls were added to the church each month for a sustained period. The church carried a strong ministry and witness inside and outside the church. It went to the streets, parks, hospitals, prisons, and nursing homes, on radio (“Trumpet In Zion” on Sundays and “Fire On The Earth Broadcast”, which was one of the highest rate broadcasts on Saturdays), and into the homes to clean, cook, and care for the children. The ecclesiastical staff faithfully attended Ministers and Missionaries Prayer every Saturday morning at 9:00 A.M. and the church met every Monday night for prayer. The church witnessed miracles, healings, and God speaking to it weekly through the operation of the gifts of the Spirit.


The church moved out of 810 East 38th Street in 1983 and began what became five years of “tabernacling”. It utilized rented spaces in churches and park buildings, houses, or wherever it was feasible for our worship and Bible study groups. God blessed New Covenant to purchase the church at 4254-15th Avenue South in 1988. In the mid-1990’s, God gave Pastor Washington a vision of ministry to take the church into the 21st Century. The church was organized into ministries, namely: Benevolent, Educational, Helps, Media, Men, Music, Outreach/Inreach, Technical, Women, and Youth. All the departments, auxiliaries, and units were respectively assigned as components of one these ministries. This was designed to better serve the church and community. Taking aim at societal ills, a separate entity, “The Inner-City Outreach Ventures” was developed. Its purpose was to assist in holistic ministry to the whole person through its various programs. The Lord blessed us tremendously through various revivals, youth cotillions, women retreats, men retreats and myriad exciting and inspiring events.


In August 2006, Presiding Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson and the General Board designated Pastor Washington as the Jurisdictional Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Minnesota Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. He was consecrated to office, inducted into the College of Bishops and ratified by the General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ in November 2006. In 2008, our Church Administrator, District Missionary Patricia A. Hayes, was promoted to State Supervisor, Department of Women, Minnesota Jurisdiction, and was installed by Mother Willie Mae Rivers during the International Holy Convocation in November 2008. Evangelist Mabalene Davis became District Missionary of the Wm. B. Williams Metropolitan District. In 2021 the pastorate was passed on to Pastor Demetrius Chester and Lady Nyre Chester. We are excited about our future and expecting God to do great things! The New Covenant Church of God in Christ has a rich history. Its ministry has been an instrument of God to enhance and change the lives of many. It is believed, as it has been prophetically declared, that the greatest part of its history is yet to be written.