About Our Church
Our Mission Statement: Connecting people to Jesus and to one another
Our Purpose: To change our community and world by preaching the gospel to the unsaved and teaching the saved to serve
Our Commitment: To utilizing relationships for the purpose of evangelism and discipleship.
Our Motto: Love God, Love God’s People, Love God’s Word
Our Slogan: Going in the wrong direction? God allows U-Turns!
A brief history of New Direction COGIC
New Direction COGIC was formerly called New Gethsemane COGIC. The church was founded on September 4, 1966 by the late Elder Leamond Penn. Elder Leamond Penn and Dr. Irene Penn (Marshall) received their official appointment to New Gethsemane church of God in Christ on October 30, 1966 which was located at 177 West Monterey Ave., Pomona, CA.
On Sunday, March 16, 1980, Bishop Raymond E Watts was installed as pastor of New Gethsemane by the late Bishop J.A. Blake and the church has grown and flourished under his leadership. The church physical plant expanded to include a South Campus and West Campus which allowed the church to expand its Christian Education Program, develop temporary housing, a modern childcare center and much-needed parking. Many souls were added to the church, bodies healed, and lives changed as a result of the ministry of Bishop Raymond E Watts and Dr. Anita Watts and the entire New Gethsemane church family.
When God, through his divine will, established New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ, he saw fit to locate the congregation in the geographic center of the city of Pomona California. The arms of the church were then able to reach out and present the gospel of Jesus Christ basically throughout the city.
New Gethsemane church became a community-based church with many years of evangelizing the city of Pomona by feeding the hungry, clothing the destitute, ministering to the sick, housing the homeless, assisting in job placement etc. Through the years, the church has been blessed with a superior Christian Education Department, Sunday school, Bible College, television ministry, rehabilitation drug programs, childcare center, outstanding children’s department, youth department and young adult department.
New Gethsemane was renamed New Direction in 2008. That same year the church acquired a $3.5 million-dollar property that included a rundown abandoned 28,000 square foot building, situated on 3.5 acres located at 1100 E. Holt Boulevard, Pomona California. New Direction converted the 28,000 Square foot dilapidated building into a wonderful, beautiful church plant. From this vantage point, the church was able to reach many more people, establish a
community Saturday Sidewalk-Sunday School program, street evangelism, community Job placement fairs, a coffee shop, a solar plant, community transportation to-and-from church ministry, community free medical treatment days in conjunction with Western Medical University, illustrative sermons, weekly community swap meets, major first time home buyer programs servicing thousands of people, and much more. At 1100 E. Holt New Direction developed the concept of Round Table Sunday School and was able to touch many lives.
During to the Great Recession of 2006 to 2012, finances to maintain this great work dried up. In late 2012, New Direction Church lost the 1100 E. Holt Boulevard, Pomona California property. The church sought the Lord for guidance in relocating and was led to a wonderful facility located at 8678 Archibald Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga CA, where the ministry continued to thrive by reaching out to neighboring communities. New Direction Church yet maintained a
food ministry in the city of Pomona reaching hurting people each Thursday afternoon. On September 4, 2020, New Direction Church was blessed to purchase and close escrow of the Historical Downtown Gove Theater, Upland California. Through God’s miraculous love for New Direction and its ministry, the Gove Theater was renovated and made into a wonderful, beautiful Church Home with many technological upgrades to enhance internet and TV ministry.
New Direction COGIC has been instrumental in birthing many churches and major ministries and is involved in worldwide evangelism. Bishop Watts served as Jurisdictional Prelate for the California Southern Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ from 2006 to 2016. During that time New Direction Church served as the mother church of the Jurisdiction, ministering throughout the region known as the Inland Empire of Southern California.
The church has a history of outstanding choirs, soloist, singing groups, great preachers, deacons, missionaries, tremendous musicians, and major church auxillaries. The church music department has produced popular CD recordings and several outstanding, well known, recording artists received their start at New Direction Church.
The loving relationship of the church membership has always been one of warmth, always ready to receive a new member or new family into the fellowship.
New Direction COGIC is known for its ongoing around-the-clock prayer ministry; prayer every three hours-on-the-hour, its many BnB Small Group Bible Studies, Thru-the-Bible Pastoral Bible studies, Baby Church, Children’s Church, Youth Church, Big Days, Anointed Praise and Worship Teams and much more.
Bishop Raymond E. Watts, PhD.
Auxiliary Bishop of the Church of God in Christ
Bishop Raymond E. Watts, PhD, is a church leader, dedicated pastor, gospel preacher, Bible teacher, lecturer, conference speaker, author, technical inventor holding two US patents, electronic design engineer, real estate professional, real estate investment consultant, and accomplished businessman.
Bishop Watts has served New Direction COGIC, Upland CA, as Senior Pastor for 42 years, being assigned by the late Bishop J.A. Blake in 1980. Under his leadership, the church then located at 177 W. Monterey Street, Pomona CA, acquired six properties, fed one hot meal per day to 200 plus people, and the membership grew to approximately 1800 members. The church sold the six properties and purchased a large property at 1100 E. Holt Ave Pomona where, under the leadership of Bishop Watts, the church built a beautiful 28,000 square foot church which served Pomona as one of the largest churches in the city, offering many services to the community.
After the nation’s “Great Recession of 2008”, New Direction Church relocated to the City of Rancho Cucamonga CA where Bishop Watts and the Church served as a light to the city for seven years. In the year 2020, Bishop Watts, being a Real Estate professional, saw the opportunity to lead the church in the purchase of the Historical Downtown Grove Theater of Upland California. The Historical Building was acquired and renovated into a beautiful church facility that lends itself to the modern ministry of dynamic praise and worship, drama, live streaming, gospel music concerts, and the production of television ministry.
Bishop Watts at the age of 36, was the founder and Superintendent of the Southern California First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction’s Inland Empire District, where he led and served 7 churches. During those years, he was elevated to serve as an Administrative Assistant to Bishop Charles E. Blake, who appointed him to the position, Director of Southern California First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction’s Department of Conferences and Institutes.
On November 14, 2006, Bishop Watts was inducted into the College of Bishops and consecrated by the late Bishop G.E. Patterson, as the Jurisdictional Prelate of California Southern Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ where he served as the overseer of up to 42 churches for 10 years. Upon retiring from that position, he continues to serve the National Church of God in Christ as an Auxiliary Bishop, and Resident Bishop of Southern California First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction.
Bishop Raymond Watts Loves God, Loves God’s People and Loves God’s Word. He has a passion to teach the Lord’s people God’s word. His anointed teaching method, “through the Bible book-by-book” style of teaching is carefully outlined to help spiritually hungry Christians draw close to God. He is a church organizer and mentor for many ministries and start-up churches, guiding them to develop church growth and community evangelism procedures. He is the author of 3 books; “Does the Plan Still Work”, “Back When People Prayed” and “The Plot to Sabotage My Friend’s Faith in God”.
Bishop Watts has a B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with emphasis in Bio-Medical/Respiratory Electronics from California State Polytechnic University Pomona CA, M.A. in Business Management from the University of Redlands, M.A. in Religion and PhD in Church Administration from California Graduate School of Theology Glendale, CA., Honorary D.D. and Th.D. from Next Dimension University, Ontario, CA.
He is the loving husband to his charming wife, Dr. Anita Y. Watts for 46 years, the father of four children and the grandfather of three wonderful grandchildren.
Dr. Anita Yvonne Watts as a servant of the Lord, has served New Direction Church of God in Christ, as the First Lady for 42 years. Her service to God also includes the California Southern Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ where she served as Bishop's wife for 10 years and Evangelist Missionary.
Her ministry career began in 1977 when she and her husband were blessed to minister in Kenya East Africa and various regions of South Africa during Apartheid. This was the beginning of their many travels to other countries including all of the European countries, Russia, Egypt, Israel and the Middle East.
Dr. Watts matriculated from San Diego State University as an Accounting major. Her Graduate School studies were achieved at Next Dimension University where she received her Doctor of Ministry. In 2010 Next Dimensions University conferred upon her a Honorary PhD in Religious Studies.
She worked as a Cost Accountant for San Diego Naval Public Works and some years later worked at General Dynamics Aerospace Pomona CA in the Cost Accounting Dept. General Dynamics Pomona eventually promoted her to a position where she became the first African American female to work in the Contracts Dept. Dr. Watts recalls that her supervisor was so upset at her promotion, he had her desk positioned such that it would face the wall and her face could not be seen.
In addition, she has been an entrepreneur for years working with her husband. Some of their businesses include, " The Total Look" Men’s Clothing Store, "Watts Electronics"(manufacturing and field return repairs of respiratory equipment for hospitals across the nation). “Faith Trucking Company” as owners of (3 big rig trucks delivering cargo across America), Owners of "Chapel of Peace Funeral Home”, 3 successful Child Care Facilities (Crystal Montessori, Little Citizens, Small World Village). In addition, she and her husband operated 5 Steward McKinney homes, and became Real Estate Investors owning a number of houses and rental properties.
Dr. Watts pioneered many innovative concepts in church development. She was among the first Pastor’s wives to hold the position of “Church Administrative Assistant to the Pastor”, and to carry the title "Lady" Watts. Under her leadership, New Direction was the first church in Southern California First Jurisdiction to bring the concept of praise dancing into the church. She also brought the “Missionettes” for Christian Girls (similar to Girl Scouts), to New Direction Church. Her idea of "Holy Ghost Party" replaced the traditional Watch Night Services on New Year’s Eve. In addition, she served as the Youth Choir Director, pianist, Church Praise Leader and Praise Administrator, Sunday School Teacher, Children’s Department President, Children’s Choir President, and New Direction Women’s Department President, where she implemented various plays and "Ladies Pajama Parties".
Also, Dr. Watts is co-author, with her husband, of the book, "Does the Plan Still Work". She served as one of the Southern California First Jurisdiction soloists, head of the First Jurisdiction State Women’s Convention Workshop Financial Committee and member of the State Women’s Finance Department under Mother Barbara Mc Coo Lewis.
Dr. Watts has received many awards including, Who's Who in business and various certificates of recognition, namely from President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Senator Diane Feinstein.
In addition to being married to Bishop Raymond E. Watts for 46 years she is a proud mother and grandmother (Me-Maw) but most of all, she loves God with all of her heart, God’s word and God’s people.