God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform, He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.
The history of the Church of God is, to a great extend, hinged on the life of one upon whom God had laid His hand - Overseer, Pastor H. J. Waugh.
He was a man of affairs, a father of a family and with great responsibilities. No giant in stature, far from being strong, but God saw in him, something that outweighed all physical weaknesses – the innate quality of a Spiritual Leader.
The beginning of it all was a baptism of suffering for eighteen (18) months – days of hard and bitter experiences when the entire family lived in despair. Many doctors were consulted, X-rays taken, but with no result; for it was God’s plan that His purposes should be worked out.
Everyone’s faith was severely tried, until the ultimate was reached. Realizing that he was being called by God, he then vowed that if God healed him, he would evangelize Jamaica.
The question passed from individual to individual – “will he live?”. The answer came, as God revealed to the group – Ezekiel 37:14 - you, and you shall live”.
The family sold their house and went to live at 2B Rainford Road, Kingston 10, where, according to the leading of God, the miracle was to be performed. One morning in the month of December, 1958, God sent a message through one of His servants, that no more doctor’s medicine should be taken, but rather, pure water and olive oil, consecrated.
When this medicine was taken; the results were visible, and on the 25th December 1958, a great mountain was removed. This brought joy to all, as well as a strong confirmation of faith in God. This was that, the man of God regurgitated and what came from his stomach was a live serpent.
After encamping at Rainford Road for two (2) months, the family moved on to 20 East Road on January 21, 1959.
Services began in the home of Overseer, Pastor Hixroy Joseph Waugh and family. Prayer meetings continued with such results, that God revealed Himself more and more to the family.
During a three-day fast, God gave command that a Sanctuary should be built to His Name’s praise, honour and glory. He even gave the specification of this building, which was thirty (30) feet by sixteen (16) feet. This was completed and dedicated in the year 1962. As the work continued and the numbers continued to increase, the Sanctuary was expanded in accordance with the leading of the Lord; to date the Sanctuary’s specification is one hundred feet (100) by seventy five (75) feet.
The first Sabbath School was held in March 1959, in the cottage with fifteen (15) persons. This number soon increased to thirty (30), and on April 3, 1960, the first baptism was performed at the Hope River where fifteen (15) persons were immersed in the Name of the Lord Jesus. The church at this time was not satisfied with its spiritual state and so with hungry and thirsty souls, they craved the abundant life (Jesus) and their motto was: plant our feet on higher ground”.
February 3 - 9, 1962, marked a turning point in the history of the church of God. Many could not understand the leading of the Lord. As brethren waited on the Lord in fasting and prayer, He spoke that the Church should be engaged in seven days of fasting for a special blessing. “And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young men, see visions.” (Joel 2:28).
To whom was this promise made? During this fasting something spectacular happened. The Lord miraculously anointed Sister M. Waugh for three (3) days. During this time He revealed many different things that would transpire in the Church. She was also anointed with a divine perfume the fragrance of which lingered in the sanctuary and on her for many days.
Sis. Waugh received many prophecies about the church. Some of these include:
(a)there would be a mighty army of young people and many teachers
(b)that the church would be established in foreign lands. “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord, our God shall call” (Acts 2:42) .
As the church continued on one accord, the prophecies began to fulfill in that many people received healing from diverse conditions. Brother Satchel, who was wrapped in a sheet by doctors and put aside to await death was prayed for by the Church. He was healed and later drove the missionary vehicle to various parts of Jamaica giving his testimony. Another individual, Sister Ward who was crippled also received her healing and walked.
By this time a special group of “prayer warriors” (The Prayer Band) consisting of four (4) members was formed. The Lord revealed cases to this group and they went at the Lord’s commands ministering to the needs of the people.