Bethesda International Church of
The Lord Jesus Christ
Bishop Veronica E. Watson
The Making of an Apostle
This is Her Story…
The Yalta Conference was in session from February 4-11, 1945. Churchhill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, the three great world leaders at that time, were planning the defeat of Germany that would ultimately bring an end to World War II. And it was following the results of the national elections in 1944, Alexander Bustamante took office to be the first premier of Jamaica. It is at this period in history that the life of Veronica E. Watson begins.
Early in the morning on February 7, 1945, in a little town called Savanna-La-Mar, Jamaica, W.I., a baby girl was born. Her parents, Bishop John S. and Evangelist Joyce E. Watson, were delighted at the birth of their first daughter and third child of their union. Veronica was a very lively birth that came swiftly from the overwhelming quickening of the Holy Ghost upon her mother. Her mother, an Apostle, Evangelist, Pastor, and Prophet in the Body of Christ, knew then that this child was destined for a great work in the Lord. Veronica was two years old when great events occurred in the U.S. that would ultimately lead to the door of her destiny. Reverend Monroe R. Saunders, Sr. married Sister Alberta Brockington.
In the year 1950, Pastor John Watson took his first of many trips to the United States. It was at this time that he officially met Reverend Monroe R. Saunders, Sr. at the Rehoboth Church in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1957, both men were consecrated to the office of Bishop and they continued to build a lasting friendship.
At the age of seven, Veronica, a faithful and vibrant member of her Sunday School class, persisted on being baptized in a pool that was far too deep to accommodate a little girl. However, at her insistence, the water was lowered and Veronica was baptized. During that time in Tennessee, Pastor L. Meares was pastoring and had a strong conviction to relocate to Washington, D. C. So, in the year 1955, he, his wife, and three children moved to the DC area. He chose to obey God and Evangel Temple, now Evangel Cathedral, was born. Evangel Cathedral has become well known as a teaching and loving church. The Late Bishop Meares’ heartbeat had always been the reconciliation between blacks and whites.
For many years, Veronica was the only girl and spent her time playing with her two older brothers, George and Lloyd, and a younger brother, John aka Johnny. However, it got to the point where Bishop Watson told his wife that it is time to make Veronica into a young lady. The birth of two younger sisters, Carmen aka Bevo, and Norma aka Vanny brought Veronica so much joy. She loved her sisters dearly and would often recall allowing them to sleep in her room whenever they were afraid.
In 1962, Veronica graduated from Montego Bay High School and migrated to London, England to attend Whittington School of Nursing.
In the year 1965, Bishop Monroe R. Saunders, Sr., and his Board of Bishops, which included Bishop John Watson, formed the United Organization. In June of the following year, Veronica migrated to the United States of America. Her father contacted Bishop Monroe Saunders, Sr. asking him to “do something with my daughter”. She was met at the Friendship Airport, now called Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, by now Bishop Monroe Saunders, Jr., who escorted her to the door and threshold of her destiny. The young Veronica arrived in her six-inch stilettos and mini-skirt ready to take on the new world.
Veronica resided with the Saunders family and was cared for by Mother Alberta Saunders. Their daughter, now Overseer Jacqueline Johnson graciously shared her bedroom with Veronica, who became instrumental in the courtship between her roommate and the now, Bishop Robert E. Johnson.
In the year 1968, Veronica met and married a young man with whom she brought forth a beautiful daughter, Wendy Nichole. At that point in her life, and since her high school graduation, she wanted no part of the Christian church. It was in 1975, that she fell into the African traditional religion, which embraced the occult under a fetish priest. She became racist and very vigilant about it. For many years, Veronica refused to attend any church. However, the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous prevailed against every plot of the enemy to destroy the life and purpose of her soul.
In 1978, Veronica attended Howard University Medex School and Graduated Physician Assistant, PA-C. In the same year, she was appointed executive committee advisor to physician assistants at the University. In addition, she was selected as a board examiner for physician assistants for practical examinations. In September 1978, her father, Bishop John Watson, went home to be with the Lord.
On the 4th of May 1980, God revealed Himself to Veronica in a vision and called her out of darkness into the marvelous light of God. She fell to her knees in tears and was taken to the Evangel Temple, where she came in contact with another rung on the ladder of her destiny, the Late Bishop John L. Meares. Through his ministry of love, the spirit of racism began to break and reconciliation began to take place. First, between God and Veronica, and afterward with every nation.
On Mother’s Day, May 11th, 1980, Veronica was truly baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with understanding, by Bishop Robert E. Johnson, Sr., in the First United Church, in Baltimore, Maryland. Thereafter, she was filled with the Holy Ghost. One year later, Veronica had a visitation from the Holy Spirit who told her that her life would be a journey of true faith in God; that not only would she live it, she would teach it to many, and would leave it as historical documentation of the living phenomenon of true faith. Veronica attended Evangel Temple in Washington, D. C., for two years, where she was taught of the Lord, and then she later returned to the United Church.
In the year 1982, once again the Lord visited and Veronica Watson was taken into a vision and called to the ministry. As she looked way up high in the heaven, she saw a bright pillar of cloud, brighter than the brightest white, and behind it was a bright fire that was visible at the borders of the cloud—the audible voice of the Lord spoke to her from this great sight and said: “I am the Most High God; take my Word to the ends of the earth, and do not sugar coat it.”
After this, she was shown a map of countries and of states to which she was sent to preach and teach the Word of God. He told her to go forward and never look back. “Fear not for I am with you-I will fight your battles!”
Through many visits and training by the Holy Spirit, Veronica Watson embarked on her journey to the unfolding of her destiny. On one of her visits to Evangel Temple, Veronica met with the Late Archbishop Benson Idahosa, who would open the door to her experience in evangelism that would bring her to Benin City, Nigeria, where she encountered face-to-face spiritual warfare. There she learned to stand in the power of the living God and defeat the powers of sorcery and witchcraft. God worked mightily through her in many villages in Nigeria, and the Anointing of God increased upon her. After experiencing much air and on-the-ground spiritual combat, Veronica Watson returned full of the Anointing of God.
In the year 1984, Bishop Monroe R. Saunders, Sr., ordained Veronica the International Evangelist. Veronica Watson continued evangelistic outreaches in school auditoriums, hotels, churches, government buildings, State Department conference rooms, and Youth Camp meetings, sleeping on desktops even in the far reaches of Jamaica, where many would not go. For many hours, she would minister to both young and old. And the Lord was with her. The gift of faith and miracles were in operation, and many who were barren brought forth.
In the same year, Evangelist Watson met the Late Bishop Juanita Turner, who opened the door to many churches, and the prophetic gift was in operation. It was in the latter part of 1984 when the Lord spoke to Veronica through a prophet of God at a conference she attended, concerning the church that was within her spiritual womb, that God would deliver and establish and that right early. The prophet spoke concerning the intercessors that God had placed in other states to intercede until the church was safely birthed and established. The nations were given to her and she was told never to establish the ministry on the sound of a choir or the gifts of the Spirit only but on the sure word of prophecy, which is the Word of God.
In the year 1985, Evangelist Veronica Watson was called and sent by God to plant the United Fellowship Church, which she began from a Bible study group in her home.
In July, the church was officially planted and she was installed as Pastor and Founder, by the Great Founding Father, Sage, and Chief Apostle, the Late Bishop Monroe R. Saunders, Sr. On the same day of her installation, her mother, Evangelist Joyce Watson, began her departure to the Lord. On the next day, Veronica went to her mother’s bedside, and on her departure, Mother Watson imparted her pioneering mantle to Pastor Veronica Watson as she passed away in her arms.
After much confrontation and battles, perils, and false brethren, Pastor Watson continued in labor. The United Fellowship Church of the Lord Jesus Christ established services at White Oak Junior High School with the motto, “that they also may be one” (John 17:21).
In 1987, at the word of the Lord, the church relocated from White Oak Junior High School to leasing an abandoned school building, formally part of the Bullis Military School on Houston Street, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Pastor Watson and the saints worked feverishly and with zeal to transform the building into a beautiful edifice. After two years of renovation, the Lord instructed Pastor Watson to relocate. He told her to "take the people to the Methodist warehouse,” and gave her the date and time for the strategic move. While the search was in progress for this new place, the church met in a Takoma Park hotel. There was such a peace in that place; it will always be remembered as "Fair Havens."
In the year 1989, her only daughter, Wendy, was murdered, but God empowered her to continue preaching, teaching, and healing the masses. Many were baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. She did not “fold up her napkins”; the test of endurance continued.
At the word of the Lord in that very same year of 1989, Pastor Watson had finally spotted what God called "the Methodist warehouse" a church with a space used for a pantry. However, it was not available. Nevertheless, God had a ram in the thicket and opened the door for the church to worship at its sister church in the United Methodist building on Bunker Hill Road in Mt. Rainier, Maryland; and the Lord added to the Church daily as it pleased Him.
In 1989, the Church's name was changed to Bethesda International Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the year 1990, God sent Pastor Watson to plant a ministry in Florence, South Carolina called Mt. Zion Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since then, the church has moved on with others to new grounds.
In April of 1993, the door finally opened for Bethesda to move into the “Methodist warehouse” on Tilden Street in Brentwood, Maryland – the word of the Lord which was prophesied through His prophet and servant had come to pass!
In the winter of 1994, the call of God came to found the teaching ministry of the Bethesda International Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, The School of Faith and Wisdom. The vision began in the church, then located in Brentwood, Maryland, and continued as the Lord instructed Pastor Watson to expand and take The Word of Life – The Truth to Television. Not knowing anything about television, Pastor Watson said yes to the command, and through the labor of a faithful servant and producer, Elder Crispin Campbell, Pastor Veronica Watson continued on the road to destiny, as it unfolded God’s purpose to take His Word to the ends of the earth. In the winter of 1997, The Word of Life — The Truth television ministry was born.
Also, in 1997, two ministries came under her covering: one in Nottingham, England; the other, New Directions Outreach Ministry (NDO), located in Atlanta, Georgia.
In July 2001, Pastor Veronica Watson was diagnosed with cancer in the lower intestines. One week after a surgical procedure, Pastor Watson stood before her congregation in celebration of God’s goodness in the Anniversary of her 16 years of founding and establishing the great work of Bethesda International Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. On August 2, 2001, Archbishop Willie Bolden declared he was on a mission from the Lord, and by prophetic utterance, declared Pastor Veronica Watson be ordained an Apostle and Bishop. On Sunday, August 5, 2001, the Late Bishop Monroe R. Saunders, Sr., moved by the Holy Spirit, after hearing the voice of God himself, publicly conferred the Bishopric upon Pastor Watson.
As the word of the Lord continued to direct Pastor Watson’s steps, in that same year, Bethesda relocated to Wheaton High School in Wheaton, Maryland.
In January 2003, the Lord instructed Bishop-Elect Veronica Watson to return to her first father in the Lord, Bishop John L. Meares, and declared that he, with her forefather of destiny, Bishop Monroe R. Saunders, Sr., joined by another woman of destiny, by the laying on of hands, impart to her the Anointing and the cloak of excellency to the sacred Office of Bishop.
In March 2003, Bishop-Elect Veronica Watson was made whole by God from cancer, as she continued her road of destiny. In May of that year, she wrote and published her first book, Straight Talk. It was made available to the public at Bethesda’s “Wisdom Killeth Her Beasts”™ – Wisdom and Her 7 Pillars Conference, which was also held in 2003.
That great and honorable day came on Saturday, September 13, 2003. His Grace, the Late Most Reverend Bishop John L. Meares, D.D., His Grace, the Late Most Reverend Bishop Monroe R. Saunders, Sr., D. Min., Her Grace, the Late Most Reverend Bishop Juanita E. Turner, His Grace, the Most Reverend Archbishop Willie Bolden, His Grace, the Most Reverend Bishop Monroe R. Saunders, Jr., D. Min., Her Grace, the Most Reverend Judy Anderson, with other great world leaders, consecrated Bishop-Elect Veronica Watson to the Office of Bishop, in the Cedar Ridge Conference Center on Spencerville Road in Spencerville, Maryland, as spoken by the Lord.
Throughout the following years, the Lord God through Bishop Watson, washed, purged, corrected, edified, and encouraged Bethesda and all within her gates with many powerful and life-giving Words, and all whose lives she touched in the various hemispheres are proof of her Apostleship. She was a counselor, guide, prophet, help, and intercessor for many.
Bishop continued to direct Bethesda to bring forth fruit in the ministry in spite of disappointments, seeming setbacks, and impossibilities. However, many testimonies and acts of God continued to unfold during the journey, for truly He is with Bethesda.
In 2016, Bishop Watson suffered two strokes and a heart attack, simultaneously, with bleeding on the brain. While in rehabilitation, the Lord visited Bishop Watson and said, “I have come down to stop the death that was sent to you.” She was instructed to have “no issues with no man.” In three weeks, Bishop Watson was released and began to make a steady recovery.
On November 3, 2021, Bishop Watson suffered a massive cardiac arrest and the paramedics were called in, and after performing CPR for 30 minutes, and much prayer by the saints, they finally received a faint pulse. Afterwhich, she was rushed to the hospital. During her stay at the hospital, Bishop Watson was given a mixture of medications that resulted in her being unresponsive; however, during that time she was visited by an angel, who took her to the shores of heaven. She beheld the mountain of God and saw in the distance the Heavenly City. She said to the angel, “all of that is beautiful but I want to see Jesus.” He told her Jesus was in the City and she had to go back because it was not her time. He informed her that when it is her time, Jesus would come for her. Upon her recovery, Bishop Watson began heralding the news of the Heavenly City and the soon return of our Lord.
On October 23, 2022, Bethesda honored the Lord for 37 years of faithful service by His servant – the Founder, the Apostle, and Bishop, our Pastor, Veronica E. Watson.
Bishop Veronica E. Watson, lead faithfully under the leadership and Ministry of the Holy Spirit; and is always delighted to be in His Majesty’s service. Her Ministry was to equip us to reign through Christ Jesus and take our rightful place on earth and within the Kingdom of God! Thank you, Bishop Watson!
Bishop Watson departed from this earth on the 27th of October, 2022. Left behind her memories to be cherished by her immediate family, Lloyd and Yvonne Watson and family, John and Shirley Watson and family, Norma Yvonne Watson-Barrett and family, the Bethesda International Church of the Lord Jesus Christ family, and many friends and loved ones.