Reverend James E. Richardson started his ministry at Watts Chapel as Interim Pastor on March 3, 2002. In December 2002, the Watts Church Conference voted to retain the services of Reverend Richardson for an additional year. Then, in December 2003, the congregation voted to retain Reverend Richardson as their permanent pastor. During Reverend Richardson’s tenure, Marketplace Bible Study began, the church developed a Vision Statement: “Giving Back What God Gave,” and the first Executive Leadership Training Retreat was held. Reverend Richardson ended his tenure at Watts Chapel in October 2004.
On April 1, 2005, Reverend Dr. James Ballard began serving as Interim Pastor at Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Reverend Ballard brought strong leadership and a powerful delivery of God’s Word through preaching to Watts. His years of experience as a pastor were instrumental in reuniting the church family, reviving its spiritual focus, and continuing membership growth. Under his leadership, the church voted to license Reverend Michael E. Oakley.
The Pastoral Search Ministry, led by Rev. Ballard, sought and found a Senior Pastor candidate and recommended him to the membership as the permanent pastor. In June 2006, the membership voted to call Reverend Dr. Harry L. White, Jr. to serve as the Senior Pastor of Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Reverend White accepted the call and began his tenure on August 1, 2006. The Installation Celebration for Reverend Dr. Harry L. White, Jr. was held in December 2006.
In September 2006, during the celebration of its 130th Church Anniversary, the Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Time Capsule was sealed containing items pertaining to Watts’ history and the history of its members. In the first year that Reverend White served as pastor, Fifth Sunday Youth Church was reorganized, the Children’s Nursery was revived, a new 14-passenger bus was purchased, 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning worship service replaced the 11:00 a.m. service, Watts held an evening Monday through Thursday Worship service during the Easter season, “Meet The Pastor” sessions for new members was a first for Watts Chapel, and the church held a Juneteenth celebration in conjunction with Vacation Bible School, another first for Watts.
Under Reverend White’s leadership, Watts Chapel experienced phenomenal growth. Membership grew by more than one hundred in his first year. In order to better transition new members, a four-week New Members Orientation became mandatory. Reverend Michael Oakley and Reverend Gayle Johnson were ordained on January 14, 2007.
In 2009, Watts Chapel began the Sunday 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services schedule, with Sunday School taught between the two. In 2010, Watts Chapel observed Youth Worship Services on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. In 2011, our “Doing Good on Good Friday” Community Clean-up and Prayer Walk ministry began. Reverend Dr. Idella Johnson was licensed as a minister on May 1, 2011. Our AWANA Youth Ministry was organized and a new pictorial Church Directory was published in 2012.