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Ernestine E. Golden was born January 8, 1926, to the late Mr. & Mrs. John & Bessie Golden in Irmo, South Carolina. She was the youngest of ten children born to this union. On May 18, 1943, she was married to the late Thomas Watson Sr. This union was blessed with three children, Brenda, the late Thomas Jr. “Bubba”, and Bessie and two grandchildren, Terry (Robyn) and Thomas III (Jada), and four great-grandchildren, Samantha, Tylar, Terry, & Thomas “TJ” Watson IV.
Sister Watson gave her life to God in 1947, at the age of 21. She started her missionary service for the Lord at Bible Way Apostolic Church (now Bible Way of Atlas Road) under the leadership of the late Bishop Chester Byrd and the late Bishop A.C. Jackson. After hearing the voice of God for greater work she then left to do what God had instructed her and began to serve at Holy Ghost Station assisting the late Pastor Mamie Fields where she served faithfully.
In 1963, Tabernacle Progressive Church was established on 1323 Blue Ridge Terrance in Columbia, South Carolina in a small store front under Pastor Watson’s leadership. She heed to the voice of the Lord and stood firm on the word of God and gave insight on how imperative for the saints to be holy and live a life of holiness before the Lord. She was known for her notable teachings on how believer’s should adorn themselves as becoming saints, this anointed woman of God loved the Lord with all her soul and live the life she preach, taught, witnessed, and testified.
Pastor Watson notices that the mission was growing with her family, Pastor Eartha Radden & Family (formerly known as Sister Eartha Radden), Sister Viriginia Powell & Family, and was led by the spirit of God to build a church. With such a great move of God in the ministry many others were brought into the fold such as Pastor Jacqueline Gadson (formerly known as Sister Jacqueline Anderson), the Alston, Stroman, Davis, Castille, & Burettes families, and many more were brought into the fold.
Through much prayer and consecration with the guidance from the Lord, in 1979, that land was purchased and so was an old army barrack that was moved to this current location 1815 Mitchell Street. The church was completed in 1982. At that present time the church was under the Progessive Movement with Bishop Robert Attaway, Presiding Prelate. The Lord blessed and many souls were saved and delivered.
In 1998, the Lord led Pastor Watson to fellowship with the late Presiding Bishop Frank Brooks and the Pentecostal Faith Assemblies of the First Born Incorporated of Columbia, South Carolina where she worked faithfully in the organization.
As her health declined, Bishop Joseph Brunson being the Jr. Bishop for the organization assisted her with the church ministry until her passing on August 15, 2000 as God embraced Pastor Watson into eternal rest. After the passing of Pastor Watson, the church was closed for a period of time of two years until the family received guidance from the Lord on which direction to take. This was all in the plans of God; thank God for loving and sharing people. It was Pastor Watson desire that Bishop Brunson continue the work of the ministry. Bishop Brunson had not accepted the position until he heard from God.
On January 12, 2003, God allowed Tabernacle to be reopened under the leadership of Bishop Brunson in which he was installed by the late Presiding Bishop Frank Brooks. Through much prayer, Bishop Brunson changed the name from Tabernacle Progressive to Tabernacle Pentecostal Holiness Church, since the church was no longer under the Progressive organization. Under Bishop Brunson’s leadership the sanctuary has been renovated and the membership has been re-established. Though many has come and gone, we are still standing.
The church has gone through many disappointments and struggles; however we are still here with a purpose. The word of God says that, “Upon this rock, I will build my church and the very gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We are so excited about what God is doing here at the Tabernacle. We are a unique ministry that has been set apart. We will continue to run after the heart of God. It has been foretold by Pastor Watson through visions from the Lord where he was going to take this ministry, so we are sanctifying ourselves, for tomorrow’s promise.