Our History

January 3,1999

Tower of Power Gospel (TOP) Ministries, Inc. was co-founded by Pastors Carl O. Layton, Keith Huggins, and David W. Watson.  On January 3, 1999, the first church service was held in the Ozan District Center building located at 1800 Dudley Street in Texarkana, Arkansas. On January 8, 2002, the ministry was reorganized naming David W. Watson as Senior Pastor and adding Christian Refuge to the church name.  

The ministry was seeing a steady increase in membership and because of Gods favor, TOP bought and paid for all of its equipment to date, including a new digital piano and organ. The digital piano and Hammond B-3 organ was purchased with an anonymous financial gift in memory of Brother James “Ed” Pree. 

In 2000, TOP organized its Sunday school and Bible Night studies.  The ministry rapid growth in membership and financial increase left no choice but to move the refuge center to another location. In addition, TOP received a blessing from God to move the ministry to another location that was much more accommodating for meeting the desires of the church. 

The new move took the church clear across town to a neighborhood called the Iron Mountain Addiction, we like to call it "mount addiction."  TOP moved into their new church home located at 1500 Kline Street in Texarkana, Arkansas.  As the ministry continued to grow, so did the finances.  Shortly after moving into our new location, the ministry was able to fulfill some of its goal starting with the following:

  • a 15-seat passenger van
  • a junior and senior usher board
  • a sanctuary choir and youth choir
  • a women and brotherhood ministry
  • a professional nursing staff

The church family was eager to start making changes to beautify the inside and out of the building.  Many renovations were starting to take place.  A new roof was installed, a new cooking stove was purchased, decorative items for certain rooms of the building were made, and new lighting to brighten the space.  However, there was still something missing after all of the renovations were done.  

The church did not have a steeple.  A steeple was later purchased and placed on top of the building that made it look like a church and now, TOP finally felt like a home, although there were many more pending changes that still needed to be done. As the ministry continued to grow in membership, several activities were implemented such as:

  • Women’s Day
  • National Night Out
  • Seasoned Citizen Day
  • Black History Day Celebration
  • Children’s Ministry
  • Deacon Board
  • Usher Board
  • Children’s Praise Dance

TOP ministries even adopted a Bible Reader to read scriptures as part of the pastoral teaching.  The church was even asked to start broadcasting their sermons on a local news channel which is still on-going today on KTEV Channel 15 and KTSS Channel 50 on the Cable One Network.