Welcome to New Jerusalem C.O.G.I.C.


New Jerusalem Church Of God In Christ is one of America’s premier churches. Bishop Barnett Karl Thoroughgood was inspired by God as a teenage sanctified preacher to begin a work among youth.

Reared in Holiness all his life, Thoroughgood knew the life changing power of Jesus Christ and wanted to share it with all, especially his peers. So moved, he began to hold prayer meetings where young people like himself could fellowship together. The prayer meeting became known as the Youth Consecration Band (YCB). The YCB met every Saturday night in the living room of the home of the Late Mother Elsie Tann, which still stands on South Birdneck Road to this day.

Being led of God, on the first Sunday in January 1970, Bishop Thoroughgood opened a small three-room flat top building that was previously a community store as a house of worship. On the opening Sunday, two men were extended the right hand of fellowship as the first two members of the New Jerusalem Holiness Church. It wasn’t long before word began to spread and  people packed that little building. Soon remodeling began with the knocking out of a wall to double the size of the sanctuary.

In May of 1971, just a year and four months after the initial launch of the church in a threeroom flat, construction began on a  third sanctuary. The capacity for this new structure would seat approximately 100 hundred persons. Later that year the sanctuary was completed and New Jerusalem officially became affiliated with the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC). The Late Bishop David C. Love, Presiding Prelate of the First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, State of Virginia, COGIC, came to dedicate the church as the New Jerusalem Church Of God In Christ.

During the years 1972-1974, the congregation continued to grow. When visitors attended services, there was standing room only. New Jerusalem moved to the Second Jurisdiction, State of Virginia, under the leadership of Bishop Samuel L. Green, Jr. Elder Thoroughgood became the District Superintendent of the Virginia Beach District, Second Jurisdiction and New Jerusalem became the district Headquarters. In 1975 the church began to expand, and new construction began to increase seating capacity by more than 200 seats.

Between 1979-1983 funds were raised to purchase surrounding properties. In 1983 the foundation was laid for a 1.6 million dollar project. In 1988, though not complete, we began having worship services in the new sanctuary due to a large influx of members. The church has continued to grow becoming an integral part of the greater Hampton Roads religious community. Our church continues to serve the needs of the community at large. The STOP Organization, a federally funded community action program for the entire city of Virginia Beach is housed a New Jerusalem. The social ministries of the church remain active, providing for those in need until funds are exhausted. As the only full-time church in the area, New Jerusalem continues to meet the spiritual needs of congregants as well as residents of the community on a daily basis. Under the leadership of Bishop Thoroughgood, New Jerusalem has become a nationally known church as well as internationally for the mission work in the country of Haiti.

At present, we have more than 1800 members, 1100 active, and more than 500 families. The organizational structure of the church has grown to include several departments and auxiliaries. Today five pastors, five elders, six ministers, twenty-three deacons, and nearly fifty missionaries – ranging from junior to licensed evangelists – serve our church. In 2004 we completed a new fellowship hall, and in 2005 we will begin construction on a new chapel, administrative and educational annex. As of 2006, Bishop has outlined his vision which calls for a Christian academy, women’s shelter, daycare center, and a family life center. For thirty-six years, the New Jerusalem Church Of God In Christ has served as a beacon for countless numbers of lives. Its effects have been felt around the world. From a three room flat to a 1700 seat auditorium we’ve trod, and there’s more to come. We are ambassadors of faith, love and deliverance, encouraging all we meet — FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.

Be happy

As you navigate through the website, utilize this empowering tool to learn about our church history, our founder, the Bishop Barnett Karl Thoroughgood, and our calendar of events. You can also donate to the ministry and use our Text Message option to link directly to our ministry and be updated on services, events, and other information that will keep you connected to this fellowship. We will continuously improve our site and add additional links in an effort to serve you better (or better serve you).

Help others

I extend an invitation to you and your family and friends to join us for a life changing, Spirit-filled worship experience. New Jerusalem Church is a Holy Ghost driven ministry dedicated to transforming lives through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Shop for a cause

We are determined to make a positive impact upon the city of Virginia Beach by creating an atmosphere where all individuals and families can grow and flourish and discover God’s plan for their lives. On behalf of the New Jerusalem Church Family thank you for visiting our website.

Our Staff

Celebrating the life & legacy of Bishop Barnett Karl…

Elder Adam Lavell Thourogood, Sr. was born June 18,…

Pastor Waddee “YD” B. Thoroughgood was born in the…