King’s Chapel Church of God under the direction of Bishop Michael Mitchell held its first service on Sunday, June 21, 1998, at a local school auditorium with 20 persons present. A few months later, the congregation grew to approximately 50 members. Those first few months were difficult but Bishop Mitchell persevered. This great man of God had a vision. He did not focus on where he was but on where he was going.
Bishop Mitchell as a visionary, with very little funds in hands began seeking to purchase or build a church home. The building at 400 Woodland Street in Hartford shortly after was acquired but the challenge was yet before this very young congregation to transform a run-down, dilapidated club into a suitable place of worship. Considering the size of the congregation at this time, some thought this was impossible, but like the Israelites of Nehemiah’s days, “the people had a mind to work.”
Bishop Mitchell was not satisfied with the look of the building, so the church embarked on Phase One of the King’s Chapel’s renovation and development project. The “people” again showed their determination to transfer this building into a more suitable place of worship.
On June 14, 2003, when King’s Chapel celebrated its fifth anniversary and dedication service, the front of the building was renovated and the old look was replaced with what now stands as evidence of God’s favor, a vision and a people with a mind to work. Bishop Michael Mitchell chose the theme HEPHZIBAH “For the Lord Delights in Thee…” Isaiah 62:4.
When the church was officially organized on September 28, 1998, total membership was 45. By May 2001, membership had increased to 150. In 2011, membership now stands at 575 and average attendance has grown to 400 on Sunday mornings. King’s Chapel in 2001 was the youngest church in the Blue Hills district of churches, according to the Southern New England Reporter, and among the top 3 fastest growing churches. On Easter Sunday of 2005, King’s Chapel had a record of over 735 in attendance.
The excitement of the acquisition of the building is still present, but the focus has shifted to the extent to which God continues to bless the church. Our membership continues to grow and the manifest presence of God is evident in our services. On occasions, our services have extended well beyond the scheduled timed of dismissal because of the mighty move of the Holy Spirit. Our attendance has been in excess of 400 people on occasions. Baptismal services are held frequently, sometimes every month.
In 2002, King’s Chapel made history when our young people represented Southern New England at the General Assembly Teen Talent and won in their category. This was the first time that Southern New England won “first place.”
Under the leadership of Bishop Michael and Sister Ena Mitchell and associate ministers, King’s Chapel continues to grow. The task before us if great but we are determined under God’s guidance to move forward.
Since the purchase of 400 Woodland Street, we have done extensive renovations on the front of the building and banquet facilities now known as (King’s Palace). Renovations have also been made on our bathroom facilities.
It has been 13 years of God’s divine favor, hard work and sacrifice, but King’s Chapel will continue with God’s help, under the leadership of Bishop Michael Mitchell to live our mission statement of Love, Acceptance, Unity, Guidance and Hospitality (LAUGH), with the hope of reaching the lost and the hurting, because indeed, King’s Chapel is “A Place Where God is Changing Lives.”
Today King’s Chapel stands out as one of our leading churches in Southern New England. King’s Chapel presently provides a food pantry which gives assistance to needy families in our community.