Murray Watkinson’s journey with God began on Good Friday of Easter 1975, when he encountered God supernaturally in a way that changed the course of his life and that of his family irrevocably.
It was just a year later, in 1976, that Murray felt the call to ministry. He sold the family home and a successful carpet business in Wellington, New Zealand, to enrol in Nazarene Bible College in Brisbane, Australia.
Murray and Nancy returned to New Zealand in 1984, and become senior pastors of a small church of the Nazarene in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs. The church experienced a sovereign move of God in 1987 and quickly became the largest and fastest growing Nazarene church in New Zealand. It became obvious that before long, a new church building would be required.
As the church continued to grow, it moved to the Feltex Carpet factory. In those days it was considered radical to have church in a factory, but the church continued to grow, prosper, and experience supernatural encounters and sovereign moves of God.
It was during this time that the church experienced a three-year, sovereign move of the Holy Spirit where the presence of God literally seemed to reside on the premises, and thousands of people came to seek the face God.
With the home congregation of Celebration Centre established, Murray and Nancy stepped out into their apostolic leadership and began to church plant, as well as take other congregations who joined the Celebration Centre movement under their leadership. Celebration Centre movement is now represented by churches throughout New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, America, and Africa.