Harvest Time Christian Center was founded and incorporated in 1993, by Apostle Robert L. Covington and Prophetess Ramona Covington. They pastured a ministry in Clinton, North Carolina for six years by the name of Upper Room Revival Center. That church was started by the late Pastor Louise Tillery, and upon her passing this young minister and prophet Robert Covington was requested to come and be an interim minister, until the congregation chooses a new pastor, never to know that less than 6 months after his arrival they would request that he and his wife pastor this church.
Starting with a newly constructed building and less than twenty members counting children they began to lead this ministry, which was mourning the loss of its former pastors. This ministry grew to over 250 active members and in time became one of the leading ministries in this rural community. However, as things changed in life as they often do, Apostle Covington and his wife ran into challenges which forced them to make the decision to leave this church they had labored over and start a new work. It was out of a season of pain and loss that Harvest Time Christian Center, International Ministries was birthed.
The first Sunday for this new ministry, the Covington's held the first worship service at the Clinton Civic Center, where they paid for the first meeting with $250.00, all the money they had. That Sunday over two hundred and fifty people attended that service. They never looked back! The congregation quickly grew, and as fast as they could put out chairs, each week more and more people came in and filled the chairs. One of the leading prophets of that time had told Apostle Covington, to not mourn the loss of the former church, and to count the former six years there as a seed! At that moment, the name of the church was apparent. Apostle Covington and Prophetess Ramona experienced many victories during this season; they obtained a building, which had been a former car dealership, and with the help of friends of the ministry and the new congregation, they renovated the space into a beautiful house of worship. They established many community ministries, such as food and clothing bank, summer camp for children, choirs, street ministry teams, school of ministry and much more. Nevertheless, just as powerful as the accomplishments of that time, the trials and testing were even greater. They experienced lack of resources to maintain the work, loss of membership due to strife; ministers within the ministry left and started churches taking members with them. Family and personal financial trouble of such a magnitude that it is only God that this couple survived. Subsequently, they lost this building, which had been a wonder in this community, and became the scandal of a whole community and laughing stock to their peers. It was hard to continue during these times but Apostle Covington never gave up!
As time went by, he would minister in various locations to the congregation, which was left after such devastation. Each move taking him closer to God's divine design for his life. When one day some students from the University in Wilmington, started showing up in the services which were being conducted in the City Hall Building in Clinton. As these students entered the ministry, so entered the new journey Apostle Covington was to take toward Wilmington, leaving behind all that had occurred in Clinton. The countless souls reached, the many hours of counseling and fellowship and training of numerous ministers, pastors and leaders. This city was their training ground. This is where God tried their hearts and began to build character in their lives. Upon the move from Clinton to Wilmington, North Carolina, this phase of the ministry was birth.
At first, Apostle Covington and his family and a few members carried on this church. However, as time progressed others followed from Clinton and then others from Wilmington. Before they knew it, the Lord was bringing together a congregation of believers, of various backgrounds and cultures. A lot of proving was still in front of this man and woman of God. However, God brought them faithfully through every situation. Over a period of nine years in Wilmington, this ministry began to take shape, and it is also; here in this community that more pastors, apostles, prophets and spiritual leaders came for covering and leadership, from throughout the country. During this period of wilderness and desolation, the Vision was granted to Apostle Covington.
Now we stand at the precipice of something so very great!
Each step of the way to now was paved with suffering and pain. However, out of this season came a manifestation of God's Glory that is indescribable. Maturity, confidence and peace sprang from the ashes, and an excitement and anticipation for what is to come bubbles over in our Souls. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
There is no way that we can explain this experience except to say. But God…
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the Living! Psalms 27:13