Rev. Michael Watson, left, and Dr. Eric L. Boone, Sr.

Two young preachers trying to save Gary youth

Contributed By:Gary Crusader News

Tree of Life MB Church pastors win souls to Christ from the pulpit, the microphone, the music studio

GARY, IN –Growing up in Gary on 5th & Taft, first cousins Rev. Dr. Eric Boone, Sr. and Rev. Michael Watson have seen their share of crime and lost many loved ones to violence.

Dr. Boone has preached the funerals of many gun violence victims – from men and women to young girls and boys. In 2010, Rev. Michael Watson survived a 9-shot barrage of gunfire. Most recently, he lost his brother Louis Watson in January 2018 and in September 2019, he lost his baby brother, Rev. David Watson.

In 2015, Dr. Boone completed his dissertation on “Inner City Evangelism: A Model for Reaching Gangs for Christ.” He has always had a passion for helping people turn their lives around.

In 2017, the two formed Y.B.M. (Young Blessed Men, LLC) and put on a “Stop the Violence, Say No to Drugs and Anti-Bullying Concert” to help the youth living in Northwest Indiana. Understanding that crime is everywhere, they decided to take a stance and bring some positivity back to their hometown.

They are more than just 2 men from Gary. They are preachers, husbands, fathers, sons, brothers and friends to so many. They are role models and they are gospel rappers who show others that it’s okay to rap about the Lord.

Dr. Boone is the pastor at Tree of Life Missionary Baptist Church.

“Since the conception of Tree of Life East in July 2019, we have witnessed God save, transform and deliver so many young people!” Dr. Boone said. “The setting is more nontraditional, yet powerful. At Tree of Life East you are welcomed with open arms and free to worship the LORD even while wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a baseball cap. This setting is to make those who don’t feel quite comfortable on a Sunday Morning be free to worship on a Saturday afternoon.”

Rev. Watson is the youth pastor at Tree of Life and has put on many events and outings. The two men have a passion for winning souls to Christ through the microphone, from the pulpit and the music studio.

If you have not heard them preach you should make your way to the Tree of Life Missionary Baptist Church, 2323 W. 11th Avenue in Gary. Sunday service begins at 10:45am.

If you have not heard their gospel music, the 3rd Annual “Stop the Violence, Say No to Drugs and Anti-Bullying Concert” is an event that you don’t want to miss! In addition to reaching souls for Christ, they will be giving out scholarships at the concert to high school seniors and college students.

The concert will be held 5pm Saturday, April 25th, 2020 at Gary West Side Leadership Academy, 9th & Gerry, and will also feature Grammy Nominated Artist James Fortune.

Ticket prices are $20 youth, $30 adults (in advance) and $35 at the door. VIP tickets are also available and can be purchased at the Tree of Life MBC; Young Blessed Men Barbers, 53 W. 68th Place, Merrillville; Mic Check Records, 1108 Broadway, Gary; and Bella Boutique & Salon, 5636 Hohman, Hammond; and on

Story Posted:02/27/2020

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