Bishop Japheth Nathaniel Welch was born in Saint Catherine Jamaica, West Indies. At a young age he often attended the church that was directly across from his home, mainly attending the Sunday school. At that time, he enjoyed attending church, and as he grew older, he continued to attend and visit other churches in search of the truth, because he had a mind to serve God. More and more in his search for the truth of salvation, he felt that God was directing him and bringing him closer to knowing Him. Until one day in the district of Harker’s Hall in the parish of St. Catherine, Pastor Lillian Muir accompanied by Missionary Myrtle(Kelly) Loban and Missionary Joyce (Mitchell) McFarlane came into the district carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were sent into the district from the headquarters church located at 35 West Avenue in Kingston, under the leadership of the late Bishop S.A. Cole. After following and listening to them, one Sunday morning in the year of 1955, Pastor Muir preached a stirring message that touch his heart powerfully, as he expressed in his own word “I felt like something moved through me” and instantly, his heart was convicted which compelled him to go to the altar and agree to go down in water baptism. He was then baptized, at the age of 22, by Bishop Erskine Chambers in a river. And shortly after in the same year tarried and was filled with the Holy Ghost. And this then enhanced his desire to study the word of God more and more, and grow deeper in the Lord. As he continued to grow stronger in the Lord, he then became Young People’s President at the church in St. Catherine. And in the 1960’s he was ordained an Evangelist, and was often left in charge to carry on the church when Pastor Muir was sent out on the mission field. Pastor Muir was then sent out to another area in the ministry, and Evangelist Welch was then station at the church as Pastor to continue the work of the Lord. After a few years there, he was then commissioned to Pastor the church in Siloah, St. Elizabeth for 3 years, and during that time he also was sent out to Oversee and Minister to various districts and parishes in Jamaica.In 1964 he was elevated to the office of Elder by Bishop S.A. Cole and continued in the work of the Lord.
In 1969, He married Missionary Mahalia (William) Welch in holy matrimony and in 1971 migrated to the United States. Upon arrive to the States he was then join once again in the ministry and took fellowship with the Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic Inc. located at North Main street in Paterson under the leadership of Bishop R.C. Williams, one he worked with in the ministry in the Island of Jamaica. He was also in the march from North Main to 29-35 Haledon Avenue. There, he was in charge of running the Fasting service every Monday morning, which he did faithfully, with great zeal and commitment. Often time when he was called upon to Minister the word of God he would always remain and encourage the church towards Holiness and Righteousness and often stating “With Out Holiness No Man Shall See God”, word of which he lived by and often relay to the saints. He earnestly worked in the Ministry under the leadership of Bishop R.C. Williams as a worker for the Lord. He later was ordained to the office of an Overseer (at Large) in 1993 and to the office of a Bishop on July 2, 2000, and received a Doctorate of Divinity in 2003 presented to him by Apostle R.C. Williams. His faith in God always remained strong and he was always encouraged and support by his wife who was his biggest cheerleader always there cheering him on. He always admired and respected the strength and commitment to the Ministry of the Late Apostle Williams of which he served earnestly under. He honored his Faithfulness and stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and share that same commitment as well. Bishop Welch lost his wife in 2008, one who he loved dearly and of which he always said “God gave her to me”. He is the father of two children, son Minister Richard Jeffery Welch and daughter Missionary Lauren Adalsa Welch, a daughter in law Missionary Joan Welch and has two grandchildren, Lee-Ann and Tyrah Welch.
Bishop Welch Motto is “Holiness unto the Lord is Our Watch Word and Song” these are word he preaches, teaches, and lives by.