Retiring pastor Dr. Wallace Watkins, left, presents a Bible to Central Baptist Church’s new pastor, Patrick Adair. Both Watkins & Adair are alumni of ETBU. (Courtesy photo)
Over the weekend, the Marshall News Messenger published a story written by Cait Shields about Dr. Wallace Watkins. Bro. Wallace has retired as pastor of Central Baptist Church of Marshall. He joined Central almost 38 years ago.
The membership of Central held a service on January 11 to say farewell to Bro. Wallace and hello to their new pastor Patrick Adair.
Bro. Patrick, a 2001 graduate of East Texas Baptist University, was quoted in the article saying, “There’s a friend of mine who said, Wallace Watkins is not a famous pastor but probably should be.”
I agree. My first contact with Bro. Wallace came in 1997 as he was serving as the Interim Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church of Marshall and Vice President for Spiritual Development at ETBU. I called him because the pulpit search committee at Friendship was showing interest in me becoming there next pastor.
He was very gracious on the phone and encouraging as we talked “pastor things” concerning Friendship. As we finished the conversation he said, “Mike, anyway I can be of help to you, call me.” I served as pastor of Friendship for six years before coming to ETBU as the Director of Public Relations in 2003. During those six years, when I ran into him he always asked, not in a casual way but in a concerned, caring way, “How are you doing?”
When I arrived at ETBU and went by to visit with Bro. Wallace. He once again offered his help and welcomed me to the Hill. Bro. Wallace has been a friend to me since that first phone call and I wonder just how many others he and wife, Susie, have offered help to in the name of Jesus Christ? The number has to be large.
After Bro. Wallace served the first time at Central as pastor for 18 years (1977-1995), he served at ETBU which is his alma mater, for 10 years. He has helped many churches in his role as an intentional interim pastor after leaving the university. He did this type of ministry, helping churches, for five years then was called back to Central as pastor for a second time.
Bro. Wallace reflected in the Marshall News Messenger story, “Central Baptist had been going through a difficult time in its life, and while I never expected to serve as pastor there again, I received as clear an impression from God as I have ever received about anything. I needed to make myself available to go back to Central and see if the Lord could not use me to help them move back to focusing on those things for which they were established in 1943.”
During the past five years he served as pastor of Central, I have witnessed, how God has used him to prepare a church for its next chapter of service in the Kingdom of God.
Like was said earlier, he is not famous but should be because of his love for His Savior and the love he has for others
The Watkins will remain members at Central and is looking forward to a new perspective being out in the pew. He said to close the story in the paper, “It will be so nice to have a pastor.”
Bro. Wallace, thank you for your service to ETBU, Central Baptist Church, and to the community of Marshall, Texas.
(Copy from Marshall News Messenger ‘From the Hilltop’ blog written by ETBU Director of Public Relations Mike Midkiff.)
To read the story published in Marshall News Messenger, click here.