Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr.

Born: Pensacola, FL on 17 May 1928

Passed away: New York, NY on 03 April 2020

Aged: 91 years

Service Details

Grandpa loved Harlem! He would never want to endanger any of you. Thus, we have made the painful decision to postpone his homegoing celebration until after Harlem has recovered from this horrible pandemic. Please stay in touch, fill out our contact form and check back for updates regarding the who, when and where!

Funeral Company

Griffin Peters Funeral Home

The Story


Rev. Dr. Williams L. Watkins, Jr.
Retired BMBC Pastor Emeritus
Bible Teacher & Preacher
ThG, BRE, BA. ThM, LittD.

Rev. Dr. Watkins was a native of Pensacola, Florida, the son of William L. Watkins, Sr. and Lizzie Mary Watkins. Dr. Watkins and his sister, Ms. Cleopra Odessa Robinson, were one year apart in age. The entire family were members of the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. There, Dr. Watkins confessed Christ at an early age and was baptized by Rev. Dr. James A. Clausell, Pastor. Passionate about entrepreneurship, he started his first newspaper business, The Junior Press, at age 15. He used his skills in photography to augment his news stories.

Dr. Watkins studied journalism at the Lincoln University, School of Journalism in Jefferson City, Missouri. He published the College Weekly and Campus Magazine while on campus. After attending Lincoln University, Rev. Dr. Watkins relocated to Harlem. He continued his studies in Photo Journalism at CCNY while working in the office of the Dean of Student Life, Evening Division. He also studied magazine circulation, sales and promotion at N. Y. U. Dr. Watkins continued to work as a freelance photographer, publishing his own paper, The New York Evening Express, and selling Comic Books in store fronts and on the Harlem street side. Soon, he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the College of New Rochelle, School of New Resources, and New York Theological Seminary. Thirsty for biblical instruction, Dr. Watkins attended several other biblical education institutions in the New York area. He became a member of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in 1950 and was very active in soul winning. That same year, Dr. Watkins’ son, Ronald Darrell Williams, was born and raised in Jefferson City, Missouri.

In 1980, he was licensed to preach the gospel by Rev. Dr. Samuel D. Proctor. Dr. Watkins worked diligently in various churches in Harlem to advance the gospel. He held various roles, including teaching and assisting those called to pastor. Once ordained, Dr. Watkins faithfully assisted the pastor of Little Mt. Moriah Baptist Church and later became Pastor/Retired Pastor Emeritus of Bethlehem Moriah Baptist Church.

Ministerial Work
1989- Served at Bethany Baptist Church.
1994-95 - Served as Interim Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church
1995-96 – Served as Interim Pastor of Second Corinthian Baptist Church.
2005-08 -Served as Supply Pastor at Bethany Baptist Church.

Other Service
• UMBA Congress of Christian Education and New Testament Instructor- Former Associate Dean.
• New York Baptist Education Center
o Former Dean of Chapel
o Professor of Preaching
• United Missionary Association- Former Historian
• Rev. Dr. John L. Scott Associate Ministers of UMBA- Life Member
• The Baptist Ministers Evening Conference of Greater New York & Vicinity
o Life Member
o Corresponding Secretary
o Former Presidents Awardee.
• Baptist Ministers Evening Conference of the Bronx, New York City & Vicinity
o Life Member
o Corresponding Secretary
• Baptist Ministers Evening Conference of Greater New York & Vicinity
o Life Member
• The Brooklyn Baptist Evangelical Union
o Vicinity & Corresponding Secretary
• Monthly Union Praying Band
o Recording Secretary
• Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement
o An original founder
o Minister of Information
o Newsletter Contributor
o Historian
o Photographer
• The Positive Community Magazine
o Staff photographer
o Distributor
• Metropolitan Interdenominational Minister's Conference
o Member
• United Missionary Baptist Association
o Member
• Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH)
o Photographer

• NY-BEC Achiever Award
• Black Media, Inc. Merit Award
• HCCI Elders of the Vision Award
• Lincoln University (Mo) 50 year Alumni Award
• Abyssinian Baptist Church Missionary Recognition
• WAUMBA Special Recognition
• UMBA Ministers Wives & Widows
• Life Member JLScott Associate Ministers
• Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater New York & Vicinity
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I love you Grandpa!

candice cunningham shared a photo.


I love you Grandpa!

candice cunningham shared a photo.