The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr. is a pastor, preacher and a teacher; an administrator; a community activist and a theological leader. He is committed to passionately living up to church's mission to service the needs of those who are lost and struggling for survival. Dr. Watkins is committed to service those who are in need of spiritual, physical and/or emotional healing.
Prior to coming to Pine Grove A.M.E. Church in Columbia, South Carolina Dr. Watkins was Servant Pastor at Historic Morris Brown A. M.E. Church, Charleston, SC. His parish ministry thus far has been primarily in the Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. During his tenure, he has also pastored Greater Goodwill A.M.E. Church in Mount Pleasant, SC, Bethel A.M.E. Church in St. George, SC, Friendship AME Church, Clinton, SC and Bethlehem AME Church, Belton, SC. Dr. Watkins has served on the ministerial staff at Bethel AME Church, Anderson, SC and Ebenezer AME Church, Hagerstown, Md. His success in these charges can be directly attributed to the unabashed manner in which he demonstrates his skills as a servant leader.
Dr. Watkins was born in Hagerstown, MD but grew up in Southeast Washington, DC. He is a product of the public school system. Dr. Watkins comes from a Christian family of public school educators and public servants. He served in the United States Army for twenty-one (21) years as a Paratrooper. Dr. Watkins assignments included the 82nd Airborne Division, the 41st Infantry Regiment and The Commander in Chief's Guard (The Old Guard), Escort to the President of the United States and the United States Army Official Ceremonial Unit, Arlington, VA.
The Reverend Dr. Watkins holds an earned Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Theological School at Drew University (Madison, NJ); a Master of Divinity Degree from Erskine Theological Seminary (Due West, SC); a Bachelor of Science Degree with a concentration in Business Administration from the University of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC) and a Bachelor of Science Degree with a concentration in Theology and Religion from Liberty University (Lynchburg, VA).
Dr. Watkins is an author with academic, social and Op-Ed works published in the AME Review, The Christian Recorder as well as various secular newspapers. His recently released "The Truth is the Light, A Devotional Guide" is available on Amazon.com. He is a Christian Educator and lecturer presenting subject matter dealing with "God's Intention for the Covenantal Relationship of Marriage," "Small Group Ministry: The Class Leader System," "Servant Leadership," "Personal Discipline," "Methodism," "Discipleship and Evangelism," "Interpersonal Communication," as well as "A Systematic Survey of the Bible." Dr. Watkins' published dissertation is entitled: Reviving the Class Leader System in the Local Church, "Empowering God's People for Service and Leadership through Divine Vision"
Working tirelessly to connect the church to the community, Dr. Watkins has very excitedly promoted Christian Education and spearheaded meaningful outreach programs. He is a staunch advocate of our mission to provide physical and spiritual nourishment to the community we are called to serve.
Dr. Watkins served as a Professor of Religion at Allen University, Columbia, SC. As a teacher, Dr. Watkins is energetic, dynamic, and thought provoking. Dr. Watkins was appointed to serve as the Christian Education Director for the Piedmont Annual Conference and then the South Carolina Annual Conference. He serves on the Conference Board of Examiners teaching Candidates for Ministry in the areas of Methodism, Contemporary Theology and Periods of Old Testament History.
Dr. Watkins is married to the former Lisa Marie Mullen a Program Coordinator/Patient and Family Liaison for the Medical University of South Carolina. Together they have 6 adult children and 10 grandchildren.