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LEE A. WATKINS


The old State of Virginia has sent out to adjacent States a number of strong men of both races who have made their mark in the religious leadership of the sections to which they have gone. One finds them all the way from coast to coast.

As the colored people of Virginia are predominately Baptist, it is not surprising that colored Baptist ministers from that State are found in every part of our great country. One of these who is rendering valiant service in West Virginia is Rev. Lee Anderson Watkins of North Fork. Rev. Mr. Watkins is a native of Price Edward County, Va., where he was born on November 20, 1874. His father, Peter Watkins, was a farmer and was the son of Mary Watkins. The mother of our subject was, before her marriage, Miss Sultana Matthews, daughter of Spencer and Harriett Matthews. Like so many of the successful men of our country in various lines of endeavor, Mr. Watkins grew up on the farm where he remained till he was eighteen years of age. As a boy he studied in the public schools of Prince Edward County, from which he passed to the Normal and Collegiate Institute at Petersburg, Va. Altogether he was at that well known institution for seven years, and graduated with degree of A.B. in the year 1899. The same year he entered Virginia Union University for his theological course, from which he graduated in 1902 with degree of B.D.

His religious experience began with his conversion at the early age of eleven. He was baptized into the membership of the Sulphur Springs Baptist Church. Even before his conversion, and as a child, he felt that his work in life must be that of the ministry. After coming into the church that impression grew to the strength of a definite call to preach, and he was licensed by the home church in 1901 and the following year, 1902, was ordained to the full work of the ministry by the same church.

His work as a teacher began in 1902 at Pulaski, Va., where he taught for two years. For eighteen years he has taught at Mayberry in McDowell County, W. Va., and is known as a capable, progressive teacher.

His first regular pastorate was at Max Meadows, Va., where he preached for two years and erected a new house of worship. Coming to West Virginia he served the church at Wilcoe four years and built a new house. He served Ebenezer at Algoma in McDowell County eleven years and rebuilt the church. He accepted the call of the Mercy Seat Baptist Church at Powhatan, preached there seven years and repaired the church. He is now preaching at Mt. Chapel Keystone, where he has built a new church edifice, and is now also in his fourth year at Upland, where he has repaired the church. Mr. Watkins has had a fruitful ministry. His methods are not sensational, but he gets results and pleases his people by an intelligent ministry both in the pulpit and out.

Though not active in politics he is a Republican. He belongs to the York Rite Masons, the Odd Fellows, the St. Lukes and the Golden Rule. He is Statistical Secretary of the Flat Top Baptist Association and Vice President of the State Convention. He is of the opinion that all our problems can be solved by the intelligent, practical application of Christianity.

On September 2, 1906, he married Miss Martha F. Stewart of Covington, Va. Mrs. Watkins was educated at Bluefield Institute and was before her marriage a teacher. They have a fine family of five children. Their names are, Beatrice B., Virginius, Martha F., Esther S. M., and Lee Anderson Watkins.


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