Rev. William Warren Watkins

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Rev. William Warren “Bill” Watkins, 82, a retired United Methodist pastor, died May 23, 2010, at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland. Visitation will be Thursday, May 27, from 5 until 7 p.m. at Riles Funeral Home in Vicksburg. On Friday, May 28, visitation will be at Hawkins United Methodist Church at 10 a.m., followed by the funeral service at 11. Burial will be at 3 p.m. Friday at Ellison United Methodist Church in Vaughan, Miss.

Rev. Watkins, the son of the Rev. and Mrs. S.B. Watkins, was born in Florence, Miss., on July 16, 1927. He graduated from Moss Point High School and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He graduated from Millsaps College in 1949 and from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 1956.

He dedicated over 50 years to serving others as a United Methodist minister. These years included being the pastor of the following Mississippi churches: Star, Braxton, Greenfield Charge; Jackson Street in Brookhaven; Newton; Wesley in Jackson and Wesley in Vicksburg. From 1982-1988, he was district superintendent of the Vicksburg/West Jackson District. As part of that work, he founded the Good Shepherd Community Center in 1986. From 1988-1998, he served as director of Vicksburg Inner City Ministries, including Good Shepherd Center. Following his retirement, he was an active participant at Hawkins United Methodist Church in Vicksburg.

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Rev. Watkins was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Annie Lee Watkins, Gwendolyn Malsbury, Earline Bruce and May Ruth Ishee; and brothers, Singleton Watkins, Herbert Watkins and Troy Watkins.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Meta Dixon Watkins; daughters and sons-in-law, the Revs. Vicki and Joe Landrum and Alice and Joey Rein; grandsons, William Joseph Rein and Richard Watkins Rein; and sister-in-law, Margaret Watkins.

Pallbearers will be Jack Lewis, Oren Bailess, Jim Stirgus, Donald Brown, Sam Price and Pete Phifer.

Memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Community Center, P. O. Box 8115, Vicksburg, MS 39181.