Membership Training Leadership Conference is January 22-23, 2020. Our guest speaker is Rev. William L. Watson, Pastor of Historic First Baptist Church in Jackson, TN. His innovative leadership style has been demonstrated through facility renovations; increased membership; a weekly radio broadcast; a reconciliatory relationship with First Baptist Church, partnership with City Fellowship Church; and the annual Praise in the Park worship with the city of Jackson. He is currently a Guest Instructor in the local Baptist association and an Instructor at the Tennessee Missionary Baptist Educational Congress. Pastor Watson previously served as Assistant/Executive Pastor at Cummings Street Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee under the leadership of Pastor Gary L. Faulkner. In his tenure he served also as the Minister of Pastoral Care, Youth Pastor, Young Adult Pastor, and Director of Ministry/Christian Education. Rev. Watson accepted his calling into the ministry at Greater Lewis Street Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee where the late Rev. W.P. Dixon (his maternal grandfather) served as pastor.
He accepted Christ at West Camp Missionary Baptist Church in Batesville, Mississippi where his father, the Rev. Earl E. Watson was pastor, during a revival led by the Rev. A.L. Jones. When not in the pulpit, William Watson is actively engaged in civic activities in Jackson and Memphis. He is a sought after speaker at revivals, conferences, workshops, nationally and most recently international, having traveled to Israel in May of 2016, South Africa in July of 2017 and Honduras in 2018. He also speaks in both local school systems and collegiate functions. Currently, he has spoken at Memphis City School graduations and chapel services at both Lane College and Union University.
Rev. Watson is the recipient of the Jackson Madison County NAACP 2016 William D. Smart Race Relations Award; Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. 2015 Loretta K Jones Hall of Fame Award; the Jackson Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. 2013 Man of Faith and Perseverance Award; the Theta Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 2013 Rev. James F. (RIP) Taylor Christian Leadership Award; and the 2013 Isaac Lane Faith and Witness Awards.
Rev. Watson holds an Associate of Science degree in English and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Studies from Union University. He is an honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran and a proud son of the Rev. Earl E. and Willie Jean Watson. He has two siblings, Wilborne E. Watson and Bettina Hudson.