The Reverend David Wayne Watkins, III is the first of two sons born to David Watkins, Jr. and Mildred Brown Watkins. A product of the Chicago Public School System, Rev. Watkins received his elementary education from the James E. McDade Magnet School and secondary education from the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. He further received the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and the Masters of Divinity degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (NBTS) in Lombard, Illinois.
Among the gifts and talents with which God has blessed Rev. Watkins, none are more meaningful and fulfilling to him than teaching, preaching, and serving. Rev. Watkins currently serves as the fifth pastor of Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Watkins is blessed with the challenging opportunity and privilege to serve those who are hurting – in the church and in the Washington Park neighborhood. Under his leadership, Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church is “Loving Our God, Living Our Name!” by touching people, transforming lives, changing families, nurturing children, honoring seniors, developing leaders, and inspiring God-given talents and gifts to positively impact upon our community for Christ. By God’s grace, Pastor David’s deepest desire is to exalt Christ, equip Christians, and encourage the Community through the life-changing, life-giving Word of God.
Additionally, Pastor Watkins has been blessed to carry the gospel ministry and message to churches at home and internationally where he has lectured and preached at special events. In 2006, Rev. Watkins participated in a missionary journey to Thailand through a partnership with Northern Seminary and International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches, USA. While there, he ministered to and explored effective ways of serving those affected by human trafficking, drug addiction, and refugee exploitation. In 2008, Rev. Watkins traveled to Ghana, West Africa. He served on an official delegation of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago (ABCMC) to the Ghana Baptist Convention (GBC). His ministry in Ghana included teaching at minister’s conferences and preaching at Praise Baptist Church of Cape Cost, Ghana. Additionally, Rev. Watkins served as Chair of the Mission Partnership Committee of ABCMC, which gives special attention to the priorities of discipleship and leadership development, new church starts, and sister church relationships within the GBC. Also, Pastor Watkins has served as an adjunct professor at the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. Lastly, because of his commitment to making an impact in the community, Pastor Watkins currently serves in a leadership capacity on several boards/committees, including the Gamaliel of Metro Chicago African American Pastors Organizing Table, 2nd District Community Anti-violence and Restoration Effort (CARE), 2nd Vice President of the Congress of Christian Education (Greater New Era Baptist District Association of Chicago and Vicinity); and the Partners for Sacred Places Advisory Board among others.
Rev. Watkins is happily married to his beautiful college sweetheart, Latasha Monique (Napper) Watkins, and they are the proud parents of Jadon Alexander and Jonathan David Monroe Watkins.