The Reverend Dr. A.W. Watkins Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization established in December 2003. The mission of the foundation is to provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors living in Central Alabama. The foundation also offers scholarships to sophomores and juniors enrolled in the Bible and Pastoral Ministry at Selma University in Selma, Alabama.
Awards & Fundraisers
Since the initial awards in 2005, the foundation has awarded 173 scholarships totaling $178,600.00, which includes the 23 scholarships totaling $25,100.00 awarded in 2021. The foundation relies upon fundraisers and donations throughout the year to provide much-needed financial assistance to deserving students. The biggest fundraisers are the free concert, and the annual charity golf tournament held the weekend prior to Memorial Day each year.
Personal Life & Achievements
Rev. Dr. A. W. Watkins, Jr. was the proud father of 10 children and several loving grandchildren. Rev. Dr. A. W. Watkins, Jr. was married to Mrs. Ethel Curry Watkins for over 50 glorious years. Rev. Dr. A. W. Watkins, Jr. was a husband, father, pastor, dedicated employee, community activist, honorary doctor, and historian.
Reverend Dr. A.W. Watkins, Jr. The Pastor
The foundation is named in honor of Reverend Dr. A.W. Watkins, Jr., who was a pastor in Montgomery, Alabama, for over 45 years until his death in November 2003. He was the pastor of three churches simultaneously.
In 1987 Selma University presented him with an honorary degree for his faithful service as a Board Member. Reverend Watkins was a strong advocate for higher education, and he emphasized that throughout his ministry.
His Journey & Recognitions
For 21 years, Rev. A. W. Watkins, Jr. served as pastor for three churches. He preached at Mobile Heights Baptist Church in Montgomery the first through the third Sunday; and the fourth Sunday, he would preach at Daniel Baptist Church in Tuskegee; on the first and third Sunday in the afternoons, he would preach at Helicon Missionary Baptist Church in Grady.
In 1967, Rev. A. W. Watkins, Jr. was hired to work for the Alabama Farm Bureau to perform custodian duties. He was a full-time employee, dedicated family man, and pastor of three churches. He worked for ALFA for 32 years before retiring.
Rev. A. W. Watkins, Jr. was presented with an honorary Doctoral degree from Selma University, Selma, Alabama.
Before his passing, Rev. Dr. A.W. Watkins, Jr. was the oldest African-American pastor serving as Shepherd of Mobile Heights Baptist Church in Montgomery. He worked tirelessly spreading the word in the effort to save souls. Please enjoy the images below that capture some of our father’s most historical moments to include when he was lauded by the governor of Alabama and mayor of Montgomery to serve as pastor of Mobile Heights Baptist Church for over 45 years.