March 28, 1921 - March 10, 2019
Clayton Stewart Watkins, Jr., beloved father, grandfather, brother, friend and pastor, passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior, whom Clayton served so faithfully, on March 10, 2019 with family at his side. He was born March 28, 1921 in Drumright, Oklahoma to Clayton, Sr. and Edna Lucille (Milligan) Watkins and they both preceded him in death along with his sister, Lucille Pattie, wife, Nina Watkins and their three children: Phillip, Debbie and Melody. Growing up during the Depression Era taught many life lessons to Clayton. The most important one that he learned was that family was everything. The close bonds that his family had and the foundation of honesty and integrity that were forged in him while living in this country’s toughest time enabled Clayton to realize that love was like life-it will always go on in the best and worst of time. Clayton’s work ethic was incomparable and when he wasn’t helping his father at his work, he was helping his mother at home. As a result, his knowledge base of everything from building, farming, raising livestock, tool making/forging, butchering and processing food ensured Clayton was ready for whatever challenge, or opportunity, life presented to him. During high school, he was an admitted average academic student but loved athletics, especially football, during the State Championship years at Amarillo High School. After practice and games, Clayton would run the 9 mile trip home to complete his chores, study a bit and finally go to bed. He met the love of his life when he was 15 when he met Nina. Their love story began with a friendship based on living close by and mutual admiration. Nina was committed to serving the Lord and attended church regularly. Clayton realized how special she was and also began to attend church with Nina to be with her. As a youth, he didn’t attend church and so the experience began to move Clayton in ways he was not able to readily understand or explain. In a field working, Clayton asked God to move in his life and he felt the Presence of the Lord. The next Sunday, Clayton made his profession of faith at First Baptist Church of Amarillo and, as stated in Luke 15:10, the angels rejoiced along with Heaven when Clayton made that profession. In 1941, Clayton and Nina were married and he vowed to provide for her the best life he could. Together, they farmed with both planting and dairy worked in the winter at Railway Express, International Harvester and the Zinc Smelter, once again proving that his love for family and work ethic would always and ever be the foundation for Clayton’s life. At the age of 26, he surrendered fully to the Lord and to the call of ministry. He attended college at Wayland Baptist College and preaching at Pantex Plant (used as low cost rental housing after WWII population growth where Clayton helped in the construction of new homes) where he helped many others come to the Lord and through baptism and setting the example for living in service to the Lord and fellow man. Clayton was then asked to pastor churches at Locust Grove Baptist Church, north of Canadian, TX, Mt. Blanco Baptist, about 40 miles from Plainview. Clayton moved to Louisville, KY to attend the Southern Baptist Seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity in three years. He then served at Park City Baptist Church between Louisville and Nashville, Riverview Baptist, just south of Louisville, Summerfield Baptist, outside Hereford, TX Parkview Baptist in Plainview, TX. Clayton then entered chaplaincy training and work in San Antonio and completed his Masters in Social Work in a medical setting. After serving two years as chaplain with Baptist Memorial Hospital, Clayton moved back to Amarillo to work with High Plains Baptist Hospital and Bivins Physical Medicine and Rehab. During his work with the hospital and rehab, he was interim pastor at Temple Baptist Church, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, San Jon Baptist Church in New Mexico and Wheeler Baptist Church then was called to First Baptist Church Canadian. Clayton designed a curriculum, at the request of the Baptist General Convention, for volunteer chaplains using notes from his professional training. This led to an invitation from the Texas Department of Corrections to develop and implement a curriculum for, and recruitment of, 1500 volunteer chaplains in the correctional faculties across the state, a training program still in place today. Through all this, Nina and the children were by his side-loving, supporting and enjoying all of the experiences that the Lord had brought them to and through. In 2003, Nina was called home to Heaven after a two year battle with Alzheimer’s. Clayton married Nelda and the seamless blending of their families was truly another gift from God. They served together at First Baptist Church of Channing where Clayton was interim pastor for 13 months. Clayton began to serve at Faith City Mission in Amarillo where, with Nelda by his side, he was able to actively help and reach out to others showing Christ’s love for all. Meeting basic needs like physical nourishment was as much a part of meeting their spiritual needs and his 12 year tenure there continued his lasting impact on increasing the Kingdom’s reach. After Nelda’s passing in 2016, Clayton moved back to Terrell to be near his children and their families until he was called home to Heaven as well where we are certain that he heard, “well done, my good and faithful servant”. A life filled with experiences, service, honor and ever-present trust in the Lord, Clayton will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Clayton is survived by his children: Clayton Franklin Watkins and wife, Leatha, Carolyn Watkins Thompson and husband, Richard, Jan Staiger and husband, Dennis; nine grandchildren; fifteen great grandchildren; nephew, Preston Pattie and wife, Toya, as well as many other extended family, friends and a host of church friends all over the nation. Funeral service will be Monday, March 18. 2019, at 11 am at the First Baptist Church of Terrell with interment to follow at College Mound Cemetery. His family will receive friends from 4 pm to 6 pm on Sunday, March 17. 2019 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that Clayton’s legacy continue by donating to: First Baptist of Amarillo, https://www.shelbygiving.com/app/Giving/fbcamarillo or to Faith City Mission-Amarillo, PO Box 870, Amarillo, TX 79105.
Clayton Stewart Watkins, Jr., beloved father, grandfather, brother, friend and pastor, passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior, whom Clayton served so faithfully, on March 10, 2019 with family at his side. He was born March 28, 1921... View Obituary & Service Information
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