James D. Watkins, Sr.
James D. Watkins Sr. is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. He is the youngest son of the late Johnietta J. Ross (Morris A. Ross) and Gregory D. Watkins (Maria A. Watkins). At the age of nine, James accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and was a very active member at Palestine Missionary Baptist Church of Jesus Christ. At Palestine, he served on the Junior Usher Board, Sunday school, as well as the Angel and Gospelaires choirs.
In 1996, he graduated from Hickman Mills High School. He began a successful study of Business Administration with a focus in Business Development at Missouri Valley College and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 2001. After graduation, James accepted a position with the City of Kansas City, Missouri in the Finance Department and has been serving there for over 15 years. He also serves as Chaplain for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, City Council legislative meetings. In 2005, James received a Certified Public Manager’s Certificate from the University of Kansas.
At the age of 29, James was called by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout that time, he faithfully served as an associate minister for 11 years. In December 2012, he was ordained by Pastor Leonard P. Butler, Jr. and accepted the position to serve as the Assistant to the Pastor.
While serving as the Assistant to the Pastor, Rev. Watkins received a Master’s of Divinity degree from Mid-Western Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri in 2016. During that time, he continued to provide strong leadership to the Prison ministry, Young Adult ministry, Evangelistic ministry, and the Ruth Circle.
Now, as Senior Pastor of Palestine Missionary Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, he continues to serve by providing spiritual leadership and delivering sound biblical counseling, preaching and teaching to the community, and to the members of Palestine.
With all the success he has achieved, Pastor Watkins declares that his greatest accomplishment was to marry his best friend, Danielle Watkins, 14 years ago. Together, they have three wonderful children, Jerron, James Jr., and Jacy Watkins.
Pastor Watkins credits the Word of God for redeeming, renewing, and sustaining him throughout his journey so far. One scripture that greatly encourages him is Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Pastor Watkins demonstrates his love for God to all those he meets and is fully committed to serving Him as a shepherd of the flock and minister of the Gospel.