I read yesterday that Rev. Bill Watkins passed away over the weekend. Bill was almost 84 years young and had been scheduled to perform another man's funeral in a few days. I first got to know Bill in the early 1990s when we worked together on a Billy Graham associate crusade. He taught me more that he ever imagined about having a positive, loving spirit. He worked hard on that project and helped bridge the gap between otherwise disconnected churches.
Bill taught me something else he couldn't have known. I'm a bit ashamed to tell you the lesson, but I must. You see, Bill was a Presbyterian.
"So what?", you ask.
I grew up a Baptist.
Baptists were right. Therefore, we were right. Everyone else was...uh, not right!
We had the best Bible Study literature, the largest seminaries and the hugest protestant denomination in the country.
We sent out one of, if not the biggest missionary force in history.
Did I say we were right?
Everyone else -- including Presbyterians -- was suspect. If they were right, they would be Baptist.
(God, please forgive my arrogance!)
I met Bill Watkins, a man with shining eyes, a great sense of humor, a mature love for Christ and a deep well of compassion for people. He lived his sermons.
He helped open my eyes and change my heart.
I will forever be grateful to Bill. When I get to heaven, I can't wait to thank him personally!