Elder Calvin Watkins is a native of Dayton, Ohio, and a product of a God-fearing mother and Christian education. He is a graduate of Pine Forge Academy in Pine Forge, Pennsylvania; Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama; and Mercer University and Fulton Law Academy, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Elder Watkins has served as Pastor and Departmental Director for more than 40 years, and was one of the longest serving and productive Departmental Directors in the North American Division.
During the last 40 years, he has baptized over 8,000 souls into the church and established over 17 new churches. He has conducted campaigns and training schools throughout the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and Cuba. In 2010 he led out in the Good News Atlanta Campaign, resulting in over 1,000 baptisms. Many people affectionately call him “Wild Fire” because of his many campaigns of setting churches and cities on fire.
Elder Watkins is regarded both within and outside of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination as a lecturer in the fields of church growth and ministerial training. He is also the author of One Hundred and One Ways to Witness and Evangelism for the New Millennium. He conducts seminars for Adventists and non-Adventists alike on the “Science of Soul Winning,” “Church Planting,” and “Church Organization and Management.”
In 2015 he was elected President of the Southwest Region Conference, which encompasses the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
Elder Watkins has been married to the former Ruth Laurie of Panama for 40 years. They have three sons and two granddaughters.