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A Tribute To Reverend Dr. William A. Watson, Jr.

Rep. Edolphus Towns

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Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute and honor to the work and achievements of Rev. Dr. William A. Watson, Jr. A native of Portsmouth, Virginia, Reverend William Jr. is the fifth of seven children and the first male child born to Deacon William A. Watson, Sr., and Cornelia Watson.

Reverend William Jr. was educated in the Virginia public school system. He relocated to Hempstead, New York, and earned a vocational degree from Manpower Development Training School in New Hyde Park. Reverend William Jr. became a licensed minister in June 1978. He was ordained in July 1979 as an assistant to the late Rev. Joseph J. Howell. He became the interim Pastor of St. John's Baptist Church in Westbury in April 1983. Following that, he became the first secretary of the Eastern Baptist Association's Board of Evangelism.

Reverend William Jr. served as chairman of the board of evangelism; vice-moderator of Nassau County; vice-moderator at large of the Eastern Baptist Association of New York, Inc. He was appointed Vice President of area 7 for the Empire Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc., of New York State. In addition, he is the chaplain for the incorporated village of Hempstead's police department and president of its board of directors.

Reverend William Jr. is a retired businessman and a 41-year resident of the incorporated village of Hempstead. He continues to be on the front line of the struggle for unity and empowerment for the church and his community.

Madam Speaker, I would like to recognize Rev. Dr. William A. Watson, Jr., for his contributions to our community and for his years of service to New Yorkers.

Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to Rev. Dr. William A. Watson, Jr.