|New Hope Baptist Church||
Rev. Percy Happy Watkins
Reverend Percy Happy Watkins was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 4, 1942. He graduated from Bronx Vocational High School in June of 1961 and entered the United States Air Force in August of that year. After basic training, he was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, arriving in Spokane on October 7, 1961. He served active duty at Fairchild Air Force Base and also in Okinawa, from August 1961 until he was discharged on July 25, 1965, and then served two additional years in the reserves. He is a disabled American Veteran.
Happy, as he is fondly called, met his wife Etta Batsell , after arriving in Spokane, and they were married on August 17, 1963. They have four sons, Percy III, John, Paul, and James, who all reside in Spokane, and six grandchildren, that they are extremely proud of.
Pastor Watkins received his call to the ministry in March of 1982. He served as Assistant Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church from 1985 to 1990, graduated from Clinical Pastoral Education in 1993, served as chaplain at Deaconess Hospital and Holy Family Hospital from 1993-2004, and became Pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church in February of 1990, where he still proudly serves.
While in Spokane, Happy attended Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College, and Eastern Washington University. He has spent many hours volunteering his time to the Spokane Community, serving as a United Way Spokesperson, Vice President of the Martin Luther King Memorial Center, a member of the Spokane Alcoholism Counsel, a member of the East Central Community Center, an NAACP Member, a member of the Spokane Christian Coalition Spokane Task Force, a Spokane Ministers Fellowship member, and a Board Member of the Fig Tree.
The community has embraced Pastor Watkins and recognized him over the years for his dedication. He has received many awards for his service, including: Outstanding Citizen Award from the Spokane City Council (1987); “Best Spiritual Leader” by Readers Choice in “The Inlander” (2004 & 2009); Employee of the Year at Holy Family Hospital (2004); Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award (2000); Presidents Medallion from the University of Idaho (2007); The Washington Association of Churches Interfaith Justice Leadership Award (2011).
Happy is also widely known for his powerful rendition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, which he delivers annually at Spokane’s King Day Parade, as well as at other venues throughout the region. He is also recognized as a dynamic motivational speaker and lecturer, and is invited regularly to deliver his inspirational messages to organizations, educational and religious institutions, and at community events across the state.
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"If you want to walk on water,
you have to get out of the boat."
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