Meet Your Commission Member: W. Jackson Watts

I’m pleased to serve as the youngest member of the Commission, elected in 2013. I come to the Commission through a family heritage of believers who made their living tilling the soil in the coastal area of South Carolina (“Puddin Swamp” to be exact). I began my life in the Southern Methodist Church, but my family eventually moved their membership to Horse Branch FWB Church in Turbeville where our family ties go back to the 1800s. I was pastored well there, and learned much about the Free Will Baptist family.

Shortly following the 2003 National Convention, a convergence of experiences led me to decide to attend Welch College (then FWBBC). I was called to preach just a few months into the semester, and went on to major in Biblical Studies/Pastoral Ministry (B.A.), and minor in English. My Welch years were formative in numerous ways; they also propelled me into my first pastoral role as a Christian Education pastor at Tippett’s Chapel FWB in Clayton, North Carolina.

During my four wonderful years at Tippett’s Chapel, I also graduated from both Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Apologetics Concentration), and Duke University Divinity School (Th.M., Systematic Theology). My master’s thesis was entitled, “Modern Communication Technologies and Christian Social Experience: A Theological Appraisal,” under the direction of Dr. Norman Wirzba. I also met my future wife (Mckensie Tutor of Fuquay Varina) during this time, and she graciously agreed to let me take my first pastorate in Missouri while waiting for her to finish her teaching contract. We then married the following summer.

Since 2011, I have served as the pastor of Grace FWB Church in Arnold (outside St. Louis). Serving the Grace family is a high honor. I have continued doctoral studies at Concordia Seminary in Theology and Culture, and am now moving into the dissertation stage. My first book, Biblical Beliefs: Doctrines Believers Should Know, was published last year. I continue to write regularly for the Helwys Society Forum.

Serving on the Theological Commission is a privilege and joy. We have a wealth of insight and experience represented on the Commission presently, and my prayer is that during my tenure I might make some meaningful contribution to the spiritual health and vitality of the National Association of Free Will Baptists.

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