The Rev. Dr. Tommie Lee Watkins Jr., Class of 2016, has been called as Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama. He has currently been serving as the Associate Rector and Associate Chaplain at Canterbury Chapel, Tuscaloosa Alabama. He will begin his ministry at St. Andrew's on September 24, 2018.
Watkins is also a Graduate Professor at the University of Alabama School of Social Work, a certified Spiritual Director and licensed master social worker (LMSW), and works part time as a Behavioral Health Social Worker. In collaboration with Adjunct Professor Dr. Westina Matthews, Watkins developed the course “A Contemplative Approach to Spirituality & Sexuality” through the Center for Christian Spirituality at General.
Before attending General, Watkins completed his joint Doctorate in Philosophy degree from the Universities of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and University of Alabama, Birmingham, School of Public Health in August 2013. He has several publications on religiosity, spirituality, sexuality and health as well as a workbook: God’s Gift: Sexuality and Spirituality available at his website.
Currently, Watkins is the only African-American Priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama and the first openly gay Black clergy ever ordained in that diocese. He continues to enjoy flying privately, reading, writing, and traveling being especially enamored with South Africa. His company website www.twgllc.biz which contains his book information, Living Out Loud, news print and video of his struggle of self-acceptance as an openly gay clergy are available. His favorite quote of Dr. King’s: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”