"Making the Impossible, Possible"
The Rev. Tom Watson has dedicated his life to public service as a pastor, community organizer, consultant, conference speaker, political consultant, and civic leader in the city of New Orleans and around the country. Pastor Watson also provides spiritual oversight for many local, regional, and national pastors and their churches. In 1988, Tom Watson was ordained into ministry and handed the pastoral leadership mantle by his father the late Bishop Aubrey J. Watson Sr. on the same night of his ordination. Pastor Watson serves as Senior Pastor of Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries (located in Uptown and Algiers).
He served 13 years in the U.S. Army and completed his tenure at the rank of major. He also worked in several programs in conjunction with the city’s Human Services division, (formerly Welfare Department), including the Youth Service Bureau, Juvenile Treatment, and the Community Court Associated Programs. He served in the capacity as Assistant Superintendent of Youth Study Center, (juvenile jail), and Superintendent of Milne Boys Home. He has worked with city and community leaders to help families get ahead by establishing programs that strengthen and empower the fiber of New Orleans. Pastor Watson worked in city government for 13 consecutive years.
To expand the services provided to New Orleans citizens, Pastor Watson was the founder of one of the first Faith Based, non- for- profit organizations in the Black church; the Family Center of Hope. The Family Center of Hope is the community outreach arm of the ministry since 1988 and still stands strong as a leader in providing best practices to youth and families in the New Orleans community . He started an annual Citywide Men's Conference and the 1000 Man March addressing the multidimensional needs of men and their young sons. He is the founder of the Youth March-for-Jobs Initiative that promoted employment and training for young people during the summer of 1994 when the city's murder rate skyrocketed to over 400. In 1997, he opened the Watson Memorial Christian Academy, (named for his grandfather the late Bishop Thomas B. Watson Sr., an educator in the New Orleans Public schools for over 30 years). The Academy offered a solid christian education to young children entering kindergarten to fifth grades. Pastor Watson served as co-chair of the New Orleans Public Schools Task force on Dropout Prevention and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Weed and Seed Crime Fighting Program. His life and brave actions reflect his need to give back to the community and a personal responsibility to do what is right and just. In 2006, Pastor Watson offered his time, talents and leadership to run for mayor of New Orleans to ensure that the city was rebuilt with equity.
Pastor Watson graduated from McDonogh #35 High School in 1973. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1977 and a Master of Social Work degree from Tulane University in 1979. He also attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the United Metropolitan Seminary.
Pastor Watson is married to Pastor Pat Watson. They have four children and seven grandchildren.
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