East Texas minister uses story of divorce to spread message of hope

East Texas minister uses story of divorce to spread message of hope

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Tim Watson walked out of his role of being a pastor five years ago not knowing he would still be involved in ministry.

Watson now works for the Baptist General Convention of Texas as a congregational strategist and church starter. It was a job title Watson was never sure he would get after going through a divorce.

"I had been married for 25 years, and my children's mother just wanted to do something different," Watson said. "I then found myself doing things most dads did not have to do; like washing dishes, cleaning house, picking up the children."

Watson said the divorce changed his life.

"In my tradition, it is not good for pastors to be divorced so I stepped down," Watson said. "I had no job for several months, but I was able to stay in my same house and in the same town I lived in."

At the time of the divorce, Watson had been pastor of First Baptist Longview for over seven years. Watson would enter a low point in life but the members of his former congregation would step in and help.

"I was very low," Watson said. "I didn't have any confidence in myself. It was through God's people and the church I had stepped down from. I had a lot of friends still in the congregation that were good to me and that's what got me through the darkest days."

Watson grew up in Baton Rouge, La. He went to school at Louisiana State University with the goal of becoming a journalist, but he changed paths at the age of 22.

"At 22 years of age, I was pasturing a small, country church," Watson said.

Now, Watson works with nearly 500 Southern Baptist Churches across East Texas. Watson also teaches business ethics at LeTourneau University in Longview. Watson said his journey to a place of peace is something anyone dealing with loss can experience.

"First, you need to trust in God and have faith," Watson said. "Second, you need to have friends that will love on you. Also, just don't give up hope. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, so each day is better than the next day. Keep putting those guys together, and it will make a great journey."

Watson brings no judgment; just a Bible and a message of hope.

"When you are authentic with people, you would be amazed at the number of people that had a similar experience," Watson said.

Watson is the current interim pastor of Lufkin's First Baptist Church. He currently lives in Longview.

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