College can be both liberating and daunting for young people away from home for the first time. As a campus ministry pastor, Rev. Lindsay Watkins saw the blessing the church could be to students during this critical time.
For some, it was a safe haven from the storms and temptations of life. For others, it meant connection and family. Still, for others, it meant all of the above.
Although he loved what he did, he felt God’s call to serve Trinity Lutheran Church, Boone, Iowa, and help the congregation move beyond some ministry challenges.
In the beginning
Watkins grew up in Miami in a family that began attending church when he was five. In high school, a pastor saw a spark in Watkins and encouraged the teen toward church work.
The future pastor eventually headed to Michigan to attend Concordia University, Ann Arbor, followed by Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Next stop: Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., to earn a Master of Divinity degree. A few years later, he returned for his Doctor of Ministry. Early on, the young pastor recognized the need to grow better equipped to serve hurting families—training he felt God calling him to use when he took the call to Trinity.
Win-win through LCEF
While getting his seminary education in St. Louis, Watkins met Peggy, his partner of nearly 43 years in life and ministry. As a public school teacher in Boone, Peggy enjoyed opportunities to share her faith.
“I loved when students asked me about my beliefs—and they definitely did ask!” says Peggy, who retired two years ago.
Watkins has served in a mission congregation, campus ministry and parish ministry at Trinity Lutheran, a growing congregation with a growing school.
The couple appreciates the instrumental role Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has played in their lives, including financing for two major building programs, and for the longtime support of Carole White, LCEF district vice president of Iowa District East and Iowa District West.
“Such a strong Christian who knows finances very well,” Pastor Watkins says of White.
LCEF is “a win-win,” he says, with investments helping “churches and schools continue their ministries” and providing a rate of return “much higher than a bank’s interest rate.”
He calls LCEF’s PartnerPLUS Term Note and Family Emergency StewardAccount® “excellent” investments the couple feels “very, very good about”—assets that are opportunities for “doing something rather in a bank just sitting there.”
Opportunities amid challenges
Today, the pastor is helping the congregation navigate the challenges of a global pandemic. But not too far in the future, the couple is preparing for a new chapter. After more than 40 years in ministry, Pastor Watkins has announced his retirement for October 2021. He and Peggy plan to move to Kansas City, where their two daughters and four-year-old grandson live.
On behalf of all of us at LCEF, thank you, Rev. Watkins, for your commitment to proclaim the Gospel, baptize the faithful, nourish with the Holy Supper and minister in countless other ways to God’s people. You have been a tremendous asset to the church. Your retirement is well deserved. May the Lord richly bless you in this new life.
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