Watson Mills, pastor of Sharpsburg First Baptist, retires after 27 years

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 3:18pm
By: The Citizen

Watson Mills, pastor of Sharpsburg First Baptist, retires after 27 years
Members of Sharpsburg Baptist Church (SBC) recently celebrated the legacy of their beloved pastor, Dr. Watson E. Mills, who retired June 22. At the time of his retirement banquet, former Mercer University “professor emeritus” had served SBC for 27 years, 5 months, 4 days, 6 ? hours, “ ... but who’s counting?” said Gloria Tinsley, publicity director for SBC.
Several friends and colleagues “roasted” Mills at the banquet, including Terry Daviston of McKoon Funeral Home and Dr. Rollin S. Armour, a former colleague from Mercer University’s department of religion.

The congregation surprised Mills on his last Sunday by granting “Pastor Emeritus” status. Deacons Bill Tinsley and Beth Clough presented the award during the invitation hymn and read the decree.

Mills began his pastorate of SBC in 1981 while serving as vice president of research and publication, as well as professor of New Testament language and literature at Mercer University in Macon. He commuted for 14-plus years and ultimately moved to Coweta County in 1995.

With Mills’ leadership, by the year 2000, SBC was able to build an 11,200 sq. ft. worship, education and fellowship facility. Since that time the church has seen a growth of 150-plus members. In 2003, SBC was recognized by the Georgia Baptist Convention as one of the fastest growing small Baptist churches in the state.
Mills has performed more than 200 weddings, christenings and funerals, and provided pastoral care for members in all stages of life. He has delivered more than 1,075 sermons in Sharpsburg, as well as in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Hungary and Switzerland. In 2004 he published The Vocabulary of the Faith, a collection of sermons delivered from the Sharpsburg pulpit. Additionally, he has published more than 130 books and hundreds of articles during his career.

“Sharpsburg Baptist Church is proud to have had this amazing man as their spiritual leader for more than 27 years,” Tinsley said. “When people ask, ‘Where in the world is Dr. Watson Mills?’ our response will be, ‘We hope back in Sharpsburg, Georgia, near us and our hearts.’”

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