Remembering Bro. Stanley Watson

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Adair County recently suffered a great loss after the passing of longtime Kelleyville Community Church pastor, Bro. Stanley Watson, on Tuesday, June 25.
Bro. Watson was born on May 6, 1950 in Adair County. He was the middle brother of three sons, Steve Watson being the elder brother and Michael Watson the younger. They were born to parents Carl and Ruby Watson, both of whom preceded Stanley in death. His early years were spent on his parents’ farm where laboring in tobacco patches and hay fields taught him a strong work ethic.
Bro. Watson’s call to preach came in the mid-1980s, not long after being saved at the same revival as his then-eleven-year-old (and only) daughter, Lisa Burton. Never attending school for preaching, he set out to fulfill his call by extensively studying, researching, and learning all he could about his faith and the Bible. Around this time, he also was a member of the Singing Temples gospel group.
After evangelizing for a short time, he began formally preaching in Russell Springs until Kelleyville Community Church asked him to lead a sermon one Sunday.
Ultimately, Bro. Watson served as the pastor for Kelleyville Community Church for 34 years until his passing.
As a pastor, his sermons were not planned. Instead, he believed God would give him what he needed to say, and he carried this philosophy into weddings, funerals, and every event he was asked to speak at.
Lisa Burton described her father as loving everyone and needing to be around people. His jobs outside of preaching reflect this, having worked at Houchens until retirement, then managing an IGA, and finally becoming a postal carrier. His careers in these fields established him as even more of a local celebrity of Adair County and allowed him to know as many people as he could.
Upon his obituary being posted to social media, a flood of messages and comments poured in reflecting on his life and offering prayers and goodwill toward those who had lost their brother, father, grandfather, and pastor.
Bro. Watson is remembered by those who knew him for his humor. Many recall his smile, and Connie Kemp specifically recalls that he “was always telling childhood stories from the pulpit with laughter.”
But what many will cherish most about his memory is his ability to make everyone feel special, and going above and beyond to provide comfort, support, and assistance to them in their times of need.
Michael Watson reflected on his younger years with his brother.
“When I was about three years old. I rode my tricycle off a steep, stubble studded bank at the edge of our yard and was ‘missing’ for a time. Mother had instituted an alert and started searching. Dad and Steve were back on the farm. But Stanley found me. As brother Steve says, ‘You climbed Stanley like a tree.’ He was my savior and new best friend that day and evermore… We will meet again one day.”
In his later years, Bro. Watson suffered numerous health issues that made it difficult to preach like he used to. Shortly before his last hospital stay, Burton said her father was forced to turn down conducting a funeral service, which was a difficult choice as he felt the family needed his help.
“He put everybody else before himself,” Burton said.
Of Bro. Watson, Bonnie Powell stated, “(He was a) wonderful friend, pastor, counselor, Christian man. We loved him as our own family because he was …The loss is ours but it is heaven’s gain.”
In the wake of his death, Bro. Watson leaves behind two brothers, his wife Gennie, his daughter, two grandchildren, and the congregation of Kelleyville Community Church. Grissom-Martin Funeral Home was responsible for his arrangements, with his final service being held at his beloved church last Saturday.
By Kenley Godby
kenley@adairvoice.com

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